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What is STEM?
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. STEM has been an important buzzword in the education world for quite some time. It should come as no surprise to anyone that our nation is lagging behind in STEM areas. The good news is that the Boy Scouts of America has always incorporated STEM elements into its program. The great news is that in the last few years, the BSA has added new STEM elements to the program, such as robotics and geocaching, and recently has launched a new program of STEM awards for Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturers.
NEW – Fall 2016: Certified STEM Unit
Michigan Crossroads Council, BSA is pleased to roll out a NEW opportunity to all Packs, Troops, and Crews, beginning September 1, 2016. Click here to get all of the details and start your Unit’s progress toward becoming a Certified STEM Unit.
Nova and Supernova Awards
Engage Scout in STEM by pursuing the Nova and Supernova Awards programs! The Nova and Supernova Awards programs incorporates learning with exciting activities and exposure to STEM for Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Venturers. All requirements may be found in the Nova awards guidebooks available in the council Scout Shops. The requirements can be completed with a parent or an adult leader as the counselor (for the Nova awards) or mentor (for the Supernova awards).
STEM Nova Program – Every Scout can earn these awards!
We have put together the resources your Pack, Troop, Team, Crew and Post will need to provide the Nova Award Program to your Scouts.
There is a corresponding Advancement/Tracking Form for every NOVA Award. When a Scout begins a module, they should use the form to track their progress through the requirements, have their Leader/Mentor sign it when completed, and submit to the Advancement Committee in their Pack/Troop/Team/Crew/Post/Ship to be awarded the appropriate patch or pin. The FIRST time a Scout completes a NOVA award section, they will earn the NOVA Patch (shown below). Each subsequent module completed will earn them a Pi pin (also shown below). SuperNova Award information may be found further down the page.
Cub Scout Nova Award Tracking Forms
- Science Everywhere (Science)
- Tech Talk (Technology)
- SWING! (Engineering)
- 1-2-3 Go (Math)
- Down and Dirty (Science)
- NOVA Wild (Science)
- Out of this world Tracking (Science)
Boy Scouts Nova Award Tracking Forms
STEM in a Box
Looking for a great way to get your Cubs started on their BSA Nova Award? The Michigan Crossroads Council has assembled self-contained BSA Nova Award program boxes complete with program materials and leader’s guides for each of the Cub Scout NOVA Awards: Science Everywhere / Tech Talk / SWING! / 1-2-3 Go! Each module box can be checked at the Detroit, Ypsilanti, Grand Rapids, Flint, and Battle Creek Offices. This FREE resource does require a $20 deposit just to make sure they come back. Click here to read about this program for Cub Scouts in Michigan!
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/Bear Cubs: Dr. Luis W. Alvarez Supernova Award | For Webelos: Dr. Charles Townes 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
Supernova Award Tracking Forms (For information use only. These will give you an overview of the award and the requirements for each.)
- Dr. Luis W. Alvarez – For Bear/Wolf Cub Scouts
- Dr. Charles Townes – For Webelos Scouts
- Bernard Harris – For Boy Scouts
- Thomas Edison – For Boy Scouts
- Dr. Albert Einstein – For Venturers
- Dr. Sally Ride – For Venturers
- Wright Brothers – For Venturers
Stem Program Partners in Michigan
From the Air Zoo in Kalamazoo to the Michigan Science Center in Detroit, we are fortunate to have the
BEST Science Centers, Museums, and venues right here in Michigan, and they are going above and beyond to offer Cub Scout Advancement, Boy Scout Advancement, Cub Adventures, Merit Badges, Workshops and Science days for your Scouts.
Calendar of STEM Events
Looking to include a FREE STEM opportunity into your unit’s calendar? Have your Scouts become an Engineer for a day! Macomb Community College is offering Scouts, fifth through ninth grade this opportunity. Click here for the flyer