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 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 youth members.
Tiger Scouts are ineligible for this program.
The Nova Awards
There are four Nova awards for Cub Scouts, Webelos Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturers. Each award covers one component of STEM—science, technology, engineering, or mathematics.
- 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
- Venturer Scout Nova awards: Launch!, Power Up, Hang On!, and Numbers Don’t Lie
For their 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 (π) 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
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:
Dr. Louis Alvarez Supernova Award
For Webelos Scouts:
Dr. Charles H. Townes Supernova Award
For Boy Scouts:
Dr. Bernard Harris Supernova Bronze Award
Dr. Sally Ride Supernova Bronze Award
For earning the Supernova award, Scouts receive a medal and certificate.
All requirements may be found in the Nova awards guidebooks — one for Cub Scouts, one for Boy Scouts, and one for Venturers. 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. The guidebooks are available in the Scout Shop or in the Resources menu on the left.