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.