Nova Award Patch

Designed to Crunch Nova Award
for Boy Scouts


The requirements listed below are taken from the
Boy Scout Nova Awards Guidebook (34033 / SKU-614936) 2012 Printing


This module is designed to help you explore how math affects your life each day.

  1. Choose A or B or C or D and complete ALL the requirements.
    1. Watch about three hours total of math-related shows or documentaries that involve scientific models and modeling,
      physics, sports equipment design, bridge building, or cryptography.
      Then do the following:
      1. Make a list of at least five questions or ideas from the show(s) you watched.
      2. Discuss two of the questions or ideas with your counselor.

        Some examples include—but are not limited to—shows found on PBS ("NOVA"), Discovery Channel, Science Channel, National Geographic Channel, TED Talks (online videos), and the History Channel. You may choose to watch a live performance or movie at a planetarium or science museum instead of watching a media production. You may watch online productions with your counselor's approval and under your parent's supervision.


    2. Research (about three hours total) several websites (with your parent's or guardian's permission) that discuss and explain cryptography
      or the discoveries of people who worked extensively with cryptography.
      Then do the following:
      1. List and record the URLs of the websites you visited and major topics covered on the websites you visited.
         (You may use the copy and paste function—eliminate the words—if you include your sources.)
      2. Discuss with your counselor how cryptography is used in the military and in everyday life and how a cryptographer uses mathematics.

        Helpful Link

        "The Mathematics of Cryptology": University of Massachusetts Website:
        http://www.rnath.urnass.edu/~gunnells/talks/crypt.pdf


    3. Read at least three articles (about three hours total) about physics, math, modeling, or cryptography.
      You may wish to read about how technology and engineering are changing sports equipment,
      how and why triangles are used in construction, bridge building, engineering, climate and/or weather models,
      how banks keep information secure, or about the stock market.
      Then do the following:
      1. Make a list of at least two questions or ideas from each article.
      2. Discuss two of the questions or ideas with your counselor.

        Examples of magazines include—but are not limited to—Odyssey, Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, Science Illustrated, Discover, Air & Space, Popular Astronomy, Astronomy, Science News, Sky & Telescope, Natural History, Robot, Servo, Nuts and Volts, and Scientific American.


    4. Do a combination of reading, watching, and researching (about three hours total).
      Then do the following:
      1. Make a list of at least two questions or ideas from each article, website, or show.
      2. Discuss two of the questions or ideas with your counselor.
  2. Complete ONE merit badge from the following list. (Choose one that you have not already used toward another Nova award.)
    After completion, discuss with your counselor how the merit badge you earned uses mathematics.
      American Business Orienteering
      Chess Personal Management
      Computers Radio
      Drafting Surveying
      Entrepreneurship Weather
  3. Choose TWO from A or B or C or D or E and complete ALL the requirements for the two you choose.
    (Write down your data and calculations to support your explanation to your counselor.
    You may use a spreadsheet. Do not use someone else's data or calculations.)
    1. Calculate your horsepower when you run up a flight of stairs.

      Helpful Links

      "How to Calculate Your Horsepower": wikiHow Website:
      http://www.wikihow.com/Calculate-Your-Horsepower

      Haploscrences.net Website:
      http://onlinephys.com/labpower1.html


      1. How does your horsepower compare to the power of a horse?
      2. How does your horsepower compare to the horsepower of your favorite car?
      Share your calculations with your counselor, and discuss what you learned about horsepower.
    2. Attend at least two track, cross country, or swim meets.
      1. For each meet, time at least three racers. (Time the same racers at each meet.)
      2. Calculate the average speed of the racers you timed. (Make sure you record your data and calculations.)
      3. Compare the average speeds of your racers to each other, to the official time, and to their times at the two meets you attended.
      Share your calculations with your counselor, and
    3. Attend a soccer, baseball, softball, or basketball game. Then choose two players. Keep track of their efforts during the game.
      (Make sure you record your data and calculations.) Calculate their statistics using the following as examples:
      1. Soccer—Goals, assists, corner kicks, keeper saves, fouls, offsides
      2. Baseball or softball—Batting average, runs batted in, fielding statistics, pitching statistics
      3. Basketball—Points. baskets attempted, rebounds, steals, turnovers, and blocked shots
      Share your calculations with your counselor, and discuss your conclusions about the players' strengths and weaknesses.
    4. Attend a football game or watch one on TV. (This is a fun activity to do with a parent or friend.)
      Keep track of the efforts of your favorite team during the game. (Make sure you record your data and calculations.)
      Then calculate your team's statistics using the following as examples:
      1. Kicks/punts
        1. Kickoff—Kick return yards
        2. Punt—Number, yards
        3. Field goals—Attempted, percent completed, yards
        4. Extra points—Attempted, percent completed
      2. Offense
        1. Number of first downs
        2. Forward passes—Attempted, percent completed, total length of passes, longest pass,
          number and length of passes caught by each receiver, yardage gained by each receiver after catching a pass
        3. Running plays—Number, yards gained or lost for each run, longest run from scrimmage line, total yards gained or lost, and number of touchdowns
      3. Defense—Number of quarterback sacks, interceptions, turnovers, and safeties
      Share your calculations with your counselor, and discuss your conclusions about your team's strengths and weaknesses.
    5. How starry are your nights? Participate in a star count to find out. This may he done alone but is more fun with a group.
      Afterward, share and discuss your results with your counselor.
      1. Visit NASA's Student Observation Network website at http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/son/energy/starcount/ for instructions on performing a star count.
      2. Do a star count on five clear nights at the same time each night.
      3. Report your results on NASA's Student Observation Network website and see how your data compares to others.
  4. Do ALL of the following:
    1. Investigate your calculator and explore the different functions.
    2. Discuss the functions, abilities, and limitations of your calculator with your counselor. Talk about how these affect what you can and cannot do with a calculator. (See your counselor for some ideas to consider.)
  5. Discuss with your counselor how math affects your everyday life.


Some examples include—but are not limited to—shows found on PBS ("NOVA"), Discovery Channel, Science Channel, National Geographic Channel, TED Talks (online videos), and the History Channel. You may choose to watch a live performance or movie at a planetarium or science museum instead of watching a media production. You may watch online productions with your counselor's approval and under your parent's supervision. One example is the NOVA Lever an Obelisk page on ancient Egypt and the use of levers, available at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/novalegypt/raising/lever.html..


Worksheets for use in working on these requirements: Format
Word Format PDF Format

Blanks in this worksheets table appear when we do not have a worksheet for the badge that includes these requirements.


Page updated on: October 12, 2013



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