Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Navigate Up
Help (new window)
Sign In
BSA Banner
Home»Programs»STEM Programs»STEM Awards

STEM & NOVA Awards

STEM Program Director
Tom Kroenung


Click here to join
our Scouting and STEM Fanpage!

Supernova Mentors

Cheryl Fisher, Edward Samuels, Albert Ludwig, Retha Taylor, Lisa Balbes, Ron Colletti, and Teresa Colletti

We need more mentors! 
To apply to be a Supernova mentor, download the application form HERE.
To take Youth Protection Training and receive a certificate, go to this link HERE.   
Thanks in advance goes to all who will help counsel our Scouts on the Supernova!

To locate Supernova mentors near you, go to the Merit Badge Directory link here and click Supernova Mentor in the subject box. 

22 Greater St. Louis Area Scouts Receive First Supernova Award

The first six Scouts who earned the new Boy Scouts of America’s Supernova Award in the Greater St. Louis Area Council were presented their recognitions on Feb. 5, 2013, during the New Horizons’ District monthly Scouter meeting at Manchester United Methodist Church.

Five Webelos from Pack 304 in Wildwood earned the Dr. Charles H. Townes Supernova Award: Grant McDaniel, Reilly Lewis, Michael Colletti, Zachary Muller, and A.J. Nolan. Christopher Colletti from Troop 782 in Ellisville earned the Dr. Bernard Harris Supernova Award. Thanks goes to Teresa Colletti serving as the Webelos Supernova mentor and Lisa Balbes for serving as Christopher's mentor.  
The next 16 Scouts who earned the Dr. Charles H. Townes Supernova Award in the council were presented their recognitions on March 5, 2013, during the Boone Trails District Roundtable at the Cottleville Knights of Columbus Hall.  
  • Pack 972: Colby Ackley, Ryan Hillyer, Jacob Welsh, Andrew Barrow, Jimmy Orsund, and Evan Bailey
  • Pack 968: C.J. (Craig) Butler, Justin Burski, Jesse Moore, Mason Stromlund, Ethan Zink, Henry Roos, Dylan Nordmann, Joshua Kranz, and Adam Steiner.  And  from Pack 957: Garrett Hudson.
Thanks goes to these Scout mentors: Mike Zink, Dr. Ackley, and LaDonna Hudson.
Congratulations goes to these young men on this noteworthy achievement and inspiring fellow Scouts to learn more about the world of STEM. 
Please see the article for the six Scouts at this Patch link or at the Suburban Journals link.   Check out the next 16 Scouts at the Patch at this link

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 guidebooks. 
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 own unit.  
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