KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — One of the more exciting new programs for the Boy Scouts is STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. This year a Knoxville 5th grader earned the honor of STEM Scout of the Year in East Tennessee.

WATE’s Don Dare caught up with 12-year-old Emory Redmon as he built a truss bridge. Assembling a truss bridge, commonly made by a series of straight bars, and then learning how the connected elements respond to dynamic loads, is not something a kid his age easily comprehends. But He’s picking up this knowledge in scouts.

“STEM means science, technology, engineering and math. It’s fun. You get to do activities. You learn that’s the best part. You get to make friends. And you get to take stuff home,” said Redmon.

His STEM lab meets at Cokesbury United Methodist Church in Knoxville. STEM Scouts is a co-ed after-school program that uses hands-on learning to show kids from elementary through high school how to use technology, engineering, and math in their everyday lives.

“Bridges. You never do bridges in school. STEM is like an extra of learning. And learning is important. You get to build things,” said Redmon.

Learning the concepts fascinates him.

“There is a balance to make a bridge. Every year it is something different. You get to learn something different every year,” said Redmon. “Because you need to have knowledge to go further in life.”

The STEM classes use the South Oath and Scout Law as their cornerstone. The goal is to encourage young minds’ natural curiosity and interest in STEM fields. Redmon shared a thought-provoking idea of his own.

“You could do a bed. A floating bed you could vacuum all under it. You could use two big magnets. On a panel on the side you could see how high or low you could do it,” said Redmon.

“Tell you what, when you invent that bed let me know, okay?” said Dare.

“Deal,” replied Redmon.

Future inventor, Emory Redmon, is the 2023 STEM Scout of the Year.

Meet the other Scouts of 2023

Redmon and other scouts of the year will be honored at the distinguished citizen dinner benefiting the Great Smoky Mountain Boy Scout Council alongside UT legend Joan Cronan.