following article appeared May 16, 2003 in the
Scout camp in Davie transformed into science center.
By Nicole T. Lesson
May 16, 2003
ˇ Scouts are getting excited about science.
Youngsters who visit the Seminole Boy Scout Camp can look at one of
the first electric cars, learn to forecast the weather and use a
remotely operated camera to do some nature watching from inside a
building. Soon, visitors will be able to check out a Beechcraft
The trading post at the Scout camp, at 3301 SW
142nd Ave. In western Davie, a mile and a half east of Weston, has
been transformed into a science and technology center thanks to
donations by a Boca Raton businessman.
Boy Scout Abdualrahman Hamad enjoys science and had
fun tinkering with items at the center. "The Mercury suit for
space is a unique object that you don't see very often," said
Hamad, 17, of Davie, who visits the camp every other month. "I
also liked working the mechanics with the robot dog. It responds to
sounds and you can call it or clap your hands and it comes to
you." Hamad hopes to return to the center and thinks it benefits
"Most people who will attend the camp are a
young age, and this exposes them to the many fields of science,"
he said. "It helps make them enthusiastic about going into the
The center, which opened April 12, has a space and
aviation display, rock, mineral and fossil collections, a lightning
detection system, butterfly, bug and insect displays, and other
It was made possible by Richard Newman, who
has loved science and technology since his youth. The former Boy Scout
said he wanted to expose youngsters to the learning aspects of
The center is formally known as High-Tech Productions.com Science
and Technology Center, which Newman named after his company's Web
site. The company, High-Tech Productions, converts, transfers
and duplicates videos and DVDs. For three years, Newman has been
helping to open science and technology centers at Boy Scout camps all
over the country. There are 10 in eight other states, including New
York, Washington and Texas.
Shortly after the 11th site opened at the Seminole
Boy Scout Camp, a 12th center opened April 30 at Pembroke Pines
Charter Middle School. It is the first center to be based in a school.
Newman said he scours the world looking for items
to display by using his worldwide contacts, the E-Bay Internet auction
site and making purchases from stores, distributors and manufacturers.
"I have bought items from cosmonauts in Russia, geodes from
workers in Brazil, space items from NASA engineers, posters and
displays from the European, Russian, Chinese and French space
agencies," said Newman, 47. "I would love to open at least
50 centers in all 50 states by the time I'm 50."
Newman said he gets an overwhelming feeling when he sees
youths exploring the science centers. "I call it the wow factor.
They are used to seeing the same [non-science] things at Boy Scout
camp -- and this is fun stuff," he said. "It will help keep
them off the street and give them something fun to do. I wish there
were things like this when I was a kid."
Last year, Newman approached the Seminole Scout
Camp's directors about donating items for a science technology center.
The 2,000-square-foot building that had been used for a trading post
became available, and Newman and scouting officials formed a
partnership. The camp is owned and operated by the South Florida
Council of the Boy Scouts of America, which serves more than 15,000
Scouts in Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe counties.
Ernesto Carballo, the council's camping director,
thinks the center is an asset to the campsite and will just improve
their program. "It's a great resource for us and a better
opportunity to teach science skills," said Carballo, who has been
with the council for 10 years. "It seems science is put on the
back burner as well as math and music."
The center is open only on weekends, but Carballo
hopes the program will expand to weekdays so students at nearby
schools can visit.
Newman said he plans to help keep the Davie center
updated with new items, including the pending arrival of a Beechcraft
airplane. "It will be a fuselage with wings," he said.
"It will be pointed up in a 10-degree angle so when the kids play
around it they can feel like they are flying."
on the Science & Technology Centers,
or to have a center
set up at a school or camp near you, visit:
or call (561) 750-7000.