Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
part of an initiative the Boy Scouts of America has taken on to
encourage the natural curiosity of youth members and their sense of
wonder about these fields through existing programs. From archery to
welding, Scouts cannot help but enjoy the wide range of STEM-related
activities. To support this initiative, the BSA developed the Nova
Awards program so that youth members have fun and receive recognition
for their efforts.
in a time of great opportunity. The spirit of innovation can help us
overcome challenges and ensure a prosperous and secure future. To seize
this opportunity, we must position ourselves at the cutting edge of
scientific discovery and technological innovation.
country is falling behind in science, technology, engineering and
mathematics. This is why many professionals and educators in science,
technology, engineering, and mathematics believe the United States
should do more now than ever to encourage students to enter STEM-related
fields. These experts say our young people need strong STEM skills to
compete in the world market. We must work together to cultivate the next
generation of critical thinkers and innovators.
STEM is the future
a strong STEM education is our best opportunity to boost the spirit of
innovation. It's what we need to help ensure this country continues on a
prosperous and secure journey. STEM literacy is also critical because
it has a profound and growing impact on our day-to-day lives. Nature,
space exploration, and any STEM-related interest reveal to us the beauty
and power of the world we inhabit.
What Are the Nova Awards?
Scouts of America developed the Nova Awards program to excite and expand
a sense of wonder in our Scouts. By working with an adult counselor or
mentor, the various modules allow them to explore the basic principles
of STEM and discover how fun and fascinating STEM can be. The Supernova
awards are offered for those who enjoy a super challenge.
Scouts of America's NOVA Awards program incorporates learning with cool
activities and exposure to science, technology, engineering and
mathematics for Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts.
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 youth members.
The Nova Awards
four Nova awards for Cub Scouts, Webelos Scouts, and Boy Scouts. Each
award covers one component of STEM—science, technology, engineering, or
- Cub Scout Nova awards: Science Everywhere, Tech Talk, Swing!, and 1-2-3 Go!
- Boy Scout Nova awards: Shoot!, Start Your Engines, Whoosh!, and Designed to Crunch
first Nova award, Scouts earn the distinctive Nova award patch. After
that, a Scout can earn three more Nova awards, each one recognized with a
separate pi (p) pin-on device that attaches to the patch. The patch and
the three devices represent each of the four STEM topics—science,
technology, engineering, and mathematics.
The Supernova Awards
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 earning the Supernova award, Scouts receive a medal and certificate.