STEM

What is STEM?

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. STEM has been an important buzzword in the education world for quite some time. It should come as no surprise to anyone that our nation is lagging behind in STEM areas. The good news is that the Boy Scouts of America has always incorporated STEM elements into its program. The great news is that in the last few years, the BSA has added new STEM elements to the program, such as robotics and geocaching, and recently has launched a new program of STEM awards for Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturers.

Your Scouts are able to earn new awards for doing STEM activities! In addition, many of today’s merit badges and belt loops can be used towards these new awards!

 

STEM Activities and Training

Program Extraveganza- Check out our STEM table manned by our Council STEM Committee!

Joshua Huddy STEM MB Academy at Ocean County College- Scouts can earn various STEM Merit Merit Badges!

Sea Pines Pines MB Academy at Stockton University Scouts can earn various STEM Merit Merit Badges!

University of Scouting-Learn how to incorporate STEM into your program!

FAA Scout STEM Day- Earn various STEM Merit badges while learning abot the FAA and aviation techology. 

 

STEM Awards

In June 2012, the Boy Scouts of America launched its new program, the STEM Initiative.  This program offers the STEM Nova Awards and STEM Supernova Awards.  Within each Scouting program, there are four parallel Nova Awards available, one in each STEM field.  These awards recognize completion of fun STEM activities.  For those youth who want to take their STEM interests further, BSA offers the Supernova Award, which recognizes completion of independent, more advanced challenges in the STEM fields.

 

How do I get started?

If your unit is interested in taking part in the new STEM awards programs or you just want to find out how to incorporate more STEM based activities into your unit, here is how to get started.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the overall program structure by viewing the Fast Start STEM Orientation (above). Look in the notes for information above and beyond the slides.
  2. Purchase the Nova Guidebook(s) for the program(s) in which you are interested.  These are available in our local Scout Shop for $2.99 each.  Each guidebook describes the requirements for the Nova Awards and Supernova Awards for that program.  In addition, there are general tips for adult leaders and specific guidance for each award.
  3. Any adult leader can guide the Nova Awards, so if you feel comfortable with the content and with assessing youth on their completion of the requirements, then dive on in.
  4. Be on the lookout for local opportunities for STEM orientations, trainings, and events.
  5. Check back here for news and updates.

 

Counselors and Mentors

Nova counselor is required to help a Scout complete the requirements for a Nova award. A Nova counselor introduces Scouts to the basic principles of STEM and helps them discover how fun and fascinating science, technology, engineering, and math can be. Each pack, troop and crew should have at least one counselor, possibly several for more active units. 

Supernova mentors are required to help a Scout complete the Supernova award. With a parent’s and unit leader’s help, the Scout must select a council-approved mentor who is a registered Scouter. A Scout may NOT choose their parent or unit leader as a mentor (unless the mentor is working with more than one youth). Scouters with a STEM background may work with Scouts in their unit and encouraged as well to work outside of their own unit. Find mentors through the district STEM rep.

Become a STEM NOVA Counselor

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Can be a parent or leader
  • Be able and willing to work with Scout-age youth
  • Be comfortable with high school math and science
  • Knowledgeable in a STEM topic(s) and be willing to research STEM topics unfamiliar to you
  • Provide current certification in Youth Protection Training
  • Complete BSA adult registration form (no charge, position code 58)
  • Submit Nova counselor Information to Jersey Shore Council
  • Be approved by the Jersey Shore Council STEM Committee

Complete training online at www.my.scouting.org or in person at University of Scouting

Become a STEM NOVA Mentor

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • NOT the parent or leader of the Scout (some exceptions)
  • Be able and willing to work with Scout-age youth over many months
  • Expert in STEM topic(s) by vocation, hobby, or education
  • Provide current certification in Youth Protection Training
  • Complete BSA adult registration form (no charge, position code 52)
  • Submit Supernova Mentor Information to Jersey Shore Council
  • Be approved by the Jersey Shore Council STEM Committee

Complete training online at www.my.scouting.org or in person at University of Scouting

 

STEM Resources at RAFT 

Resource Area for Teachers (RAFT) is a non-profit organization that provides training,  idea sheets, activity kits, and surplus craft and project materials to teachers and youth leaders.

To learn more about RAFT, visit www.raft.net/scouts

 

Helpful Links:

Directory

Position Name Telephone
Council STEM Chair Margaret Lewis Email