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STEM Nova Counselor Training

STEM is part of an initiative the Boy Scouts of America has taken on to encourage the natural curiosity of Scouts and their sense of wonder about these fields through existing programs, from archery to welding. To support this initiative, the BSA developed the Nova Awards program so that Scouts have fun and receive recognition for their efforts. By working with an adult counselor or mentor, the various modules allow Scouts to explore the basic principles of STEM and discover how fun and fascinating STEM can be.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to be a Nova counselor! You can be a counselor if you are:

● At least 21 years of age
● Of good character
● Able and willing to work with Scout-age youth
● Comfortable with high school math and science
● Willing to research STEM topics if you are not familiar or comfortable enough. And willing to partner with a subject-matter expert if required.
● A registered BSA adult (complete the BSA adult membership form; there is no fee if you’re going to be a Nova counselor)
● Current in Youth Protection Training

If you can visit an amusement park or playground and discuss the simple machines that make the rides work, you can help a Boy Scout earn the “Whoosh!” engineering Nova Award.

If you can help a Cub Scout weigh himself and calculate how much he would weigh on the moon, you have helped him earn the “1-2-3 Go!” math Nova award.

If you are a shooting sports director, robotics merit badge counselor, or baseball coach, you can extend those activities through the “Shoot!” Nova Award for Boy Scouts.

If you are comfortable with high school-level science and math, you can be a counselor. If you have baked a cake, done construction, run a race, or filled out a tax form, you have what it takes.

By becoming a Nova counselor, you’ll introduce Scouts to the basic principles of STEM and help them discover how fun and fascinating science, technology, engineering and math can be. You’ll help guide them as they earn the Nova awards as Cub Scouts, Webelos, Scouts, Sea Scouts or Venturers.

When and where can I take the course?

Training is offered in a classroom format at our council’s University of Scouting training event in January at the ACC Eastview campus, Building 8000, 3401 Webberville Road, Austin, TX, 78702. It may also be offered additional times as a standalone class.


There is a $10 fee to take the course as part of our council’s University of Scouting training event in January (this fee also allows you to sit in on any other course during the event).

The next University of Scouting takes place on January 22, 2022. Dates for the next available standalone course have not yet been announced.


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