Scouting is about preparing young people for the future. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) are the future. What better way for Scouting to continue in its mission than to introduce a whole line of awards for Scouts interested in exploring STEM.
- In 2009, just 34 percent of US eighth-graders were rated proficient or higher in a national math assessment, and more than 25 percent scored below the basic level.
- In an international exam given in 2006, US high school students ranked 21st out of 30 industrialized nations in science and 25th in math.
- In 2010, only 43 percent of US high school graduates were ready for college work in math and 29 percent were ready in science
- The US Department of Labor has shown that of the 20 fastest-growing occupations projected for 2014, 15 require significant math or science preparation.
Nova and Supernova Awards Program:
There are four Nova Awards for Cub Scouts, Webelos Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturers. Each award covers one component of STEM—science, technology, engineering, or mathematics.
- Cub Scout Nova awards: Science Everywhere, Tech Talk, Swing!, and 1-2-3 Go!
- Scouts BSA Nova awards: Shoot!, Start Your Engines, Whoosh!, and Designed to Crunch
- Venturer Scout Nova awards: Launch!, Power Up, Hang On!, and Numbers Don’t Lie
For their first Nova award, Scouts earn the distinctive Nova award patch (pictured above). After that, a Scout can earn three more Nova awards, each one recognized with a separate pi (π) pin-on device (pictured above) that attaches to the patch. The patch and the three devices represent each of the four STEM topics—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
When a Scout finished a Nova Award, it needs to be reported to their unit leader and reported through Internet Advancement.
Scouts who wish to continue their exploration of STEM can work on one of the prestigious Supernova Awards (pictured above). There are seven Supernova Awards that Scouts can earn:
- Dr. Louis Alvarez Supernova Award for Cub Scouts
- Dr. Charles H. Townes Supernova Award for Webelos Scouts
- Dr. Bernard Harris Supernova Bronze Award for Scouts BSA
- Thomas Edison Supernova Silver Award for Scouts BSA
- Dr. Sally Ride Supernova Bronze Award for Venturers
- Wright Brothers Supernova Silver Award for Venturers
- Dr. Albert Einstein Supernova Gold Award for Venturers
For Award Requirements go to http://www.scouting.org/stem/Awards.aspx
Scouts interested in working on a Supernova Award should contact STEM Program Staff Adviser Daniel Hanson (firstname.lastname@example.org) to get connected with a Supernova Mentor.
Upon completing a Supernova Award. A Supernova Award Application must be filled out, signed, and turned into the Council Service Center.
For a Scout to work on a Nova Award, he or she must have a Nova Counselor.
Nova Counselor Requirements:
- Nova Counselors can be any adult interested in helping a Scout explore STEM
- Must register as a Nova Counselor with the BSA (use registration code 58) – This is a separate registration from a unit registration so a new Adult Volunteer Application must be completed and sent to the Council Service Center.
- Complete Youth Protection Training
For a Scout to work on a Supernova Award, he or she must have a registered and approved Supernova Mentor.
Supernova Mentor Requirements:
- Supernova Mentors should be an individual with an extensive background in a STEM Field and must be approved by the Council STEM Committee.
- Must register as a Supernova Mentor with the BSA (use registration code 52) – This is a separate registration from a unit registration so a new Adult Volunteer Application must be completed and sent to the Council Service Center.
- Complete and submit a Supernova Counselor Application Form with your Adult Volunteer Application.
- Complete Youth Protection Training
Check out these STEM Activities with your unit:
STEMflexagon (5.7MB Color PDF)
- A list of all the new Cub Scout Adventures that are STEM Related