Cub Scout STEM

Nova Award Patch.

Scout earns this on the

first Nova Award


Pi pin-on device

for 2nd-4th Nova award

     Supernova Award

Can be earned without earning

Nova awards first.





About the Nova Awards Program

Cool experiments, awesome field trips, and fun activities are just waiting for you to dive in. If you are a Wolf, Bear, or Webelos Scout, get started now on the Nova awards ride of your life! Tiger and Lion Cubs are not eligible for these awards but may enjoy STEM-related pack activities.

The Nova and Supernova awards are optional and may be worked while working on rank adventures. There are four Nova awards, one for each of the STEM areas, and each Cub Scout can earn all four. Completion of any Nova award earns the Cub Scout the right to wear the Nova award patch. Completion of each additional Nova award is recognized by a pi (π) pin placed on the patch.

There are two Supernova awards. The Dr. Luis W. Alvarez Supernova award can be earned by Wolf or Bear Cub Scout. The Dr. Charles H Townes Supernova award can be earned by Webelos Scouts. Each boy may earn both Supernova awards, as long as he is registered in the appropriate program at the time he completes the requirements.

For earning the Supernova award, Scouts receive a medal and certificate. Click here to find out more about the Nova Awards Program

STEM/Nova Requirements

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.

            Official Boy Scouts of America STEM site

            Cub Scout STEM requirements

To begin your Nova adventure,

you must be a Wolf, Bear or Webelos Scout who is active with your den. With your parent’s and unit leader’s help, you must select a unit-approved counselor who is a registered Scouter. A parent or unit leader who is registered as a Nova counselor may be chosen to help you earn the award as long as there is another adult in your unit aware you are working on the award who is also a registered Nova counselor.

Your Supernova adventure

requires you to be an active Wolf, Bear or Webelos Scout. With your parent’s and unit leader’s help, you must select a council-approved mentor who is a registered Scouter. For the Supernova award, a mentor, who serves much like a merit badge counselor, is required. Mentors must also be subject matter experts in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) field. You may NOT choose your parent. You may choose your unit leader as long as the mentor is working with more than one youth.  The Nova awards do not need to be earned to work on the Supernova adventure; however, it is recommended that two Nova awards be earned but this is not required.

If you earned the Cub Scout Supernova Award, you may not use the same activities or requirements used to earn the Webelos Supernova Award.

Contact the council advancement department to find a mentor.


Counselors must be at least 21 years of age and registered with the Boy Scouts of America as a Nova Counselor using position code 58. Mentors must be age 21 or older, be a subject matter expert in a STEM field, and be registered under the SuperNova Awards mentor position code 52. This is not a unit positon and no fee is attached. A Counselor/Mentor must have current Youth Protection Training. Nova Counselor Training is completed through a self-study training or an Instructor led training.

Nova Counselor – Self Study Slide Deck

Nova Counselor Training Self Study Guide

It is recommended that the counselor/Mentor purchase the Cub Scout Nova Awards Guidebook from the Scout shop and become familiar with the section A Guide for Nova Award Counselors and Supernova Award Mentors. A SuperNova Blue Card will be available soon to help track the progress of the award. 

The Nova Awards

There are four Nova awards for Cub Scouts and Webelos 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!, and 1-2-3 Go!

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.

Field Trips Galore!

Click here for Field Trips! – To help you with possible field trips in our area, a list has been compiled. There are links in the document to take you directly to their web site so you will always have up to date information. We also welcome additional field trip ideas. Email ideas to

Completion of Nova Award

Upon completion of a Nova requirement, notification is given to the Cub Master or Cub Committee member who will pick up the award.

Completion of Supernova Award

Upon completion of the Supernova requirements the mentor will fill out a Supernova Award Application and make sure all supporting documents are put together. These are then delivered to council to the advancement office where they will be reviewed by the STEM committee and a Scout Executive. The committee meets once a month so expect up to a month for the review to happen. Upon completion, the Cub Master or Committee Member responsible for getting the awards will be notified to pick up the application and the awards. The award can be presented in a Pack Meeting.

            Supporting documents.

  • Letter written by the Scout telling what he gained from the experience and what he learned by working with a mentor.
  • Letter written by the mentor detailing the experience with the Scout.
  • Supernova Blue Card
  • Supernova Award Application

Click here for answers to Frequently Asked Questions