What is STEM?
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. To increase STEM awareness in Scouts, BSA created the NOVA & SUPERNOVA Awards Programs.
NOVA Awards are designed in a way to make learning fun! These awards are optional. For each STEM topic there are 5 or 6 requirements for the scout to accomplish. For each Scout Rank - the requirements are the same, except they become more detailed and in depth as they progress.
The Nova Program is based upon the accomplishment of specific requirements and achievements for Cub Scouts and Webelos Scouts, merit badges for Boy Scouts, and activity areas for Venture Scouts. It has been designed to enhance those program activities, using adult counselors who are already familiar with STEM topics to guide Scout explorations and provide quality control to the advancement process.
Adults working with Scouts in the Nova Badge should be trained as a Nova Counselor.
SUPERNOVA Awards are designed to challenge those who like the STEM fields to learn even more. They are designed to be a longer term - requiring many hours and more in depth study of the field. At the Venturer level, the Supernova may require over 300 hours of work.
The Supernova Program gives Scouts the opportunity to learn fundamentals of STEM topics, while working for significant accomplishments in extending program activities through original STEM-based experiments and projects. Adult mentors who are accomplished and qualified STEM practitioners guide Scouts through the program, and provide quality advancement opportunities.
Adults working with Scouts in the Supernova Badge should be trained as a Supernova Mentor. Training available at the annual PTC, Aurora District Merit Badge Fair, or by special arrangement.