STEM: 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.
The Boy Scouts of America has taken on STEM 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.
The program consists of individual activity elements in various STEM topics structured for Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, & Venturers. The NOVA awards are designed to encourage participation and to increase interest in STEM by making it relevant and fun. The NOVA award is a distinctive pocket patch with a separate pin-on device awarded for each individual topic completed by the youth.
There are seven Nova awards for Cub Scouts, Webelos Scouts, Scouts BSA, and four for Venturers. Each award covers one component of STEM.
Stem Scouts– A separate coed program of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), STEM Scouts offers a scouting experience with less emphasis on the outdoors. STEM Scouts follows the Scout Oath and Law with the goal of producing young men and women who are leaders, display confidence, realize their skills and limitations, are respectful of others’ opinions, are problem solvers in all aspects of life, look for opportunities to serve others, are good citizens and demonstrate integrity in all phases of life.