Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) NOVA Awards for Scouts and Scouters

Recently NCAC was selected to participate in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Project for the Boy Scouts of America. The overall goal of this project is to have our youth members give more thought into the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in everyday life. Scouts and Scouters may earn the NOVA award through participation and effort.

The BSA STEM initiative is designed to bring a Scouting focus to skills that are relevant and needed in our competitive world, increasing the value of Scouting to families and communities as it supports the development of these critical skills in our youth. The BSA STEM initiative will provide opportunities for youth at all levels of Scouting to develop an enhanced interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and recognize youth STEM achievement.

BSA has started to develop and integrate new STEM-focused awards to maintain our relevance and impact in the lives of young people. Here are a few of the awards:

Current Topics for the Cub Scout NOVA Award


SWING! (Motion-Engineering topic)

TECH TALK (Engineering topic)

DESIGNED TO CRUNCH (Mathematics topic)

Click here for Cub Scout Program Requirements

Current Topics for the Boy Scout NOVA Award

SHOOT! Projectiles & Space (Science topic)     

WHOOSH! (Motion-Engineering topic)

START YOUR ENGINES (Transportation Tech topic)                 

DESIGNED TO CRUNCH (Mathematics topic)

Click here for Boy Scout Program Requirements

Click here for Venturer Program Requirements

The NOVA award will be distinctive pocket patch with a separate pin-on device awarded for each individual topic completed by the youth. If a youth completes a significant number (to be determined) of the available STEM topics ten he/she will be presented with a certificate and a BRONZE Medal on neck ribbon (different design from SUPERNOVA)

STEM-SUPERNOVA Award Program:  

The SUPERNOVA Award program is similar to the BSA Hornaday Award Program. The basic requirements are to earn certain Academic pins (Cub Scouts), Activity Badges (Webelos) and Merit Badges (Boy Scout) plus complete various other more rigorous STEM related requirements. The Venturing requirements are base on more independent achievement and teaching activities. SUPERNOVA is designed to encourage and recognize more in-depth achievement in STEM. The awards are medals on neck ribbon plus a square knot for uniform wear.

Cub Scout

Cub Scout:    

Dr. Luis Walter Alverez Award - Certificate and Bronze Medal on neck ribbon


Dr. Charles H. Townes Award - Certificate and Bronze Medal on neck ribbon

Click Here for the Cub Scout SUPERNOVA Program Requirements

Boy Scout


            Dr. Bernard M. Harris Award - Certificate and Bronze Medal on neck ribbon


Thomas Edison Award - Certificate and Silver Medal on neck ribbon


            Albert Einstein Award - Certificate and Gold Medal on neck ribbon

Click Here for the Boy Scout SUPERNOVA Program Requirements


            Sally Ride Award - Certificate and Bronze Medal on neck ribbon

Click Here for the Venturing SUPERNOVA Program Requirements

Adult Scouter

            Paul A. Siple Award - Certificate and Bronze Medal on neck ribbon

The Adult NOVA and SUPERNOVA awards are designed to recognize achievements by an Adult Scouter in promoting and encouraging youth in Scouting to participate in the STEM_NOVA and STEM-SUPERNOVA awards programs.


The project should not compete with advancement, trail to first class, or normal unit activities.

The NOVA award was well received by youth when done in the group setting (den or patrol).

Defining the requirements and objectives early was important.

Unit leaders focused on one award were successful.

As a unit leader here are the suggested steps to follow to start the program:

1. Familiarize yourself with the NOVA/SUPERNOVA awards and pick one to start.

2. At your next meeting announce and promote the project.

3. Identify interested youth members and set start date.

4. Facebook page:


Click here for more information about STEM in Scouting and the NOVA and Supernova Awards