STEM Program



           Nova and Supernova Advancement Program



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, Webelos, Boy Scouts, and Venture Scouts. The requirements and activities for these awards should stimulate interest in STEM-related fields and show 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 Supernova Awards recognize superior achievement by a Scout in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The 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.



Information about the Awards Program

From the BSA web site:

From this promotions sheet:

NOVA-SUPERNOVA_promo v1a.pdf

Greater Alabama Council University of Scouting training

Check out the STEM related courses at the 2014 University of Scouting


Information about the Awards Requirements

From the BSA web site:

For Cub Scouts:

For Webelos Scouts:

For Boy Scouts:

For Venture Scouts:

Nova requirements pamphlets available from

·         Your local Scout Shop



Adult Support of Nova Awards Program – Help Wanted!

Nova Counselor

A Nova counselor can be any registered adult age 21 or older.  Parents and unit leaders may be Counselors with little or no STEM background.  They will guide the Scout in researching topics of interest and completion of the activity requirements.


Supernova Mentor

Supernova mentors must be 21 or older and be subject matter experts in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) field and are willing to share accumulated wisdom and experience with Scouts.  The Mentor will supervise more extensive research and learning activities over a longer time.


Nova Committee

·         Promote and advertise Nova and STEM programs.  Make presentations at Round Tables.  Train Unit Leaders and potential Counselors and Mentors about how to execute the program.

·         Integrate Nova and STEM programs into activities like summer camp, day camp, camporees, merit badge universities, etc.

·         Manage Counselor and Mentor teams.  Approve Mentor Applications. Recruit and train new Counselors and Mentors.  Manage Mentor contact list.



How to Become a Nova Counselor or Supernova Mentor

Nova Counselor Checklist


Supernova Mentor Checklist


Counselor and Mentor training

Nova Counselor and Mentor Instructors Guide_v2.pdf

Counselor and Mentor training

See the Greater Alabama Council University of Scouting offerings

Counselor and Mentor training

See the Philmont Training Center offerings at 

·         Introduction to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) [the introductory course]

·         Taking STEM to the Next Level [the advanced course]


Administrative Details

Counselor and Mentor registration

·         Counselors must register annually with position code 51, no charge, not a unit leader position

·         Mentors must register annually with position code 52, no charge, not a unit leader position

Youth Protection requirements

At least biennially, use training Y01 to counsel Cubs and Boy Scouts, training Y02 for counseling Venturing Scouts

Awards completion

·         All awards are earned.  All requirements must be followed, as with any other award.

·         Report Nova Award completion on Advancement Report form, No. 34403

·         Complete and submit the Supernova Award Application as per the instructions.

Awards Purchase

·         The first Nova Award is the star burst patch, which is worn over the right pocket.

·         Subsequent Nova Awards earned are the Pi pins to be pinned onto the Nova patch.

·         Nova Award patches are color coded by program: Blue for Cub Scouts, Red for Boy Scouts, Green for Venture Scouts [coming soon]

·         Nova patches and pins are available from your local Scout Shop

·         Supernova Awards are medallions on ribbons to be worn around the neck.  Each are specific to the Supernova Award earned.  Supernova Awards are controlled items and must be ordered from BSA National upon approval of the Supernova Award Application


STEM Program Resources

·         Send your resource URLs to

·         More coming soon