The Boy Scouts of America’s NOVA Awards program incorporates learning with cool activities and exposure to science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The hope is that the requirements and activities for earning these awards stimulates interest in STEM-related fields and shows how science, technology, engineering and mathematics apply to everyday living and the world around them. Counselors and mentors help bring this engaging, contemporary, and fun program to life for scouts.
The cub program is designed for 2nd – 5th graders.
There is a book available from the Scout Shop regarding the program, but it is unknown when the revised version will be on the shelf that reflects the new Cub Adventure program.
The Nova Awards – There are four Nova awards for Cub Scouts and Webelos Scouts.
The new awards that begin in the 2015-16 School Year are:
- Science Everywhere (Science Every Day)
- Down and Dirty (Earth Science)
- Nova Wild! (Wildlife and the Natural World)
- Out of this World (Space Exploration)
During the Fall of 2015, scouts can still work on the previous requirements including:
- Tech Talk (Technology)
- Swing! (Engineering and Simple Machines)
- 1-2-3 Go! (Math)
For their first Nova award, Scouts earn the Nova award patch. After that, a Scout can earn three more Nova awards, each one recognized with a separate pi (π) pin that attaches to the patch.
The Supernova Awards – The Supernova awards have more rigorous requirements than the Nova awards. The requirements and activities were designed to motivate youth and recognize more in-depth, advanced achievement in STEM-related activities.
For Wolf and Bear Cub Scouts, the Dr. Louis Alvarez Supernova Award
For Webelos Scouts, the Dr. Charles H. Townes Supernova Award.
All requirements may be found in the Nova awards guidebooks, available through local Scout shops. The requirements can be completed with a parent or an adult leader as the counselor (for the Nova awards) or mentor (for the Supernova awards). Each guidebook includes a section for the counselor and mentor.
Dens and Packs may work on them together, or each scout may work on it alone. One idea is to have a monthly STEM club meeting with interested cub scouts of any rank.
The website has been updated to reflect the new Cub Scout Adventures.