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Cub Scout Pack 627
(Ballwin, Missouri)
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STEM in Scouting

(last updated December 20, 2013)


Science, Technology, Engineering and Math are incredibly important to us all.

It's estimated that 80% of jobs will soon require STEM skills.

BSA has a new initiative to help Scouts build their STEM skills.

The Cub Scout STEM Manual, in PDF, is attached below.
Through it you'll see that you, too, can help your Scouts complete their Nova & Supernova awards.
There are currently four Cub Scout Novas, with another eight to soon increase the total to 12.
Completion of any one delivers one awesome patch; subsequent ones deliver a "Pi pin."
There is one Cub Scout Supernova and one for Webelos - that delivers one awesome medal.

Now that you're thinking about it, are you wondering how to best define Science, Technology, Engineering and Math?  
Many are in your shoes, and I was just a couple months ago.
The Merriam-Webster definitions are listed here; URLs are below.
I also created a "What is STEM" ppt with the definitions, for sharing with Scouts (and parents) in Den and Pack meetings.

"knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths of the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through the scientific method."

alternatively worded:
"Learning about God's world through the use of the scientific method.

The Scientific Method involves:
1) State a problem or question
2) Gather information
3) State your Hypothesis
4) Conduct an experiment
5) Gather data and analyze it
6) State your conclusion"

"a manner of accomplishing a task especially using technical processes, methods, or knowledge"

many often think of technology as computers or electronics; those are great examples of "High-Tech."
Technology can also be something like hammer, nails, and wood building a house (or anything else); and while these "low-tech" tools get the job done, their are often brought in after designing a house on a computer, and may also involve the use of a "high-tech" laser level.

"the application of science and mathematics by which the properties of matter and the sources of energy in nature are made useful to people"

alternatively worded:
"Engineering is the means through which Engineers solve problems to make the world a better place"

"the science of numbers and their operations..."

You may want to present Math & Science first, then Technology, then Engineering.

for the iPhone:

Some of oh, so many resources include:

One of many examples:
PBS / NOVA's "Meteor Strike," about the February, 2013 meteor strike in Chelyabinsk, Russia (Siberia).

STEM Journals
"Arizona science popularizer and meteorite dealer Geoff Notkin, veteran of the TV show Meteorite Men, now has a new show that has been running for a time on Arizona’s Cox Cable Network. Called The STEM Journals, the show features Geoff traveling to different places in Arizona that feature science, technology, engineering, and math topics — thus, the show’s title."

As seen in:

PBS's "Raw to Ready" (also available via Apple TV)

Build a secret-code wheel


More information about the STEM program is available through these links:

Borrowing from another website:

"BSA's New NOVA Awards Program is Growing Minds through STEM Achievements!

Discover the coolest new ways to expand your mind and build critical real-world skills!

BSA's NOVA Awards program introduces fun and rewarding opportunities for Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, and Venturers to explore various STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) topics.


  • Support from a partnership with ExxonMobil®
  • Honorary Chairman and National Spokesperson, Dr. Bernard Harris, former Boy Scout and NASA space shuttle astronaut
  • Distinctive NOVA pocket patch with separate pin-on device, medals, and more
  • Related merit badge activities and specialized programs to come!"

Learn more at:


Scouts can earn four NOVA awards - the first is the Awesome patch, then up to three triangle-shaped Pi pins to attach to the patch.

the SuperNOVA's a separate, equally awesome award.

And, the Greater St. Louis Area Council (GSLAC) has scheduled its first evening Camp, for STEM where you can earn two NOVAs...
It's on our calendar... July 29 - Aug 1!

Our New Horizons District is also working to have a one-day STEM Camp, in the fall of 2013... more details coming as soon... 

Scouts... earn your NOVA award.  Earn your Super NOVA award.

Have FUN and build even more skills to help you be successful in life!


More from


Two attachments are also posted to help you better understand the NOVA and Super NOVA Awards and to help you help your Scouts earn them.

New Horizons STEM in your Unit

STEM Resources list for Cub Scouts



About the Nova Awards 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, Boy Scouts, and Venturers. The hope is that the requirements and activities for earning these awards stimulates interest in STEM-related fields and shows 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 four Nova awards for Cub Scouts, Webelos Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturers. Each award covers one component of STEM—science, technology, engineering, or mathematics.

  • Cub Scout Nova awards: Science Everywhere, Tech Talk, Swing!, and 1-2-3 Go!
  • Boy Scout Nova awards: Shoot!, Start Your Engines, Whoosh!, and Designed to Crunch
  • Venturer Scout Nova awards: Launch!, Power Up, Hang On!, and Numbers Don't Lie

For their first Nova award, Scouts earn the distinctive Nova award patch. After that, a Scout can earn three more Nova awards, each one recognized with a separate pi (p) pin-on device that attaches to the patch. The patch and the three devices represent each of the four STEM topics—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

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 Alvarez Supernova Award

For Webelos Scouts:

Dr. Charles H. Townes Supernova 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


For earning the Supernova award, Scouts receive a medal and certificate.

All requirements may be found in the Nova awards guidebooks, available through local Scout shops—one for Cub Scouts, one for Boy Scouts, and one for Venturers. 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). Each guidebook includes a section for the counselor and mentor.




List of requirements for the NOVA and Supernova awards: 

One interesting story that captures parts of each STEM discipline: 


References in the Cub Scout STEM Handbook:  "Paddle to the Sea," by Holling C. Holling.




Icon File Name Comment  
STEM New Horizons STEM_in your unit 20130304.pdf  
STEM Resources list for Cub Scouts.pdf  
Webelos Camp - STEM - Math.docx  
What is STEM.pdf  
What is STEM.pptx