New STEM Awards - NOVA AND SuperNova - Are Now Available
The NOVA and SUPERNOVA award programs
were introduced at the BSA Annual Meeting in May 2011. The awards are
now available and guidebooks can be downloaded at the links below!
Guidebooks can also be purchased in the Scout shops for $3.
Instructions on how to implement the awards program are found in the
From now through May 2013, though the NOVA patch is an earned award, any unit can buy one
patch to have as an example to show to their Scouts or Venturers. We
hope by doing this, the youth can see what the patch looks like up close
and will be inspired to work on this new advancement program. Beyond
May and the one patch, units must provide a completed advancement report
to get any more NOVA patches.
The NOVA Award program
consists of individual activity elements in various STEM topics
structured for Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, & Venturers. These topics,
or four NOVA awards for each program level, are designed to encourage
participation and to increase interest in STEM by making it relevant and
fun. The NOVA award will be a distinctive pocket patch with a separate
pin-on device awarded for each individual topic completed by the youth,
up to three pins. See the printable worksheets page....
Any Scouter or parent can help be a COUNSELOR for the NOVA awards with unit approval -- there is no paperwork for this process.
The SUPERNOVA Award program is similar to the BSA Hornaday Award
Program. The basic requirements include earning certain academic pins
for Cub Scouts, activity badges for Webelos and merit badges for Boy
Scouts, plus completing additional, more rigorous STEM-related
requirements. The Venturing requirements are based on more independent
achievement and teaching activities. SUPERNOVA is designed to encourage
and recognize more in-depth achievement in STEM. The SUPERNOVA awards
are medals on neck ribbons. See the printable worksheets below...
For the SUPERNOVA (on all program levels), MENTORS must be approved by the district Advancement chairman or district STEM chairman.
The application form link is above, and Youth Protection Training must
also be taken. Mentors should be an expert in a STEM-related field
(i.e., scientists, engineers, technologists, science teachers, math
teachers, etc.). Only if a mentor is willing to work with two or more
Scouts on the SUPERNOVA at the same time will the exception of a parent
with a STEM background be allowed. Scouters with a STEM background may
work with Scouts in their unit and encouraged as well outside of their
Once any of the awards are earned by Scouts, an advancement form
can be filled out and submitted to the Scout Shop. The Advancement
department will keep a record of the Scout's achievement on these
awards. For a copy of the Advancement Report form, click HERE
For those Scouts working on the Supernova medals, the Supernova award application
can be downloaded here and turned in with the advancement form once signed on the district level and by the Scout executive -- Supernova Application.pdf
Get your NOVA Booklets (counselor and mentor guides) at the Scout Shops or order at scoutstuff.org.