Professor Roger Stone and students in MSU-Northern's Computer Information Systems Department will donate as much time as it takes to help members of Boy Scout Troop 438 earn their computer merit badges.
The project was coordinated by Janice Brady, head of MSU-N's Continuing Education Department, as part of the university's community outreach program.
"The community has been so good to Northern that we need to do some things like this to help our community," Stone said.
Up to a dozen youths will participate, said assistant scout master Michael Hartman and troop treasurer Al Vukasin. The troop meets Monday nights, so that's when Stone and his students will be available to help.
National requirements for the computer merit badge include writing programs, storing information, creating a data base, spreadsheet, graphics, and word-processing documents, as well as visiting businesses that use computers, becoming familiar with the Internet, and being able to discuss computer terminology, employment opportunities, and ethics.
Because computer technology changes so rapidly, some of the requirements may be dated, Vukasin said, so he and Stone will work with the community, schools, and businesses to be sure what the Scouts learn is worthwhile.
Stone is in the process of being certified as a computer merit badge counselor, Vukasin added.
"We are very grateful to MSU-Northern for providing the area and computers and instruction," Vukasin said.