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:
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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.
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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.