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Dr. Luis W. Alvarez Supernova Award for Wolves and Bears

Note: The Nova program is administered at the Council level. Check with your local council about availability before starting on a Nova award.

What Is a Supernova Award?

The Supernova Awards recognize Scouts who delve deeply in to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) activities as part of their Scouting experience.

The Dr. Luis W. Alvarez Supernova Award can be earned by Wolf and Bear Cub Scouts who want to learn more about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

How Do You Get the Dr. Luis W. Alvarez Supernova Award?

To earn this award, Scouts must complete the Code of the Wolf or Make it Move adventure. Then they do some activities to keep track of time or money. They also study probability and learn about careers in STEM fields. They also use the Call of the Wild or Forensics adventures to fulfill some of the requirements for this award.

Although it is not a requirement, it is recommended that you earn at least two Nova awards for Cub Scouts before earning the Dr. Luis W. Alvarez Supernova Award.

Helps for the Requirements

Explore the world of science and technology further with the helps for these requirements below

Dr. Luis W. Alvarez Supernova Award Requirement 1: Adventure and Log

Complete the adventure appropriate for your rank AND complete either option A or option B.

Wolf Cub Scouts: Code of the Wolf
Bear Cub Scouts: Make It Move

Option A:  Do all of the following: (a) Keep track of the money you earn and spend for three weeks. (b) Geometry: Select a simple shape or figure. Observe the world around you for at least a week and keep a record of where you see this shape or figure and how it is used. (c) Visit a bank and have someone explain how interest works. Use the current interest rate and calculate how much interest different sums of money will earn.

Option B:  Do all of the following: (a) Measure how you use your time by keeping a diary or log of what you do for a week. Then make a chart or graph to display how you spend your time. (b) Measure, mix, and prepare at least two recipes. Share your snacks with family, friends, or your den. (c) Study geometry in architecture by exploring your neighborhood or community. Look at different types of buildings-houses, places of worship, businesses, etc.-and create a presentation (a set of photographs, a collage of pictures from newspapers and magazines, a model) that you can share with your den or pack to show what you have seen and learned about shapes in architecture.

Requirement 1 Helps and Answers

Code of the Wolf Adventure

Code of the Wolf

Wolf Cub Scouts learn about numbers, measuring, shapes, and math for the Code of the Wolf adventure. They also get to try sending a message using code.

Bear make it move Cub Scout Helps and Ideas

Make It Move

Note: BSA is retiring this adventure on May 31, 2022.

Bear Cub Scouts learn about forces and movement while working on the Make It Move adventure. The investigate how simple machines like pulleys and levers work.

Recipes for Cub Scouts in the Kitchen

Easy Recipes for Cub Scouts

Cub Scouts love to cook. Helping to prepare a healthy and fun snack or meal promotes independence. And it might also encourage a Cub Scout to try something new.

So you can find and idea for an easy recipe for Cub Scouts here.

Dr. Luis W. Alvarez Supernova Award Requirement 2: Adventure and Experience

Complete the adventure appropriate for your rank or complete option A or B.

Wolf Cub Scouts: Call of the Wild
Bear Cub Scouts: Forensics

Option A:  Do all of the following: (a) Go shopping with an adult and use a calculator to add up how much the items you buy will cost. See whether your total equals the total at check out. (b) Explain the meaning of these statistical words and tools: data, averaging, tally marks, bar graph, line graph, pie chart, and percentage. (c) Study a newspaper or online news source, with your parent’s or guardian’s permission, to find as many examples as you can of statistical information.

Option B:  Do both of the following: (a) Explain to your den or your Mentor how a meteorologist or insurance company (or someone else) might use the mathematics of probability to predict what might happen in the future (i.e., the chance that it might rain, or the chance that someone might be in a car accident).(b) Predict the probability of a plastic bottle landing on its bottom, top, and side. Then flip it 100 times and keep track of which way it lands. Identify any possible sources of experimental error. Discuss the differences if the bottle is empty or full.

Requirement 2 Helps and Answers

Call of the Wild Wolf Cub Scout Adventure

Call of the Wild

For the Call of the Wild adventure, Wolf Cub Scouts go camping, learn some Scout skills, think about being prepared for outdoor adventure, and learn about Leave No Trace.

Bear Forensics Adventure


For the Bear Forensics adventure, Cub Scouts learn about law enforcement methods which are used to solve crimes. Bears will learn how to fingerprint. They also explore chromatography, analysis, and other crime-solving techniques.

Dr. Luis W. Alvarez Supernova Award Requirement 3: Learn about Dr. Alvarez

Find interesting facts about Dr. Luis W. Alvarez using resources in your school or local library or on the Internet (with your parent’s or guardian’s permission and guidance). Then discuss what you learn with your mentor, including answers to the following questions: What very important award did Dr. Alvarez earn? What was his famous theory about dinosaurs?

Requirement 3 Helps and Answers

What very important award did Dr. Alvarez earn?

Dr. Alvarez was an American physicist, inventor, and professor who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1968 for development of the hydrogen bubble chamber enabling discovery of resonance states in particle physics.

Read more.

What was Dr. Alvarez’s famous theory about dinosaurs?

The Alvarez hypothesis says that the mass extinction of dinosaurs and many other living things during the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event was caused by the impact of a large asteroid on the Earth.

Read more

Dr. Luis W. Alvarez Supernova Award Requirement 4: Learn about Other Scientists

Find out about three other famous scientists, technology innovators, engineers, or mathematicians approved by your mentor. Discuss what you learned with your mentor.

Requirement 4 Helps and Answers

Some Scientists to Learn About

  • Archimedes
  • Leonardo da Vinci
  • Copernicus
  • Galileo
  • Isaac Newton
  • George Washington Carver

Dr. Luis W. Alvarez Supernova Award Requirement 5: Why Are Math and Science Important?

Speak with your teacher(s) at school (or your parents if you are home-schooled) OR one of your Cub Scout leaders about your interest in earning the Cub Scout Supernova award. Ask them why they think math and science are important in your education. Discuss what you learn with your mentor.

Requirement 5 Helps and Answers

Dr. Luis W. Alvarez Supernova Award Requirement 6: Science Project

Participate in a science project or experiment in your classroom or school OR do a special science project approved by your teacher. Discuss this activity with your mentor.

Requirement 6 Helps and Answers

Science Projects and Experiments

  • Storm In A Glass: Model A Rainstorm In A Glass
  • Snow Globe: Craft a Decoration using Viscosity
  • Jello Lenses: Glasses Formed of Jello
  • Dancing Hearts
  • Fizzy Fruit
  • Paper Hovercrafts
  • Balloon Pop!
  • and more….

See more information

Dr. Luis W. Alvarez Supernova Award Requirement 7: STEM Careers

Do ONE of the following:

  1. Visit with someone who works in a STEM-related career. Discuss what you learned with your mentor.
  2. Learn about a career that depends on knowledge about science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. Discuss what you learned with your mentor.

Requirement 7 Helps and Answers

Some STEM Careers

  • Software Developer
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Marine Biologist
  • Nurse
  • Veterinarian
  • Robotics Engineer
  • Statistician
  • Physical Therapist

Dr. Luis W. Alvarez Supernova Award Requirement 8: The Scientific Method

Learn about the scientific method (or scientific process). Discuss this with your mentor, and include a simple demonstration to show what you learned.

Requirement 8 Helps and Answers

A Simple Explanation of the Scientific Method

If you don’t have a background in science, helping your Cub Scout out with this might seem a little intimidating. But the scientific method is really very basic and only involves a few simple concepts. Read more.

Dr. Luis W. Alvarez Supernova Award Requirement 9: STEM Activity

Participate in a Nova- or other STEM-related activity in your Cub Scout den or pack meeting that is conducted by a Boy Scout or Venturer who is working on his or her Supernova award. If this is not possible, participate in another Nova- or STEM-related activity in your den or pack meeting.

Requirement 9 Helps and Answers

Find Scouts BSA or Venturers Near You

You can use the Be A Scout website to locate troops and crews near you to help with this requirement.

Dr. Luis W. Alvarez Supernova Award Requirement 10: Application

 Submit an application for the Cub Scout Supernova award to the district STEM or advancement committee for approval.

Requirement 10 Helps and Answers


2 responses to “Dr. Luis W. Alvarez Supernova Award for Wolves and Bears”

  1. Crystal Palencer Avatar
    Crystal Palencer

    links for the workbook are broken

    1. Scouter Mom Avatar
      Scouter Mom

      It is working for me. Perhaps it was a temporary problem.

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