Electronics is the science that controls the behavior of electrons so that some type of useful function is performed. Today, electronics is a fast-changing and exciting field.


  1. Describe the safety precautions you must exercise when using, building, altering, or repairing electronic devices.
  2. Do the following:
    1. Draw a simple schematic diagram. It must show resistors, capacitors, and transistors or integrated circuits. Use the correct symbols. Label all parts.
    2. Tell the purpose of each part.
  3. Do the following:
    1. Show the right way to solder and desolder.
    2. Show how to avoid heat damage to electronic components.
    3. Tell about the function of a printed circuit board. Tell what precautions should be observed when soldering printed circuit boards.
  4. Discuss each of the following with your merit badge counselor, and then choose ONE of the following and build a circuit to show the techniques used:
    1. Tell how you can use electronics for a control purpose, and then build a control device circuit.
    2. Tell about the basic principles of digital techniques, and then build a digital circuit. Show how to change three decimal numbers into binary numbers and three binary numbers into decimal numbers.
    3. Tell about three audio applications of electronics, and then build an audio circuit.
      Show how to read the schematic diagram of the project you chose and, to the best of your ability, explain to your counselor how the circuit you built operates.
  5. Do the following:
    1. Show how to solve a simple problem involving current, voltage, and resistance using Ohm's law.
    2. Tell about the need for and the use of test equipment in electronics. Name three types of test equipment. Tell how they operate.
  6. Find out about three career opportunities in electronics that interest you. Discuss with and explain to your counselor what training and education are needed for each position.


Scouting Literature

Computers, Electricity, and Radio merit badge pamphlets


  • Bartholomew, Alan. Electric Gadgets and Gizmos: Battery-Powered Buildable Gadgets That Go! General Distribution Services, 1998. Includes directions for an assortment of electronics.
  • Bonnet, Bob. Science Fair Projects With Electricity & Electronics. Sterling Publishing, 1996. Includes nearly 50 projects on electricity and electronics.
  • Bridgman, Roger. Eyewitness: Electronics. DK Publishing, 2000. Traces the history, discoveries, and devices of this fast-moving science.
  • Chirico, Joann. Electronics. NTC Publishing, 1995. This book explores career possibilities in electronics and electricity.
  • Engelbert, Phillis. Technology in Action: Science Applied to Everyday Life. Gale, 1998. A general look at technology and technical applications of scientific knowledge, with a section on computers and electronics.
  • Leon, George deLucenay. Electronics Projects for Young Scientists. Franklin Watts, 1991. Introduces the basic principles of electronics and includes project ideas such as a crystal radio, an intercom, and a pair of electronic dice.
  • Maxfield, Clive Max. Bebop to the Boolean Boogie: An Unconventional Guide to Electronics Fundamentals, Components, and Processes. Hightext Publications, 1995. This book covers the basics of electronics clearly, simply, and in an entertaining style.
  • Predko, Myke. Digital Electronics Guidebook: With Projects! McGraw-Hill, 2001. Introduces the nuts and bolts of digital electronics.
  • Rowh, Mark, and Dick Glass. Opportunities in Electronics Careers, revised ed. McGraw-Hill/Con- temporary Books, 1999. Check out the many electronics-related career opportunities available, featured in this 160-page book.
  • Slone, G. Randy. TAB Electronics Guide to Understanding Electricity and Electronics. 2nd ed. McGraw-Hill, 2002. A learn-as-you-go guide for readers of any electronics skill level.
  • Vogt, Greg L. Robotix Robot Inventor's Workshop. Running Press Book Publishers, 2000. A handbook on the science of robotics.