The long awaited on-line training modules for the STEM Nova Program, Counselor, and Mentor Training are now available at my.scouting.org, click "BSA Learn Center" then "STEM in Scouting". For those who do not have access to in-person training at your local Council, this is the next best thing!"
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What is STEM? What is Nova & Supernova?
STEM is an acronym, and stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. To increase STEM awareness in Scouts, BSA created the NOVA & SUPERNOVA Awards Programs.
NOVA Awards are designed in a way to make learning fun! These awards are optional. For each STEM topic there are 5 or 6 requirements for the scout to accomplish. For each Scout Rank - the requirements are the same, except they become more detailed and in depth as they progress.
The Nova Program is based upon the accomplishment of specific requirements and achievements for Cub Scouts and Webelos Scouts, merit badges for Boy Scouts, and activity areas for Venture Scouts. It has been designed to enhance those program activities, using adult counselors who are already familiar with STEM topics to guide Scout explorations and provide quality control to the advancement process.
Adults working with Scouts in the Nova Badge should be trained as a Nova Counselor. Training available at the annual PTC, Aurora District Merit Badge Fair, or by special arraingment. Contact Darcy at the Aurora.district.Committee@gmail.com with questions.
SUPERNOVA Awards are designed to challenge those who like the STEM fields to learn even more. They are designed to be a longer term - requiring many hours and more in depth study of the field. At the Venturer level, the Supernova may require over 300 hours of work.
The Supernova Program gives Scouts the opportunity to learn fundamentals of STEM topics, while working for significant accomplishments in extending program activities through original STEM-based experiments and projects. Adult mentors who are accomplished and qualified STEM practitioners guide Scouts through the program, and provide quality advancement opportunities.
Adults working with Scouts in the Supernova Badge should be trained as a Supernova Mentor. Training available at the annual PTC, Aurora District Merit Badge Fair, or by special arrangement. Contact Darcy at the Aurora.district.Committee@gmail.com with questions.
Adult Leader Guidelines
* The Nova & Super Nova awards are part of the
BSA advancement program, which includes Merit Badges.
* Therefore, the Counselors / Mentors follow all the
rules set up for the Merit badge counselors.
* Nova / Super Nova is an additional registration for Adults.
It is free, but requires paperwork and approvals.
* Youth Protection Training and Nova Counseling (code D83) is required.
* The list of approved STEM Counselors / mentors will be sent to the scoutmasters with the regular updates to the Merit Badge Counselor lists.
Counselors are Adults approved to work with and sign off on the Nova Awards. Nova Award adult counselors need to be registered with the Council. Except a parent working only with their Cub Scout, and no others.
Mentors are Adults approved to work with and sign off on the Super Nova Awards. Super Nova Award adult Mentors must be registered with the Council.
HOW TO REGISTER:
Potential counselors and or mentors must register with the Boy Scouts of America.
(1.) Complete the BSA's Adult Application form (if you are not registered with BSA currently) In the District position box at the top of the form, enter: code 52 Supernova Mentor or code 58 Nova Counselor.
(2.) Nova Counselors - Fill out pdf Nova Counselor form .(Code 58)
(3.) Supernova Mentors must fill out the pdf BSA Supernova Awards Mentor Information form (Code 52)
(You will be notified when your application is accepted)
(4.) Complete Youth Protection Training annually. (Go online at My.Scouting.org and take the appropriate Youth Protection Training)
(5.) Turn into your Advancement Chair, or District Merit Badge Counselor committee Chair, or your District Executive.
Renewal of this registration and youth protection training annually is necessary to continue as a Super Nova mentor. You will be contacted via email in April / or May to confirm registration. A Nova counselor may counsel any Scout, including his own daughter or son - although this is discouraged in order to offer a Scout the chance to meet a diverse group of outstanding adults. Supernova Mentors may NOT be the parent or unit leader of their son or daughter unless the Scout is in a group of participants. A Nova Counselor may also serve as a Supernova Mentor, with all the correct paperwork completed and with approved by the Council.
What Is a Nova Counselor and Supernova Mentor?
A Nova Counselor and Supernova mentor are both teachers and mentors to the Scout as he or she works on the Nova or Supernova award. A Nova Counselor need not be a specialist in STEM topics, but is willing to work with Scouts to facilitate their exploration and learning of the technical topics and completion of projects. A Supernova mentor is very much like a merit badge counselor for Boy Scouts but specializing in STEM topics in greater depth than in merit badges.
Nova counselors and Supernova mentors should be satisfied that each Scout under their guidance meets all the requirements set forth for the award. In this sense, a counselor or mentor is an examiner. In a larger sense, the real opportunity for a counselor/mentor lies in coaching - helping Scouts over the different hurdles of the requirements and helping make them aware of the deeper aspects of the subject from their knowledge and experience. Like merit badge counseling, you can not delete or add requirements to the program.
The Supernova mentor leads the Scout to learn by research and doing. The mentor may help a Scout by providing instruction and more in-depth guidance on the subject matter. However, the counselor or mentor must not complete the Scout's work on the requirements. The counselor or mentor must test the Scout to ensure that the work is completed to meet the requirements but may not modify the award requirements in the process. This standard ensures that the advancement requirements are fair and uniform for all Scouts.
Cub Scout Resources:
Structure of the Program
This is the time to set the stage for a Cub Scout's lifetime of interest and curiosity about STEM fields. The Nova and Supernova awards are available to Wolf, Bear, and Webelos Scouts. Counselors should understand that the awards are optional and meant to be earned only after a Cub Scout has achieved his rank.
There are seven Nova awards, four for Science, and on for each of the T-E-M areas, and each Cub Scout & Webelo Scout can earn all seven. Completion of any Nova award earns the Scout the right to wear the Nova award patch. Completion of each additional Nova award is recognized by a pi (π) pin placed on the patch. Each of these awards builds on STEM-related adventures, involves hands-on activities, and often includes a field trip.
The seven Nova awards for Cub Scouts and Webelo Scouts are:
Click on the graphic to open a worksheet, or the Nova Guidebook.
Cub Scout Nova Awards Guide book (includes Supernova program)
There are two Supernova awards.
The Cub Scout Supernova award can be earned by Wolf or Bear Cub Scouts. The Webelos Supernova award can be earned by Webelos Scouts. Each boy may earn both Supernova awards, as long as he is registered in the appropriate program at the time he completes the requirements. The Supernova awards recognize superior achievement in the STEM fields and require significantly more effort by the Cub Scout than a nova awards. For Supernova Awards, a Super Nova Awards Mentor (who serves much like a Boy Scout’s merit badge counselor) is required. Completion of a Supernova award earns the Cub Scout or Webelos Scout the right to wear the Supernova award medal. Each of these awards involves STEM-related achievements (for Wolf and Bear Cub Scouts), achievements (for Webelos Scouts), and extensive independent work.
Click on the name for a worksheet to help with the award. Always consult the current book for any changes. You must use the most current book.
Boy Scout Resources
Structure of the Program
The Nova awards are available to all Boy Scouts and are optional. Requirements must be completed while registered as a Boy Scout and before aging out of the program.
There are four Nova awards—one for each of the STEM areas—and each Boy Scout can earn all four. Completion of any Nova award earns the Boy Scout the right to wear the Nova award patch. Completion of each additional STEM Nova award is recognized by a pi (π) pin placed on the patch. Each of these awards builds on STEM-related merit badges, involves hands-on activities, and often includes a field trip.
The four Nova awards for Boy Scouts are the following:
Click on the icon below to open a worksheet to use.
The Supernova awards recognize superior achievement in the STEM fields and require significantly more effort by the Boy Scout than the Nova awards. The Supernova awards are available to all Boy Scouts who have achieved the rank of First Class. The Supernova has two levels, and each Boy Scout may earn both Supernova awards.
Level 1 requires the Scout to have earned any three of the four Boy Scout Nova awards.
Level 2 requires completion of the fourth Boy Scout Nova award in addition to the Harris Supernova Award as a prerequisite.
For all Supernova awards, a mentor, who serves much like a merit badge counselor, is required. Completion of a Supernova award earns the Boy Scout the right to wear the Supernova award medal. Each of these awards involves completion of STEM-related merit badges, completion of Nova awards, and extensive independent work.
Click on the graphic to open the worksheet.
The Supernova awards include activity topics. An activity topic is a two-part, hands-on, high-level activity related to one of the STEM fields. Part 1 involves research, preparation, set up, coordination, and/or organization. Part 2 involves analysis and reflection, culminating in the creation of a report in any one of the available format options. See the “Supernova Activity Topics” chapter in your Boy Scout Nova Award Guidebook.
Venture Scout Resources
Structure of the Program
The Nova and Supernova awards are available to all Venturers. The awards are optional. Requirements must be completed while registered as a Venturer (with two exceptions as noted below) and before aging out. There are four Nova awards—one for each of the STEM areas. With slight variations, the Venturer Nova awards are equivalent to the Boy Scout Nova awards. Therefore, Nova awards in the same STEM field cannot be earned in both programs. Thus, Venturers can earn Nova awards in all fields for which they do not already have a Boy Scout Nova award. Completion of any Nova award earns the Venturer the right to wear the Nova award patch. Completion of each additional Nova award is recognized by a pi (π) pin placed on the patch. Each of these awards builds on STEM-related explorations involves hands-on activities and often includes a field trip. The activities are roughly comparable in scope, difficulty, and effort to Boy Scout merit badges, but with more freedom of choice.
The four Nova awards for Venture Scouts are the following:
Click on the icon below to open a worksheet to use.
There are three Supernova awards for Venturers - first, second, and third level awards - with each level being a prerequisite for the next. With slight variations, the first two levels of the Venturer Supernova awards are equivalent to the two levels of the Boy Scout Supernova awards. Therefore, Venturers who earned a Boy Scout Supernova award while a Boy Scout may use that to satisfy a prerequisite for the Venturer Supernova award at the next higher level.
Click on the graphic to open the worksheet.
The Supernova awards recognize superior achievement in the STEM fields and require significantly more effort by the Venturer than the Nova awards. In particular, the third-level Supernova award is best suited for college students, although it is attainable for highly motivated high school students. For all Supernova awards, a mentor, who serves much like a merit badge counselor, is required. Completion of a Supernova award earns the Venturer the right to wear the appropriate Supernova medal. Each of these awards involves completion of STEM-related explorations, completion of Nova awards, and extensive independent work. The Supernova awards include activity topics. An activity topic is a two-part, hands-on, high-level activity related to one of the STEM fields. Part 1 involves research, preparation, set up, coordination, and/or organization. Part 2 involves analysis and reflection, culminating in the creation of a report in any one of the available format options. See the “Supernova Activity Topics” chapter.
- National BSA web site:
Advancement Resources: http://www.scouting.org/advancement.aspx
Advancement Committee Guide Policies and Procedures, No. 33088
http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/guidetoadvancement.aspxGuide for Merit Badge Counselors: http://www.scouting.org/Home/BoyScouts/GuideforMeritBadgeCounselors/MBCounselorGuide.aspx
Adult Application, No. 28-501
- Chief Seattle Council site:
Youth Protection Training: http://seattlebsa.org/Training/YOUTH-PROTECTION-TRAINING-REQUIRED
STEM Home: http://seattlebsa.org/STEM-Programs/STEM-Programs/
Aurora District STEM: http://seattlebsa.org/Aurora-District/STEM
Register as counselor: http://seattlebsa.org/Main-Website-Content/Merit-Badge-Counselors
Resources from PTC:
All worksheets for all Cub / Boy / Venture Awards
BSA Applications – that you have as handouts.
Promo materials: STEM condensed, STEM – Nova and the BSA, Cub / Webelos Nova certificate,
Supernova counselor role & description – in detail, Supernova application for scouts
- Youth Protection Training: www.My.Scouting.org
- Nova Award Guidebooks: www.ScoutStuff.org
Chief Seattle Scout Shops:
- Resource sites:
- Merit Badge . org: http://www.meritbadge.org/wiki/index.php/NOVA_Awards
US Scouting Service. Org: http://usscouts.org/usscouts/advance/nova/index.asp
FACEBOOK: Scouting and STEM - Greater St. Louis Area
This is a pilot program through BSA National. Find more info at this link: https://stemscouts.org/pilot-program/