Computer Challenge Badge

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Scouts Handbook Computer badge page, revised 2012



Demonstrate your understanding of computers.

Requirements (Revised 2012)

Devices - Complete three of the following:

  1. Describe how desktops, laptops, tablets, and smart phones are similar and how they differ.
    1. Desktops sit on a desk or floor, they can be big. They can look like a box on their side or a VCR.
    2. Laptops have the keyboard, mouse, monitor, and computer all rolled into one. You can use them on your lap.
    3. Tablets can be held in 2 hands and have a touch screen.
    4. Smart phones can be held in 1 hand, and can usually be used to make phone calls.
  2. Describe the basic system components of any computing device.
    1. CPU does the thinking.
    2. Memory remembers things until it is turned off.
    3. A drive remembers things even after it is turned off. This memory is cheaper and slower than memory.
    4. Graphic Processing Units (GPUs) or Graphic Cards draw pictures on the screen.
    5. Most have some sort of screen, which may be a separate monitor.
    6. Most have input devices, such as keyboards, mice, or touch-screens.
  3. Describe the peripherals you’d find on many computers and what they do.
    1. Keyboards allow the user to type.
    2. Monitors show pictures to the user.
    3. Mice allow the user to point at things.
  4. Explain a couple of methods for backing up a computing device, and what can happen if you don’t.
    1. Copying information to a disk.
    2. Printing.
    3. If you don't back up a computer device then you may loose all the information on it if it is damaged by wear and tear, lost, or attacked by a virus or hacker.

Security - Complete four of the following:

  1. Describe each of the following and how they can harm your device. Describe how to protect your computer from these threats.
    • a) Virus
    • b) Trojan Horse
    • c) Worm
  2. Explain the importance of applying periodic updates to your applications, especially the operating system, virus protection, email and web browser.
  3. Describe the risks of installing software from unreliable sources, including both direct threats and risks to your computers stability.
  4. Explain how pirating software, movies or music impacts software companies or artists and the legal risks and consequences of such theft.
  5. Explain the difference between secured and unsecured WiFi networks.

Common Applications - Complete five of the following:

  1. Wikipedia
    • a) Explain what Wikipedia is and how it compares to traditional encyclopedia.
    • b) Become an editor and contribute to the improvement of one subject of your choice. Hint: as you are doing school research, you might find other sites that have information that is missing from the related Wikipedia article… incorporate that information into the article.
    • c) Show how to correctly cite your source.
  2. Word Processing (e.g., Microsoft Word, Google Docs)
    • a) Show you know how to use styles to quickly apply formatting paragraph changes to your entire document using styles. Show a work (e.g., a school project) in a couple of formats.
    • b) Show how to use multiple sections, including having different headers/footers and pagination for each section.
    • c) Show how to use multiple columns.
    • d) Show how to insert an automatically-generated table of contents.
    • e) Explain what the differences are between applications and web applications (e.g., Microsoft Word vs Google Docs) and the advantages and disadvantages of both.
  3. Presentation Software (PowerPoint, Google Presentation)
    • a) Show how you can use document styles to quickly change the look of your presentation.
    • b) Show how to personalize the style by modifying the Slide Master.
    • c) Show how to add charts or pictures to your presentation.
    • d) Explain how too much/too little information on a slide can impact your presentation.
  4. Spreadsheets (e.g., Excel, Google Spreadsheets)
    • a) Show how to add up, count or find the maximum value in a group of cells.
    • b) Show how you can quickly copy formula or values between cells.
    • c) Explain the difference between a reference such as “a1” and “a$1”.
    • d) Show how to generate charts from your data. (Hint: use a record of your Patrol’s collected dues.)
  5. Social Networking (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, MySpace)
    • a) Explain the benefits of social networking sites and how to friend/unfriend people, post information and pictures and tag individuals.
    • b) Demonstrate appropriate behaviour.
    • c) Explain how inappropriate use or posting of photos can harm yourself or others.
    • d) Describe how cyber bullying can happen and what to do about it.
    • e) Explain the importance of privacy and how the inability to verify another user is a risk.
  6. Email
    • a) Explain the difference between TO, CC and BCC and when it’s appropriate to use each.
    • b) Describe how to maintain an email contact list, including groups (e.g., for your Patrol members).
    • c) Show how to attach a document (e.g., a photo or a school project).
    • d) Explain how viruses/worms/trojan horses can be transmitted via email and how to protect your computer.
    • e) Explain the advantages and disadvantages of using email applications (e.g., Outlook) vs web applications (e.g., Gmail).
    • f) Explain how to store/organize important emails and how to search through them.

pre-2011 badge

pre-2012 version

  • Part A - Knowledge
    1. Define and explain the function of each of the following: CPU (central processing unit), Monitor, Tape drive, Keyboard, Scanner, Hard drive, Digital camera, RAM, Mouse, Speakers, ROM, Joy stick, Modem, Printer, Floppy disk, Data projector, Disk drive, CD-ROM
    2. Describe how a computer memory/floppy disk/CD-ROM (select one) stores information (e.g. text, images, audio and video).
    3. Describe the World Wide Web, and how computers around the world access it.
  • Part B - Proficiency: Do four of the following:
    1. Use either a database or spreadsheet program to create a roster of your troop showing the name, address and telephone number of each Scout, as well as a record of each Scout's attendance for the past month.
    2. Use a spreadsheet program to develop the budget for a weekend camp for your troop or patrol. This spreadsheet should show both budget and actual amounts for each item, as well as the difference between the two.
    3. Use a word processor to write a letter to parents of each troop member inviting them to a special meeting night. Include a graphic init, and, if possible, use mail merge to personalize each letter.
    4. Use a computer graphics program to design and draw a campsite plan for your troop.
    5. Using web authoring software, design and create a web site for your troop. Include at least two pages, one graphic, a link to Scouts Canada (, and an e-mail link to an approved adult in your troop.
    6. Use a word processing or publishing program to create a three-column pamphlet which would publicize your troop to senior Cubs or newcomers to Scouts. Include the logo of your troop, planned activities for the year, names and phone numbers of leaders, and an invitation to join.
    7. Use a camera and a scanner or a digital camera to take pictures of an outing or special event involving your troop. Then, using media presentation software, put together a presentation (include photos, captions and sound, if possible) that your troop can use at a Parents' Night or a linking activity with a Cub pack
    8. Locate five troops in other parts of Canada that have a home page. Explain the process, including the name(s) of the search engine(s) you used to locate the troops. E-mail each of the troops, explaining that you are completing your Computer Badge, and invite members to send a greeting to your troop or patrol. On a map of Canada, pinpoint the locations of the troops.
    9. Use a computer to connect to the World Wide Web and a search engine to locate information on a Scouting topic related to the content of a Scout badge or award. Download and save the information, and print it out. If you believe that other Scouts would benefit from this information, e-mail the URL to
    10. Use a programming language to write a program. The program should show examples of decision making and looping. Prepare a write-up of the steps you used to create and test the program.
  • Part C - Initiative: Do one of the following:
    1. Visit a business or industry that uses computers. Using a computer, prepare a report on how computers are being used in the site you visited, how they affect workers, and what future plans the business or industry has for computing.
    2. Describe four jobs in the computer field, including the necessary training for the jobs, and opportunities for these jobs in your area of Canada.
  • Part D - Ethics: Discuss with, or explain to your patrol members or patrol counsellor, each of the following:
    1. Why it is not right to accept a free copy of a computer game or program from a friend.
    2. How to give credit to the authors of information that is downloaded from the World Wide Web, and what you should do if you want a copy of an image from the World Wide Web or a CD-ROM. (Background reading: Toolbox: Copyright Issues).
    3. Three personal safety aspects involved in using e-mail or chat rooms.

Program Suggestions