Cub Scout Nova Award Patch Scout Nova Award Patch Venturing Nova Award Patch Pi pin-on device
Cub Scouts and
Webelos Scouts
Scouts BSA Venturers and
Sea Scouts
"Pi" pin

 Nova and Supernova Awards Program
Cub Scouts and Webelos Scouts,
Scouts BSA, and
Venturers and Sea Scouts

The content below was REVISED in January, 1019,
 and 3 new awards were added in June, 2019

To see the changes which were made, Click here.

For the previous content, Click here.

STEM is an acronym representing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

About the Nova Awards Program

The Boy Scouts of America’s STEM Nova Awards program incorporates learning with cool activities and exposure to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) for Cub Scouts, Webelos Scouts, Scouts BSA, Sea Scouts, and Venturers. These activities and associated awards stimulate interest in STEM-related fields, and show how these subjects appear in everyday life and the world around us. Counselors and mentors help bring this engaging, contemporary, and fun program to life for youth members.

There are awards designed for youth in the Cub Scout, Scouts BSA, and Sea Scouting/Venturing programs, and are optional in each program. Requirements must be completed while registered in the BSA in the appropriate program and subject to standard age limitations.

The Nova Awards

There are multiple Nova awards for each level: Cub Scouts, Webelos Scouts, Scouts BSA, and Sea Scouts and Venturers. Each award covers one specific subfield of a STEM subject area.  Upon earning their first Nova award, Scouts receive the distinctive Nova Award patch. For each Nova earned after that, a Scout earns a separate pi (π) pin-on device that attaches to the patch.

As of June, 2019, there are ten Nova awards for Cub Scouts (Wolf and Bear levels) and Webelos Scouts, ten for Scouts BSA, and nine for Venturers and Sea Scouts. Originally, there were four Nova awards for each program area, each covering one component of STEM - science, technology, engineering, or mathematics, with additional awards being added as they are approved.

Cub Scout and Webelos Scout Nova awards:
  1. Science Everywhere,
  2. Tech Talk,
  3. Swing!,
  4. 1-2-3 Go!,
  5. Down and Dirty,
  6. Nova Wild!,
  7. Out of This World,
  8. Fearful Symmetry,
  9. Uncovering the Past, and
  10. Cub Scouts Can Code
Scouts BSA Nova awards:
  1. Shoot!,
  2. Start Your Engines,
  3. Whoosh!,
  4. Designed to Crunch,
  5. Let It Grow!,
  6. Splash!,
  7. Mendel's Minions,
  8. Hello, World,
  9. Up and Away, and
  10. Next Big Thing
Venturer and Sea Scout Nova awards:
  1. Launch!,
  2. Power Up,
  3. Hang On!,
  4. Numbers Don't Lie,
  5. Wade!,
  6. What a Life!,
  7. Execute!,
  8. Something from Nothing, and
  9. Up and Away

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 the Supernova awards, a registered and council-approved mentor, who serves much like a merit badge counselor, is required.

Supernova awards were designed to motivate Scouts and recognize more advanced achievement in STEM-related activities, and thus have more rigorous and in-depth requirements than Nova awards. There is one Supernova award for Wolf and Bear Cub Scouts, and one for Webelos Scouts, two Supernova awards are available to Scouts who have earned First Class rank, and three Supernova awards are available to Venturers and Sea Scouts.

  • For Wolf and Bear Cub Scouts:
    • Dr. Louis Alvarez Supernova Award
  • For Webelos Scouts:
    • Dr. Charles H. Townes Supernova Award
  • For Scouts BSA:
    1. Dr. Bernard Harris Supernova Bronze Award
    2. Thomas Edison Supernova Silver Award
  • For Venturers and Sea Scouts:
    1. Dr. Sally Ride Supernova Bronze Award
    2. Wright Brothers Supernova Silver Award
    3. Dr. Albert Einstein Supernova Gold Award

For earning the Supernova award, Scouts receive a certificate and a medal, a sample of which is shown above.

Requirements may be found in the Nova awards guidebooks, available through local Scout shops or online at 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.

The requirements for each of the Nova and Supernova awards are also available on BSA's official web site, They are also available on this site and may be found using the links in the table below.

We have also created workbooks for use in documenting progress toward earning the various Nova and Supernova awards. There are links to the workbooks at the bottom of the web pages for each award, and in the table below.

  • The word processor versions of the workbooks have been prepared using the Microsoft Office 365 Suite (Word 2016) and are in the DOCX file format, which was introduced in 2007. Consequently, in many cases they are NOT compatible with earlier versions on Microsoft Office or other word processors which do not support that file format. However, users of Microsoft Office XP, 2000 and 2003 can download a Compatibility Pack, by clicking here: By installing the Compatibility Pack you will be able to use Microsoft Office XP, 2000, or 2003 to open, edit, and save files using the file formats in newer versions of Word (DOCX), Excel (XLSX), and PowerPoint (PPTX) .
  • The PDF versions of the workbooks have been designed with form fields. Scouts may download these files and then type their notes into the form fields, and save their work locally. They have been tested successfully with the Adobe Acrobat Reader, the Foxit PDF Reader, and the Nuance PDF Reader. Each of those programs are available as free downloads.

The workbooks are all Copyright - U.S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. - All Rights Reserved.
The requirements are all Copyright - Boy Scouts of America - and are used with permission.

Page updated on: June 15, 2019

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