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STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

STEM is 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 can't 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.

What Are the Nova Awards?

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.

The Nova Awards

There are multiple 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, Down and Dirty, Nova WILD!, Out of This World, Tech Talk, Swing!, 1-2-3 Go!, Uncovering the Past, and Fearful Symmetry
  • Boy Scout Nova awards: Shoot! Let It Grow!, Start Your Engines, Whoosh!, and Designed to Crunch
  • Venturer Scout Nova awards: Launch!, Power Up, Hang On!, and Numbers Don’t Lie their first Nova award, Scouts earn the distinctive Nova award patch. After that, a Scout can earn additional Nova awards, each one recognized with a separate pi (π) pin-on device that attaches to the patch. The patch and the 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
Thomas Edison Supernova Silver Award

For Venturers:

Dr. Sally Ride Supernova Bronze Award
Wright Brothers Supernova Silver Award
Dr. Albert Einstein Supernova Gold Award


For earning the Supernova award, Scouts receive a medal and certificate.

Requirements may be found in the Nova awards guidebooks, available through local Scout shops—one for Cub Scouts, one for Boy Scouts, and one for Venturers. The requirements can be completed with a registered counselor (for the Nova awards) or registered and Council-approved mentor (for the Supernova awards). Each guidebook includes a section for the counselor and mentor.

See Nova Awards Program and discover how the Nova Awards program can help youth become "Prepared. For Life."

How To Become a Nova Award Counselors and Supernova Award Mentor

  • Register Annually By filling out BSA application (Nova Counselors use position code 58, Supernova Mentors use position code 52)
  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Proof of current youth protection training
  • Be Knowledgeable in the award subject by vocation, hobby, education
  • Submit Supernova Mentor Application
  • Be approved by Council STEM Committee Contact Ben Heningburg at


FAQs for Nova Counselors and Supernova Mentors

 Click Here for: Council STEM RESOURCES

Congratulations to
STEM Solar Regatta Team!!!!

RECRUITING 2022 Solar Regatta Team MEMBERS!!

If you’re interested in joining or learning more about the 2020 STEM solar regatta team contact Michael SulivanDave Burns (916) 768-7705, Steve Jahr (916) 296-4828, OR Mike Rebollo (916) 203-4471

Mark your calendars for these upcoming events!!


Sacramento City College (SCC) Astronomy Program

Cancelled COVID

SCC’s Hulbe Observatory is free and open to the public for a viewing. Everyone over the age of six (6) is permitted to look through the telescope (smaller children may not be able to reach the eyepiece). Weather updates can be found at (916) 558-2423.Be sure to check the weather before heading to the observatory. If it rains during the day on Friday, the observatory will not open as they don’t open the roof when wet.   


Sacramento Area Rocketry Group
SARG launches are on the fourth Saturday of Each Month
Next Launch: Cancelled COVID
The next Launch will be at Gibson Ranch Park. Launches are from 10am - 2pm with setup Starting at 9am. Non members are always welcome but must sign a RELEASE FORM  before launching. all fliers need flight cards filled out for each flight. Flight cards are available at our launches. Our non member launch fee for individuals is $10 and $25 for groups. Please note that Gibson Ranch charges $5 for parking.  

The Aerospace Museum of California Logo
3200 Freedom Park Drive, McClellan, CA 95652

Year-round events for Scouts and Youth Groups!


Questions? Contact Robert Rhymes at or 
Ben Heningburg at



News and Resources

STEM & Nova Information and Materials

SUPERNOVA Award Application

Boys Life



251 Commerce Circle
Sacramento, CA 95815

phone: (916) 929-1417

Hours of Operation:
8:30am - 5:00pm (M-F)
Closed Saturday & Sunday

River City Scout Shop

251 Commerce Circle
Sacramento, CA 95815

phone: (916) 649-1800

Hours of Operation:
9:00am - 5:00pm (Monday - Friday)

10:30am - 3:00pm (Saturday)
Closed Sunday

NorCal Scout Shop - Chico

3881 Benatar Way, Suite D
Chico, CA 95928

phone: (530) 809-0400

Hours of Operation:
11:00am - 6:00pm (W-F)
10:00am - 2:00pm (Saturday)
Closed Sunday, Monday & Tuesday

Order of the Arrow - Amangi Nacha