The University Center of Southern Oklahoma was filled with Boy Scouts Sept. 29 as more than 30 young men from around the area were attending Merit Badge classes taught by Murray State College students.
Scouts represented six different troops from Ada, Ardmore, Lone Grove, Pauls Valley, Sulphur and Tishomingo.
Badge classes were offered in astronomy, environmental science, fingerprinting, geology, weather and radio.
The radio class was taught by members of the Arbuckle Technology Society, based in Ardmore.
All other classes were taught by students of MSC instructor Don Loving.
"Well for many of my students, this is their first teaching experience," Loving said. "They have to learn how to actually build a lesson plan, implement the lesson plan, and they find out things that go wrong when they implement said lesson plan. Here they can do this in a safe environment."
Loving called it a "first annual" event and plans to teach more merit badge classes in Ardmore.
He's also planning a similar event at the main MSC campus in Tishomingo early next year.
The Earth, Space and Environmental Science course teaches hands-on experiments future teachers can use in their own classes. Loving's students say the experience is not only valuable, but also fun.
"I think the hands-on experience we get in here is really awesome," says Jessica Presley, elementary education major from Ardmore. "He's taught us a lot of experiments and things that we could do in our own classroom. And we kind of took what we learned and designed some of our own ideas and experiments."