NOVA patch

Start Your Engines – STEM Award for Boy Scouts (Technology)

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Today’s students will need to become proficient in these areas in order to excel in our changing world. The NOVA award program is part of the BSA’s STEM Initiative. It encourages youth to engage in STEM activities and provides a way for them to be recognized for their efforts.

There is an award for each discipline at each level of Scouting.

The technology Nova award for Boy Scouts is called Start Your Engines:

This module is designed to help you explore how technology affects your life each day.

It provides an age appropriate program to get Boy Scouts interested in technology.

The requirements are listed below to give you an idea what is involved, but I encourage you to pick up the Nova award booklet at your local Scout shop. It will have additional ideas and comments. While you are there, ask about what other STEM resources are available in your council.

STEM Award for Boy Scouts (Technology)

Start Your Engines Nova Award

  1. Choose A or B or C and complete ALL the requirements.
    1. Watch about three hours total of technology-related shows or documentaries that involves transportation or transportation technology. Then do the following:
      1. Make a list of at least two questions or ideas from each show.
      2. Discuss two of the questions or ideas with your counselor.
    2. Read (about three hours total) about transportation or transportation technology. Then do the following:
      1. Make a list of at least two questions or ideas from each article.
      2. Discuss two of the questions or ideas with your counselor.
    3. Do a combination of reading and watching (about three hours total). Then do the following:
      1. Make a list of at least two questions or ideas from each article or show.
      2. Discuss two of the questions or ideas with your counselor
  2. Complete ONE merit badge from the following list. (Choose one that you have not already used toward another Nova award.) After completion, discuss with your counselor how the merit badge you earned uses technology.
  3. Do ALL of the following.
    1. Using the requirements from the above list of merit badges:
      1.  Tell your counselor the energy source(s) used in these merit badges.
      2.  Discuss the pros and cons of each energy source with your counselor.
    2. Make a list of sources of energy that may be possible to use in transportation.
    3. With your counselor:
      1. Discuss alternative sources of energy.
      2. Discuss the pros and cons of using alternative energy sources.
  4. Design and build a working model vehicle (not from a kit).
    1. Make drawings and specifications of your model vehicle before you begin to build.
    2. Include one of the following energy sources to power your vehicle (do not use gasoline or other combustible fuel source): solar power, wind power, or battery power.
    3. Test your model. Then answer the following questions:
      1. How well did it perform?
      2. Did it move as well as you thought it would?
      3. Did you encounter problems? How can these problems be corrected?
    4.  Discuss with your counselor:
      1.  Any difficulties you encountered in designing and building your model
      2.  Why you chose a particular energy source
      3.  Whether your model met your specifications
      4.  How you would modify your design to make it better
  5. Discuss with your counselor how technology affects your everyday life.
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