STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. These disciplines are considered by many to be the foundation of an advanced society. In many forums — including political, governmental, and academic — the strength of the STEM workforce is viewed as an indicator of a nation’s ability to sustain itself.
To engage our youth members in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, the Boy Scouts of America has created new program initiatives that emphasize STEM in the context of the current advancement programs.
The BSA’s STEM initiative gives Scouts an opportunity to explore relevant skills and experiences and to be recognized for their achievements. The aim is to expose youth to new opportunities and help them develop the STEM skills critical for the competitive world marketplace. Our council is preparing itself to implement these initiatives.
The NOVA Award program consists of individual activity elements in various STEM topics structured for Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, & Venturers. These topics, or four NOVA awards for each program level, are designed to encourage participation and to increase interest in STEM by making it relevant and fun. The NOVA award will be a distinctive pocket patch with a separate pin-on device awarded for each individual topic completed by the youth, up to three pins.
There are seven Nova awards for Cub Scouts, Webelos Scouts, Boy Scouts, and four for Venturers. Each award covers one component of STEM—science, technology, engineering, or mathematics.
To download a list of counselors for these awards, click here
(This document is password protected. It is the same password as the merit badge list. If you don’t know it please contact your scout leader or district advancement chairperson.)
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.
Adults interested in helping to get STEM/NOVA initiatives please contact David Bryan.