Mid-America Council Nova Award Program 

MAC Stem Nova Program[16]The Mid-America Council, Boy Scouts of America’s Nova Awards program incorporates learning with cool activities and exposure to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics for Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA members, Venturer, and Sea Scouts. The hope is that the requirements and activities for earning these awards 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 Nova Awards 

There are multiple Nova Awards for Cub Scouts, Webelos Scouts, Scouts BSA members, Venturing, and Sea Scouts. Each award covers one component of STEM—science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. 

  • Cub Scout Nova awards: Science Everywhere, Down and Dirty, Nova WILD!, Out of This World, Tech Talk, Swing!, 1-2-3 Go!, Uncovering the Past, Fearful Symmetry, Cub Scouts Can Code, and Up and Away 
  • Scouts BSA Nova awards: Shoot!, Let It Grow!, Start Your Engines!, Whoosh!, Designed to Crunch, Splash!, Up and Away, Next Big Thing, Mendel’s Minions, and Hello World 
  • Venturing and Sea Scouts Scout Nova awards: Launch!, Power Up, Hang On!, Numbers Don’t Lie, Wade!, What a Life, Execute, Something from Nothing, and Up and Away. 

For their first Nova Award, Scouts earn the distinctive Nova Award patch. After that, a Scout can earn additional Nova Awards, each one recognized with a separate pi (π) pin-on device that attaches to the patch. The patch and the devices represent each of the four STEM topics—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. These items can be purchased at the Gottschaulk Scout Shop or the Sioux City Scout Shop. 

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 and Bear Cub Scouts:  Dr. Louis W. Alvarez Supernova Award 
For Webelos Scouts:  Dr. Charles H. Townes Supernova Award 
For Scouts BSA:  Dr. Bernard Harris Supernova Bronze Award Thomas Edison Supernova Silver Award 

Dr. Albert Einstein Supernova Gold Award 

For Venturer and Sea Scouts:  Dr. Sally Ride Supernova Bronze Award Wright Brothers Supernova Silver Award Dr. Albert Einstein Supernova Gold Award 

 All Scouts who earn a Nova or Supernova Award will be presented a certificate by the Mid-America Council. 

Requirements may be found in the Nova Awards guidebooks, available through local Scout shops—one for Cub Scouts, one for Scouts BSA, and one for Venturers. The requirements can be completed with a registered counselor (for the Nova awards) or registered and Council-approved mentor** (for the Supernova awards). Each guidebook includes a section for the counselor and mentor. 

**Note that neither a parent nor a unit leader may serve as the mentor for the Supernova Awards. 

  • All awards are processed through Member Services at the Durham Scout Center, Mid-America Council, 12401 West Maple Road, Omaha, NE, 68164. E-mail is mac@scouting.org. Upon receipt, they will be reviewed by the Council STEM/NOVA Chair. 
  • Once approved, a certificate will be prepared for the appropriate award. Certificates will be given to the Unit Leadership for presentation to recipient. Other recognition items such as the patch, pi pins, and metals will be available for purchase or order through the Gottschalk Scout Shop. 

For more information on STEM NOVA AWARDS including Award Requirements, Recognition, Counselor and Mentor information, and Program Support, visit: https://www.scouting.org/stem-nova-awards/.