For a Scout aspiring to be a pediatrician, completing an Eagle Scout project that would benefit children was an easy decision.
"When I found out I was able to do a project for kids, I knew that was it," said 17-year-old Clayton Walker of Poland Troop 002.
Clayton contacted Oh Wow! The Roger & Gloria Jones Children's Center for Science and Technology at the end of last year to find out how his path to earning the rank of Eagle Scout could enhance the museum's mission and best serve the Center's visitors. After planning sessions with Education Manager Audra Carlson and Executive Director Suzanne Barbati, the idea of an education STEM cart was developed.
Photos special to the Town Crier
Clayton Walker, 17, of Poland Scout Troop 002, chose a project to benefit Oh Wow! The Roger & Gloria Jones Children's Center for Science and Technology in his mission to earn the rank of Eagle Scout. Clayton's fellow troop members helped him complete the project and dedicate the science cart to the museum. From left, Troop 002 Advisor Ron Harris is seen with Scout Victor DiTommaso, 13, and Clayton.
"We wanted an education cart because our visitors need to see hands-on demonstrations," said Carlson. "Clayton's cart will provide the proper stage to conduct demos on the exhibit floor."
Demonstrations shown on the exhibit floor will be designed such that observers can reproduce the same experiments at home or in the classroom with basic household materials.
Clayton delivered the cart to Oh Wow! recently and was joined by family, friends, fellow Scouts and Troop 002 Advisor Ron Harris, who described Clayton as "one of the good guys."
Troop 002 is more than 80 years old and has had 89 Scouts earn the rank of Eagle Scout.
"Clayton will be number 90," Harris said.
Though Clayton has only one more merit badge to receive, the road to becoming an Eagle Scout had its challenges, including getting troop members to cooperate under his direction to complete the Oh Wow! education cart, he said. About 15 of his fellow Scouts assisted with the project, and local businesses helped with the supplies.
"Earning the Eagle Scout rank feels like a lot of hard work paying off," Clayton said. "You don't learn anything like you learn in Scouts, and I wouldn't be the person I am today without Scouts."