NOVA patch

Whoosh! – STEM Award for Boy Scouts (Engineering)

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 engineering Nova award for Boy Scouts is called Whoosh!:

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

It provides an age appropriate program to get Boy Scouts interested in engineering. It explores machines in motion. Scouts experience hands on learning by visiting an amusement park or playground.

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 (Whoosh!)

Whoosh Nova Award

  1. 1. Choose A or B or C and complete ALL the requirements.
    1. Watch about three hours total of engineering-related shows or documentaries that involve motion or motion-inspired 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. B. Read (about three hours total) about motion or motion-inspired 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. C. 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. Choose ONE merit badge from the following list. (Choose one you have not already used for another Nova award.) After completion, discuss with your counselor how the merit badge you earned uses engineering
    1. Archery
    2. Aviation
    3. Composite Materials
    4. Drafting
    5. Electronics
    6. Engineering
    7. Inventing
    8. Model Design and Building
    9. Railroading
    10. Rifle Shooting
    11. Robotics
    12. Shotgun Shooting
  3. Do ALL of the following:
    1. Make a list or drawing of the six simple machines.
    2. Be able to tell your counselor the name of each machine and how each machine works.
    3. Discuss the following with your counselor:
      1. The simple machines that were involved with the motion in your chosen merit badge (Hint: Look at the moving parts of an engine to find simple machines.)
      2. The energy source causing the motion for the subject of your merit badge
      3. What you learned about motion from earning your merit badge
  4. Choose A or B and complete ALL the requirements.
    1. Visit an amusement park. Then discuss the following with your counselor:
      1. The simple machines present in at least two of the rides
      2. The forces involved in the motion of any two rides
    2. Visit a playground. Then discuss the following with your counselor:
      1. The simple machines present in the playground equipment
      2. The forces involved in the motion of any two playground fixtures
  5. Do the following:
    1. On your own, design one of the following and include a drawing or sketch: an amusement park ride OR a playground fixture OR a method of transportation.
    2. Discuss with your counselor:
      1. The simple machines present in your design
      2. The energy source powering the motion of your creation
  6. Discuss with your counselor how engineering affects your everyday life.
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