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Learn about the world around you
STEM Scouts isn’t the only place to enjoy STEM! In fact, many of the activities and awards offered in Cub Scouting, Scouts BSA, and Venturing focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) topics.
There are some special STEM awards you can earn in Cub Scouting, Scouts BSA, and Venturing called Nova Awards. These have two levels: the Nova and the Supernova.
The Nova level award is meant to be an age-appropriate introduction in detail to STEM topics; you can earn these by working with your parent’s or leader’s supervision.
The Supernova level award requires that you work with a registered Supernova Mentor who has specialized, professional knowledge in certain STEM areas.
Of course, you don’t have to pursue a Nova Award to explore STEM-related topics. Many of the Adventure Loops you’ll earn in Cub Scouts (elementary school) include basic STEM concepts. The Scouts BSA (middle and high school) merit badge program offers dozens of topics ranging from Astronomy to Environmental Science to Space Exploration and more.
Our STEM in Scouting Committee maintains a separate website with additional information about Nova Awards and STEM-specific activities; visit it at www.bsastemnova.org.
Our council offers some annual events with a STEM-focused program:
TechLab Day Camp (for Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, and STEM Scouts)
Our premiere STEAM (the “A” stands for Art) camp provides engaging, exciting, and hands-on activities during the summer in Austin Independent School District’s state-of-the-art Applied Technology Center at Anderson High School. Camp attendees will use tools like DSLR cameras, laser cutter/engravers, 3D printers, robotics kits, hydrology display boards, Adobe Creative Suite and Labview software to explore, design and create. In the winter, there’s version of TechLab offered at Camp Tom Wooten inside our Lost Pines Scout Reservation. You can learn about both camps on TechLab’s website: www.techlab.camp.
STEMboree (for all Scouts and Scouting families)
This is a one day event with several short learning opportunities where Cub Scouts or Scouts BSA Scouts can earn one or more Nova Awards that same day! There’s also a midway of activities and displays just for fun and for all ages. You can learn more information by visiting our STEMboree page, located at this link.
STEM Adventure Weekend (for Scouts BSA)
This weekend STEM event is designed to get Scouts BSA youth started on earning the prestigious NOVA Award and start learning STEM skills, such as Robotics, Welding, Engineering, Automotive Maintenance, and more. You can learn more by visiting this page.
Hornaday Award Weekend (for Scouts BSA)
The Hornaday Award Weekend provides Scouts BSA youth a path toward earning Scouting’s highest conservation award, offering all 21 Hornaday-qualifying merit badges, Leave No Trace classes, and conservation project opportunities. You can learn more information by visiting our Hornaday Weekend page, located at this link.
“Up and Away” Nova Award classes at iFLY (for all Scouts)
Our council’s STEM NOVA committee has teamed up with iFLY to offer a fun way for your Scouts to work on the BSA’s “Up and Away” Nova Award. There is a version for members of Cub Scout Packs, STEM Scouts Labs, and Scouts BSA Troops. To learn more, visit this page.
Hour of Code (for all Scouts)
Learn the basics of coding in just a few hours and start building your own mobile app! The Hour of Code program combines the awesome computer lab facilities at the Austin Community College Highland Campus with professional mentors from leading tech companies in our area. To learn more, visit this page.
Build Your App Day (for all Scouts)
A free workday where Scouts entering the Innovation Design Challenge can get help from technology industry mentors in designing and building their mobile applications. To learn more, visit this page.
Innovation Design Challenge (for all Scouts)
Scouts participating in the Innovation Design Challenge are asked to design an app that helps solve a local or worldwide sustainability problem. Top designs are chosen to participate in the challenge’s pitch event and present to top technology leaders from the Austin area. You could win between $500-$3000 for your Scout unit! To learn more, visit this page.
Merit Badge classes at The Microsoft Store (for Scouts BSA)
The Microsoft Store at The Domain shopping center in North Austin offers periodic one-day classes for Scouts to earn the Moviemaking, Game Design, or Robotics Merit Badges. To learn more, visit this page.