**NEW** NOVA Awards Summary!

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**NEW** NOVA Awards Summary!

Postby Dynamitejoe » Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:00 pm

Those of you who read Scouting Mag regularly, you'll probably remember an article a few months ago interviewing a high-level science type, Dr. Bernard Harris, about STEM initiatives in the BSA. (STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). This is the new NOVA Award Program, there are levels for Cubs, Boyscouts, and Venturers. What follows is a brief summary of the Boy Scout NOVA Awards and some of the requirements. There is also the 'Supernova' sub-awards. think of them like STEM Hornadays.

Program Structure:
-available to all boy scouts, optional.
-Four Nova Awards: one each for S, T, E, and M.
-each scout can earn all four
-completion of any earns the Patch
-completion of additional Novas recognized by Pi (3.14) device pin
-builds on stem-related merit badges
-involves hands on activitties, often a field trip.

The 4 nova awards are:
-Shoot! (Science)
-Start Your Engines (Tech)
-Whoosh! (Engineering)
-Designed to Crunch (Math)

Each award has it own requirements, but they are similar in style. all have 3 hours of science program viewing or reading, one additional merit badge from a set list, and a few other ones specific to that Nova.

Supernova awards:
-two levels for each of CS, BS and VT
-Available to those First Class and above
-requires a 'mentor' person
-earning 3/4 of Nova awards a prerequisite
- named after influential scientists
-reqs like 'earn 4 of these approved MB's'
- complete 'supernova activity topics'
- higher level award require a lot of time and work.

supernova activity topics:
-two-part, hands-on, high-level activities
-part 1 is research, preparation, set-up,coordination, organization.
-part 2 is analysis, reflection, experimentation,, design, invention.
-culminates in a report created by scout
-different options for report such as: oral, written, video, (any other with mentor approval)
-divided up into the four STEM areas with 3 activities each


Other things:
-in the process of earning the higher supernova award, a scout will have earned 13 MB's, of which scholarship is specific.
-all counselors and mentors must have current YPT.
-no official requirements for counselors or mentors yet, but it suggests that mentors have 'successfully navigated a STEM career'

About the pamphlet:
- seperate publications for each of CS, BS and VT.
-pamphlet has section for counselors and mentors, with answers and explanation for the core Nova Award requirements.
-about the size of a Merit Badge Pamphlet
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Re: **NEW** NOVA Awards Summary!

Postby PaulSWolf » Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:59 am

Good summary for the BOY SCOUT portion. Here's some more information:

The Cub Scout Nova Awards are entitled:
Science Everywhere, Tech Talk, Swing!, and 1-2-3 Go!

The Venturing Nova Awards are entitled:
Launch!, Power Up, Hang On!, and Numbers Don't Lie.

The Supernova awards in each level are named for Famous Scientists, Engineers, Inventors, or Mathematicians:

There are THREE levels of Supernova Awards for Venturers. In Boy Scout/Varsity Scouts and in Venturing/Sea Scouts the lower Level Supernova awards are prerequisites for the higher level awards. That is not the case for the Cub Scout/Webelos Scout Supenova Awards, which are strictly age level based ( i.e Wolf or Bear for one and Webelos for the other).

Cub Scouts: Dr. Luis W. Alvarez
Webelos Scouts: Dr. Charles H. Townes

Boy Scouts:
Level 1 : Dr. Bernard Harris
Level 2: Thomas Edison

Venturers:
Level 1: Dr. Sally Ride
Level 2: The Wright Brothers
Level 3: Dr. Albert Einstein

For the Level 2 Venturer Wright Brothers Supernova Award, there are two options: The Venturer can earn either the Harris Award as a Boy Scout or the Ride Award as a Venturer as a prerequisite, and there are slightly different requirements for the balance of the work.

I'm working furiously on getting the requirements for all the Nova and Supernova Awards posted to the USSSP, and am creating some basic workbooks for the awards, as well, similar to the merit badge, and Belt Lop/Pin workbooks available on both the USSSP and Meritbadge.org sites. However, with 20 separate sets of requirements, it'll be a few days or more until they're all ready.
Paul S. Wolf, P.E.(Ret.) mailto:pwolf@usscouts.org
Secretary, US Scouting Service Project, Inc.
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Re: **NEW** NOVA Awards Summary!

Postby razor_strop » Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:11 pm

Thanks once again for all your time & effort to keep us informed, Paul.
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Re: **NEW** NOVA Awards Summary!

Postby Dynamitejoe » Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:02 pm

FYI, only the guidebooks are available to scouters right now. The NOVA patch exists, and is being distributed, should be available in the next week or so. There seem to be medals for each of the supernova awards, but the information isn't all kink-free yet.
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Re: **NEW** NOVA Awards Summary!

Postby tonkatim » Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:34 pm

The Webelos Medal was shown on scoutstuff. Kind of expensive and my Cubs like to wear every award to every outing. I hope that the ribbon has velcro or break-away. I have repaired t.n.t.c. religious medals and they don't dangle much at our level.

Anyone know if they are going to come out with a knot for this. I am not sure how I feel about that yet.
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Re: **NEW** NOVA Awards Summary!

Postby agdparker » Fri Aug 03, 2012 5:24 pm

When I was in the Scout Shop last week, they pointed out the guidebook for this new program. While it looks interesting, I have to say that I'm not sure if anyone in my units will do this program. I have a hard enough time getting them to complete rank requirements and work on belt loops and pins in the pack and now we're throwing another set of awards at them? In the Scouting units our parents struggle to understand the basic program as it stands, as well. While it may be well-intentioned, I'm struggling to justify adding to an already robust program.
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Re: **NEW** NOVA Awards Summary!

Postby kc9901mom » Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:28 pm

The Supernova requirements clearly state that the merit badges can be earned any time since becoming a boy scout. However, this specific verbiage is not used for the merit badges for each of the Nova Awards.

My question is...

Do boy scouts have to earn the merit badges required for the Nova Awards after July 1, 2012?

I read the book and for the Nova Awards it does say that requirements can be completed any time after becoming a Boy Scout but it doesn't say this directly under the merit badge requirements like it does in the Supernova section.

I'm not trying to split hairs or anything like that. This is an actual issue with a Scout who has taken the initiative to attempt to earn the Nova Shoot! Award and he is being told by the AC that he hasn't met the requirements because the merit badge(s) he earned was earned 9 days before the Nova and Supernova Awards Program was published. This Scout hasn't even received the merit badges he earned yet.
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Re: **NEW** NOVA Awards Summary!

Postby FrankJ » Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:27 pm

You cannot earn the merit badge again. So if you have the merit badge you met the requirement. Unless officially something that says specifically you have to earn the merit badge after starting working on a Nova.

There was a similar discussion about the SCUBA merit badge & earning the dive certification. The upshot was if you where already certified you do not have to certify after starting the badge.

But you cannot fix stupid or officious. Too bad they outlawed Dueling. :wink:
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Foothills District Atlanta Area Council
I never teach my pupils. I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.--Albert Einstein
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Re: **NEW** NOVA Awards Summary!

Postby kc9901mom » Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:06 pm

It certainly sucks to tell a 12-year old- nope sorry you didn't earn the award after all because the merit badges you earned don't count because they were earned before the Award was published and released. Pick another merit badge from the list.

I did email National even though I am not the AC.

I should just go ahead and change my username to the "Outlaw Troublemaker".

I am seriously considering starting a new Troop and doing things the "BSA" way pretty much by the "book". I am finding that Troop Committees and Troop Leadership in my area do not do things by the book and when you question it - you are shunned like an ex-Amish.
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Re: **NEW** NOVA Awards Summary!

Postby Quailman » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:57 pm

Have any of you been successful in recruiting Supernova Mentors (position 52)?

I've been reading up on the awards, and we don't have a program to promote it in my district. We have no mentors either. Anyone else give out any awards?
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Re: **NEW** NOVA Awards Summary!

Postby King Ding Dong » Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:17 am

In St. Louis we are fortunate to have about 12 registered mentors. Mentors are only required for the supernova, the nova can be tought by anyone. The council put on a STEM University in late December at a local state university and registration was sold out in 4 days. There were about 200 that got their first Nova. In out council there has only been one BS Supernova awarded and maybe a dozen or so Cub Supernovas. My Webelos II completed about half the work on the Supernova but we are just running out of time to finish and the local scout shop is out of the medals and will likely not get anymore in soon. Original award was large and costs $50, they are working on a smaller less costly one.

From my understanding it is not extremely difficult to become a mentor. A PhD is not required. If you have expertise in any of the areas you can become an mentor. Electrical Engineer, computer scientist, etc would all work. I have a CIS degree and was told that should qualify. I have spoken several times with a member of the working committee at Philmont on the program. You may mentor your own child if you are willing to mentor more that one scout.
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Re: **NEW** NOVA Awards Summary!

Postby King Ding Dong » Wed Mar 20, 2013 6:46 pm

Quailman wrote:Have any of you been successful in recruiting Supernova Mentors (position 52)?

I've been reading up on the awards, and we don't have a program to promote it in my district. We have no mentors either. Anyone else give out any awards?


Can I suggest going to the local high school and seeing if any of the science or math teachers would be willing. Maybe a doctor, nurse, or the city engineer.
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