The Core4 STEM Family Day and MBU Experience at SPC

October 26, 2018

Public Information Officer


The CORE4 STEM Family Day and MBU experience at SPC proudly observe their sixth and fifth anniversaries with the SPC family

St. Philip's College has a double feature of STEM knowledge building, fifth and sixth anniversary celebrating, social change---and possibly some record breaking---in store for 1,200 young people and their families Nov. 3 at the college on 1801 Martin Luther King Drive.

CORE4 STEM Family Day Nov. 3 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. with reception in the college’s G. J. Sutton Learning Center building concludes the college’s 2018 partnership in the citywide San Antonio STEM Week observance with the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The event includes hands-on opportunities for parents to experience some of what the college’s students experience every day online and on the campus, and might stimulate parents to enroll their children in the college’s Early College High School. The college observes its sixth anniversary season as an original CORE4 STEM Family day partner with the 2018 event.

In 2017, San Antonio Independent School District offered to transport up to 130 8th graders and their parents from the Davis, Poe and Rogers middle schools and the Young Men’s Leadership Academy (representing the former Wheatley Middle School) to the 2017 CORE4 STEM Family Day Program. As a result and also new for last year, the potential early college high school students from the district were chaperoned by principals, school counselors, parent family liaisons and bus chaperones from the high school members of the district's College Bound Advisors programs at Brackenridge, Sam Houston and Highlands high schools. The aspiration was that capacity per bus would be a combined 30 students and parents, all focused, not just on college as a possibility, but as a reality for their children---years sooner than they may envision. The prospective college students toured academic facilities in the college’s William C. Davis Science Building, Center for Learning Resources and Center for Health Professions. Parents and prospective students toured a transformed college that offers the newest and most advanced non-military medical training facilities east of the city's Medical Center area. A place where students learn in the same customized professional training program environment recently provided for employees who support and assist the work of doctors and nurses at San Antonio’s second largest private employer---Methodist Healthcare System of San Antonio

The CORE4 event has new programming for 2018. "In our ninth year, we are adding the “A” to STEM and will showcase the arts in this year’s program events," according to the event web site. For 2018 event details, reach Dr. Jo Dee Duncan, director of the college’s Center of Excellence for Science within its Department of Natural Sciences, at 210-867-3149,

Concurrently, St. Philip's College observes its fifth anniversary season (2014-2018) of hosting the largest organized Boy Scouts event in the San Antonio area when a projected 1,000 students and 400 escorts from more than 120 troops throughout Texas convene for a one-day Boy Scout Merit Badge University event Nov. 3 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. A Merit Badge University traditionally helps young men ages 11-17 to earn merit badges in such topics as communications and sustainability. Each student completes an epic day of four 90-minute classes in more than 45 career fields. The day also includes training for adults and parents in the organization. St. Philip's College launched its first merit badge university project in partnership with the local Boy Scouts leadership in 2014. Nearly 2,400 merit badges were successfully earned in 2017 in a single day of knowledge building at the college on Nov. 4, bringing the total of badges potentially earned at the college through this partnership to the 9,000-10,000 badge range. The merit badge team should celebrate coming close to or passing the 10,000 badge mark at St. Philip’s College in 2018. The web site for the scouting event shows many activities completely full. Visit the Alamo Area Council MBU page at or email volunteer MBU chairman John Haines and his team at for details.

The 2018 Merit Badge University program also marks the end of an era in San Antonio area scouting, with planning underway for a basic transformation. In the mid-first quarter of 2019---just four months away---the program becomes co-ed as girls earn Eagle Scout rank as well, according to local officials within the organization. This announcement means the first female alumni of the new Scouts BSA program at St. Philip’s College is forecast for November of 2019.

Angel Martinez is PR director with the Boy Scouts of America, Alamo Area Council.

“Key facts about MBU at St. Philip’s College in the last five years show over 4,500 Scouts in 150 Troops participating with the support of over 300 volunteers. The Alamo Area Council is proud of the five-year partnership with St. Philip’s College to encourage Scouts to explore areas that interest them and to learn valuable skills which influences career aspirations and lifelong hobbies…It’s also cool we get to expand this program in 2019 to include the whole family,” said Martinez.

Using the same curriculum as the current Boy Scouts program, the organization is also scheduled to launch Scouts BSA in February 2019, which will serve boy troops and girl troops, enabling all eligible youth to earn the Eagle Scout rank (Scouts BSA troops will be single gender – all girl or all boy). This unique approach allows the organization to maintain the integrity of the single-gender model while also meeting the needs of today’s families. Currently, girls can join the Cub Scout program, Martinez and Haines explained.

“Experts from the various Merit Badge disciplines were recruited so that real-life experts could provide instruction to our Scouts; and, this is what makes our program unique and provides an exceptionally rich learning environment,” Haines said of the MBU experience.

For more information about St. Philip’s College or to learn more about their commitment to education and communities in which they operate, visit

CAPTION: St. Philip's College President Dr. Adena Williams Loston and Boy Scouts of America Alamo Area Council Scout Executive Michael de los Santos celebrated education in a 2014 archival image of the college ceremonially launching its first Boy Scouts Merit Badge University Fall project where a projected 3,200 merit badges were earned by over 800 Boy Scouts who were supervised by 200 escorts in a single day of knowledge building at the college. The council's 2014 event helped 800 Boy Scouts grades 6-12 or ages 11-17 earn up to four merit badges in one day to progress on their journeys to earning Eagle Scout ranks and serving their communities. Merit Badge University is a bi-annual event hosted by the council. In 2013, Dr. Loston hosted the launch of an Aircraft Merit Badge Academy initiative organized by the council under the umbrella of the Boy Scouts of America's national NOVA STEM Awards and in partnership with the college and Kelly Aviation Lockheed Martin. The 2018 Merit Badge University program on Nov. 3 at St. Philip's College also marks the end of an era in San Antonio area scouting, with planning underway for a basic transformation. In the mid-first quarter of 2019---just four months away---the program becomes co-ed as girls earn Eagle Scout rank as well, according to local officials within the organization. (Archival image courtesy SPC)