STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. This program is part of an initiative the Boy Scouts of America has taken on to encourage the natural curiosity of its youth members and their sense of wonder about these fields through existing programs. From archery to welding, Scouts can't help but enjoy the wide range of STEM-related activities. To support this initiative, the BSA developed the Nova Awards program so that youth members have fun and receive recognition for their efforts.
The Boy Scouts of America's NOVA Awards program incorporates learning with cool activities and exposure to science, technology, engineering and mathematics for Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturers. The hope is that the requirements and activities for earning these awards stimulates interest in STEM-related fields and shows how science, technology, engineering and mathematics apply to everyday living and the world around them. Counselors and mentors help bring this engaging, contemporary, and fun program to life for youth members. National Website
There are four Nova awards for each level of scouting: Cub Scouts, Webelos Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturers. Each award covers one component of STEM—science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. Award Requirements
For their first Nova award, Scouts earn the distinctive Nova award patch. After that, a Scout can earn three more Nova awards, each one recognized with a separate pi pin-on device that attaches to the patch. The patch and the three devices represent each of the four STEM topics - science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
The Supernova Program has more rigorous requirements than the Nova Program. The requirements and activities were designed to motivate youth and recognize more in-depth, advanced achievement in STEM-related activities.
Suffolk County Council – BSA Nova Award and Supernova Award Program Submission Cover Pages
(Important: Print this form out plus the Checklist/Workbook below for the award you working on. Use the Checklist/Workbook to record your progress. Upon completion ask your Nova Counselor or Supernova Mentor to sign you off using the Cover Pages and submit to your Advancement Chairperson of your Scouting unit, so they can process your award.
Here are checklists for the Nova Awards and workbooks for the Supernova Awards, as well as summaries of the existing badges in each program that support the Nova and Supernova Awards. For all of the STEM awards, we recommend that each Scout keep a STEM loose leaf notebook/journal in which to record the details of his or her work on each award.
Nova Counselors and Supernova Mentors
With the introduction of the new Nova and Supernova awards comes a fresh opportunity for volunteer positions.
All Nova counselors and Supernova mentors must have current BSA Youth Protection training and certification appropriate for the programs being administered. (Cub Scout & Boy Scout = Youth Protection / Venturing Scout = Venturing Youth Protection) This training can be taken online at www.myscouting.org.
A Nova counselor must be at least 21 years of age, be registered with the Boy Scouts of America using the Adult Registration Form please indicate Nova counselor position, code 58. Supernova mentors position code 52. (This is a non-unit position and requires no fee), have Youth Protection Training. All forms below must be completed and turned into together to: Suffolk County Council Boy Scouts of America, Attn: Joann Vallillo, Registrar, 1 Independence Hill, Suite 202, Farmingville, NY 11738.
Youth Protection Training - Print out your certification and turn in with your forms.
BSA Adult Registration Form
Supernova mentors must be 21 or older, have expertise in a STEM field, be registered with the Boy Scouts of America (This is a nonunit position and requires no fee), have Youth Protection training, and complete a Supernova Mentor application.
To ensure a high level of program, all Mentors must be approved by the NFC Nova Committee.
Forms below must be completed and turned into Joann Vallillo, Registrar at Joann.Vallillo@scouting.org or mailed to 1 Independence Hill, Suite 202, Farmingville, NY 11738.
The Supernova Awards
The Supernova awards have more rigorous requirements than the Nova awards, and for those who enjoy a super challenge. The requirements and activities were imagesed to motivate youth and recognize more in-depth, advanced achievement in STEM-related activities. "Prepared For Life."
- Download the Advancement Report form to document completion of the Nova Award
- Download the Supernova Application
- Download the Nova Program Counselors and Supernova Award Mentors Flyer
- Download the STEM Brochure
- Download the Scouting and Schools - Partners in STEM Brochure
- Link to the Nova Counselor and Supernova Mentor Overview
- Download the Nova/Supernova Webinar PowerPoint
- Download the Supernova Mentor Application Form