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Resources include the Electricity merit badge worksheet in PDF format Adobe Acrobat PDF and Word format Microsoft Word DOC document, links, and cross-references to related badges and awards.
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Electricity merit badge
Status: Elective
Created: 1911
Renamed from: Electrician
BSA Advancement ID: 043
Requirements revision: 2014
Latest pamphlet revision: 2013


Electricity is a powerful and fascinating force of nature. As early as 600 BC, observers of the physical world suspected that electricity existed but did not have a name for it. In fact, real progress in unraveling the mystery of electricity has come only within the last 250 years.

Electricity merit badge requirements

  1. Demonstrate that you know how to respond to electrical emergencies by doing the following:
    a. Show how to rescue a person touching a live wire in the home.
    b. Show how to render first aid to a person who is unconscious from electrical shock.
    c. Show how to treat an electrical burn.
    d. Explain what to do in an electrical storm.
    e. Explain what to do in the event of an electrical fire.
  2. Complete an electrical home safety inspection of your home, using the checklist found in this pamphlet or one approved by your counselor. Discuss what you find with your counselor.
  3. Make a simple electromagnet and use it to show magnetic attraction and repulsion.
  4. Explain the difference between direct current and alternating current.
  5. Make a simple drawing to show how a battery and an electric bell work.
  6. Explain why a fuse blows or a circuit breaker trips. Tell how to find a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker in your home. Show how to safely reset the circuit breaker.
  7. Explain what overloading an electric circuit means. Tell what you have done to make sure your home circuits are not overloaded.
  8. Make a floor plan wiring diagram of the lights, switches, and outlets for a room in your home. Show which fuse or circuit breaker protects each one.
  9. Do the following:
    a. Read an electric meter and, using your family's electric bill, determine the energy cost from the meter readings.
    b. Discuss with your counselor five ways in which your family can conserve energy.
  10. Explain the following electrical terms: volt, ampere, watt, ohm, resistance, potential difference, rectifier, rheostat, conductor, ground, circuit, and short circuit.
  11. Do any TWO of the following:
    a. Connect a buzzer, bell, or light with a battery. Have a key or switch in the line.
    b. Make and run a simple electric motor (not from a kit).
    c. Build a simple rheostat. Show that it works.
    d. Build a single-pole, double-throw switch. Show that it works.
    e. Hook a model electric train layout to a house circuit. Tell how it works.

The official source for the information shown in this article or section is:
Scouts BSA Requirements, 2019 Edition (BSA Supply SKU #648914)

View the change list (history) of these requirements. The text of these requirements may be locked. In that case, they can only be edited
by an administrator.
Please note any errors found in the above requirements on this article's Talk Page.


Worksheet A FREE workbook for Electricity is available here! (PDF or Word) with the maps, charts, links, diagrams, and checklists you need! Or click here to print just the Electricity requirements. usscouts.org has PDF and Word versions of workbooks for Scouts BSA ranks and merit badges, Cub Scouting ranks and adventures, and STEM Nova awards.

Electricity merit badge requires prior counselor and/or parent approval for requirement(s) #2.
The Electricity merit badge is an option for the Start Your Engines!, Harris Bronze Supernova, and Edison Silver Supernova STEM Nova Awards.
  1. The Electricity merit badge was one of the original 57 merit badges issued by the Boy Scouts of America in 1911.
  2. Electricity replaced the 1910 Electrician "Badge of Merit".
  3. Electricity was one of the original Merit Badges, called "Electrician Badge of Merit" in the 1910 BSA Handbook. In 1911 the original 14 "Badges of Merit" changed names (one was dropped, 13 moved on with new names), and became "Merit Badges" with Electrician becoming the Electricity Merit Badge.

Requirement resources

1. how to rescue a person touching a live wire - CDC's Electrical Fires & Burn Treatment - CDC First Aid For Electrical Accidents

Mayo Clinic First Aid Guide:Electrical Shock - Electrical burns

1d. National Lightning Safety Institute Tips - National Weather Service Lightning Safety - FEMA Lightning Safety
2. The electrical home safety inspection checklist from the pamphlet is in the last pages of the workbook (PDF Adobe Acrobat PDF or Word Microsoft Word DOC document). Also see the UL Home Safety Inspection

Free Lesson Videos: Replace an Electrical Switch - Replace an Outlet - Test an Outlet - Test GFCI - Safety

3. Make a simple electromagnet: Best site - Great - Great - Great - Good
4. PBS Animated diagram of Direct Current vs. Alternating Current Alternating Current - Direct Current
5. Battery Diagram - Make a Lemon into a Battery - Animation shows how an electric bell works
6. Why a fuse blows or a circuit breaker trips - another site - How to find a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker

How to safely reset the circuit breaker - another site

7. Electrical overloading - Overloaded Circuits - How to avoid overloaded circuits
8. A sample wiring diagram of a bedroom and graph paper to make your own is in the workbook (PDF Adobe Acrobat PDF or Word Microsoft Word DOC document) - How to draw a Scale Floor Plan
9a. How to read an electric meter: Animated - another site - another

Determine your energy cost from the meter readings - another site

9b. The BSA Home Energy Audit in the workbook (PDF Adobe Acrobat PDF or Word Microsoft Word DOC document) finds many ways to save electricity.

How to conserve energy - another site - another site - U.S. Department of Energy - U.S. Dept of Energy Resources

10. How Stuff Works: Amps, Watts, Volts and Ohms - more terms - glossary of electrical terms - another great glossary
11b. Make and run a simple electric motor (not from a kit): Best - Great - Good - Boys Life - 4H Book
11c. How to build a simple rheostat - another site
11d. Build a single-pole, double-throw switch
11e. How a model electric train works

Related awards

Science-related awards

See also

Scouts BSA portal
Venturing portal
Sea Scout portal
General Merit Badge information

External links

Personal tools