The Boy Scouts of America's NOVA Awards program incorporates learning with cool activities and exposure to science, technology, engineering and mathematics for Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturers. The aims of the NOVA awards are to encourage natural curiosity of youth members and their sense of wonder about these fields through existing programs. From archery to welding, Scouts can't help but enjoy the wide range of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related activities.
Keys to Implementing STEM Activities into Your Unit
The NOVA awards complement the traditional Scout program and provides another
avenue for exploration, leadership development and fun. For many youth, the allure
of science and technology is overwhelming and used properly the NOVA awards and
STEM activities can be a powerful recruiting tool. When introducing a STEM activity
make it fun. The STEM activities is not designed to supplement traditional schooling,
rather to spark the imagination and natural curiosity of youth utilizing the aims and
values of the Scouting program. Second, incorporate it into your traditional program.
It is simple to add a STEM element to Scouting activities which complements the “what”
of the activity with the “how and why” it works. For example, the Pinewood Derby event
at the Cub Scout level is all about science and engineering. Start with a group session to
introduce the topic to your pack, troop or crew. The project should have a physical
element. Most important is to review the information in websites of both the BSA and
the Tuscarora Council. Everything a unit needs to start a STEM initiative is located on
the website including the Nova awards guidebooks or you can purchase the guidebooks
at the Tuscarora Scout Shop to explore the basic principles of STEM and discover how fun
and fascinating STEM can be.
We live 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.
Yet our 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.
What Are the Nova Awards?
The Boy 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. For more information about STEM and the Nova Awards program,
visit the links below. Discover how the Nova Awards program helps youth be "Prepared For
Cub Scout Nova Awards
Super Nova Awards
|Wolf and Bear
|Dr. Luis W. Alvarez Award
Cub Scout Nova Award Pamphlet
Boy Scout/Varsity Nova Awards
Super Nova Awards
|Dr. Bernard Harris Supernova Award
Boy Scout Nova Award Pamphlet