The BSA Blasts Off with New Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Program Launch!
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 increased the number of STEM elements in the program. As an example, scouts have been ecstatic over new merit badges such as robotics and geocaching! Much more is planned for Cub Scouts through Venturing, including two new STEM award programs!
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!
New STEM Awards
In January 2011, the Boy Scouts of America began an evaluation of two new STEM award programs. They are the STEM NOVA and STEM SUPERNOVA Awards. Silicon Valley Monterey Bay Council has had over 400 youth earn the STEM NOVA Award and 25 earn different levels of the prestigious STEM SUPERNOVA Award. The new awards are tailored for Cub Scouts, Webelos Scouts, Boy Scouts and Venturers.
STEM Program Highlights for Silicon Valley Monterey Bay Council:
- Held the first STEM Court of Honor ceremony in the nation, with special presenter, Apple Co-Founder, Steve Wozniak
- First to incorporate the STEM NOVA Award into a Cub Day Camp
- Presented the first Bronze and Silver SUPERNOVA Awards in the nation
- Presented the first STEM Mentor Award to an adult volunteer
- Held a second STEM Court of Honor with special presenter, Federico Faggin, inventor of the first microprocessor
- First in the nation to hold a STEM themed Scout-O-Rama
When Do the Awards go Live?
The new STEM NOVA and SUPERNOVA Awards were announced to the Scouting world at the BSA 2012 National Annual Meeting held the week of May 30th in Kissimmee, Florida. The new BSA National Council STEM Website is live: http://www.scouting.org/stem.aspx
How Can I Stay Informed?
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, please contat Ron Schoenmehl at email@example.com or 408.638.8325 for more details.