The Splash! Scouts BSA Nova award sits in the Science category and is designed to help Scouts delve into the role water plays in our lives. This module integrates viewing, reading, and hands-on activities. The requirements range from watching documentaries to visiting water treatment plants. The Scout gets a choice in the type of activities they want to engage in, making it versatile and accommodating to different learning styles.
Earning the Splash! Nova award is beneficial in the short term because it hones essential skills. Scouts learn to research, think critically, and engage in meaningful discussions with their counselors. These are soft skills that can be valuable in school and work projects, where problem-solving and effective communication are often needed.
From a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) perspective, this award introduces scouts to hydrology, environmental science, and even some elements of civil engineering. The hands-on activities and merit badges involved promote an understanding of scientific principles, from the chemistry of water to sustainability issues. This can be a stepping stone to deeper interests in science or engineering fields.
In the long term, the award’s focus on water conservation and its impact on the environment can instill a sense of responsibility and awareness. Knowing how water is sourced, treated, and used can lead to more informed choices in adulthood. This knowledge is not only crucial for individual household management but also feeds into the broader understanding of societal and global issues surrounding water.
Overall, the Splash! award serves as a comprehensive program for Scouts to grasp the importance of water in various aspects of life. It’s an award that combines education and skill-building, with implications that last well into the future.
This award can be earned by young men and women who are members of Scouts BSA.
Answers and Helps
Splash! Scouts BSA Nova Award Requirements
Where Can I Find the Answers for the Splash! Scouts BSA Nova Award?
Find specific helps for the Splash! Scouts BSA Nova Award requirements listed on this page. Some of these resources will just give example answers. Others will provide background information to help you understand the questions.
Splash! Scouts BSA Nova Award Requirement 1: Watch or Read
Choose A or B or C and complete ALL the requirements.
A. Watch not less than three hours total of science-related shows or documentaries that discuss water as it relates to the hydrologic cycle, primary sources, primary users (including wildlife), health, sources of pollution, waste treatment, and related sciences and technologies. Then do the following:
(1) Make a list of at least five questions or ideas from the show(s) you watched.
(2) Discuss two of the questions or ideas with your counselor.
B. Read (not less than three hours total) about water as it relates to the hydrologic cycle, primary sources, primary users, health, sources of pollution, waste treatment, and related sciences and technologies. Then do the following:
(1) Make a list of at least five questions or ideas from each article.
(2) Discuss two of the questions or ideas with your counselor.
C. Do a combination of reading and watching (not less than three hours total). Then do the following:
(1) Make a list of at least five questions or ideas from each article or show.
(2) Discuss two of the questions or ideas with your counselor.
Splash! Scouts BSA Nova Award Requirement 1 Helps and Answers
Tips for Requirement 1
For Requirement 1A:
- Choose Documentaries Wisely: Look for documentaries that cover a variety of topics related to water, such as the hydrologic cycle, pollution, and water treatment. This will help you generate diverse questions or ideas.
- Take Notes: While watching, jot down interesting facts or concepts. This will help you easily generate the list of questions or ideas required.
- Preview and Review: Quickly skim through the content summary or outline before watching. After watching, review your notes to crystallize your understanding.
For Requirement 1B:
- Diverse Sources: Select books and articles that cover different aspects of water science. This will enrich your knowledge and facilitate better discussions with your counselor.
- Highlight Key Points: Use a highlighter or make annotations as you read. This helps in focusing on significant information and creating a list of questions or ideas later.
- Summarize: After reading each article, take a minute to summarize its main points in your own words. This will help you internalize the material and identify questions or ideas for discussion.
For Requirement 1C:
- Mix and Match: Choose documentaries and articles that complement each other. For instance, if the documentary focuses on water pollution, find an article about water treatment methods.
- Time Management: Plan your three hours effectively. For instance, you could watch a 90-minute documentary and spend the remaining time reading.
- Combine Notes: Since you’re using both watching and reading to gather information, make sure to combine your notes coherently. This will help you in discussing points effectively with your counselor.
In all cases, prepare for the discussion with your counselor by selecting two questions or ideas that you find the most interesting or puzzling. Being prepared will make the discussion more engaging and insightful.
- Bill Nye – The Science Guy Water Cycle
- California Water Story
- Human Water Cycle: Agriculture
- Human Water Cycle: Drinking Water
- Human Water Cycle: Wastewater
- Science Mom’s Guide to Water, Part 1 – Cohesion
- Science Mom’s Guide to Water, Part 2 – Surface Tension
- The Science of Snowflakes
- Water & Solutions – for Dirty Laundry
- Water and You: The Water Treatment Process
- Water Cycle | How the Hydrologic Cycle Works
- What is Surface Tension?
- Why does ice float in water?
Splash! Scouts BSA Nova Award Requirement 2: Merit Badge
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 pertains to water, e.g., wastewater treatment and pollution, and the science you used.
- Environmental Science
- Fish and Wildlife Management
- Public Health
- Soil and Water Conservation
Splash! Scouts BSA Nova Award Requirement 2 Helps and Answers
The Chemistry merit badge and the Splash! Nova Award both focus on understanding chemical interactions and their environmental effects. While the badge covers a broad range of topics like safety and chemical reactions, the Splash Award zeroes in on water-related issues. For example, learning why oil and water don’t mix in the Chemistry badge can inform your understanding of water pollution in the Splash Award. Both awards encourage critical thinking about substance interaction and environmental impact, making the Chemistry merit badge a good foundational stepping stone for tackling the more specialized Splash Award.
The Energy merit badge and the Splash Nova Award intersect in their focus on environmental impact and resource conservation. The Energy badge emphasizes understanding different forms of energy, their conversions, and efficiency. It even touches on pollution reduction and sustainable energy sources. On the other hand, Splash is keen on water conservation, the hydrologic cycle, and pollution. Understanding energy forms and conversions could help in grasping how energy production impacts water sources and quality. For example, how fossil fuel plants or nuclear energy can affect water ecosystems. Thus, the Energy merit badge could provide a solid foundation for the more specialized Splash Nova Award.
The Engineering merit badge and the Splash! Scouts BSA Nova Award intersect in the emphasis on understanding systems and their impact on the environment. The Engineering badge focuses on various engineering fields, problem-solving, and system design, including energy conversion. The Splash! award concentrates on water resources, conservation, and pollution. Knowledge gained from engineering principles, especially regarding systems and energy, can be directly applied to water conservation projects or waste treatment systems. Essentially, the engineering skills provide a toolkit for problem-solving and optimization that complements the environmental focus of the Splash! award.
The Environmental Science Merit Badge and the Splash! Scouts BSA Nova Award both focus on conservation and responsible resource management, albeit through different lenses. The merit badge takes a broad view, covering topics like pollution, ecosystems, and public health. In contrast, Splash! zooms in on water conservation, quality, and usage. Skills and knowledge from the Environmental Science badge can be directly applied to the water-focused projects or activities in the Splash! award, creating a well-rounded understanding of how water issues fit into larger environmental contexts. Both programs encourage Scouts to be mindful of their environmental impact.
The Fish and Wildlife Management Merit Badge and the Splash! Nova Award intersect in their focus on environmental stewardship. While the merit badge delves into topics like population dynamics and habitat conservation, Splash! hones in on water quality and conservation. The understanding of aquatic habitats gained from the merit badge can deepen the insights into water conservation for the Nova Award. Activities like identifying fish species or studying water ecosystems can be complementary. Essentially, the merit badge provides a broader ecological framework that enhances the more specialized focus of the Splash! Nova Award on water-related issues.
The Fishing Merit Badge and the Splash! Nova Award both emphasize the importance of water ecosystems but from different angles. While the Fishing Merit Badge teaches skills like baiting, casting, and ethical catch-and-release, Splash! focuses on water conservation and quality. Both can be mutually enriching. For example, understanding water chemistry and conservation from the Splash! award could lead to more responsible fishing practices. Likewise, hands-on fishing experience can provide a tangible connection to the water environments discussed in Splash! The two awards together offer a more comprehensive understanding of aquatic ecosystems.
The Fly Fishing Merit Badge and the Splash! Nova Award intersect in their focus on aquatic environments. Fly Fishing dives into specialized fishing techniques, requiring an understanding of fish habitats and water conditions. The Splash! Award, meanwhile, explores water in science, conservation, and recreation. Knowledge from Splash! about water quality could inform better fly fishing practices, like choosing sustainable locations. On the flip side, the practical experience of observing water conditions for fly fishing can reinforce the scientific and conservation concepts in Splash!. Together, they provide a rounded perspective on the importance of water in both recreation and ecosystem health.
The Forestry Merit Badge and the Splash! Nova Award both touch on environmental stewardship, albeit from different angles. Forestry focuses on sustainable management of forests, including understanding the role of water in ecosystem health. The Splash! Nova Award is centered on the science and conservation of water. Knowledge gained from Splash! about water properties and pollution can be applied to the sustainable management practices covered in Forestry. Conversely, understanding how forests act as watersheds can deepen the understanding of water conservation in Splash!. The two awards together offer a comprehensive look at how water and forests are interconnected.
The Geology Merit Badge and the Splash! Nova Award intersect in the area of Earth’s natural resources, specifically water. While Geology primarily deals with rocks, minerals, and landforms, it also covers the role of geological formations in water systems. Splash!, on the other hand, focuses on water science, including its conservation and responsible use. Knowledge gained in the Geology badge about aquifers, sedimentation, and erosion can inform a scout’s understanding of water cycle dynamics covered in Splash!. Essentially, the Geology badge can provide the geological context for the water-focused studies in the Splash! award.
The Nature Merit Badge and the Splash! Nova Award both aim to foster an understanding of natural systems, albeit through different lenses. While the Nature badge concentrates on identifying and observing various forms of wildlife and plants, Splash! delves into water science. Both can be complementary in exploring ecosystems that are water-centric, like wetlands or rivers. The skills and knowledge acquired through the Nature badge, such as ecosystem identification and wildlife habits, can offer a broader ecological context to the water studies emphasized in Splash! Thus, scouts could leverage what they learn in Nature to better grasp the concepts in Splash!
The Public Health Merit Badge and the Splash! Nova Award intersect when it comes to water quality and safety. The Public Health badge covers topics like disease prevention and community health, which can include waterborne illnesses. Splash!, on the other hand, focuses on water in terms of science, properties, and environmental impact. Understanding how to keep water sources clean and safe, as learned in the Public Health badge, complements the Splash! award’s emphasis on water’s importance in daily life. The overlap could provide a more comprehensive view of how water quality impacts both natural ecosystems and public health.
The Soil and Water Conservation Merit Badge and the Splash! Nova Award both focus on the importance of water, but from different angles. The merit badge teaches Scouts about soil erosion, water conservation, and land management, which are key for maintaining water quality. The Splash! award zeroes in on the science and properties of water itself. By earning both, Scouts gain a rounded understanding of how water impacts ecosystems and human activity. The merit badge offers practical knowledge on conservation, while Splash! provides the scientific context, making them complementary.
The Sustainability Merit Badge and the Splash! Nova Award both aim to educate Scouts about environmental responsibility but focus on different aspects. The Sustainability badge covers broader topics like energy, food, and waste management, emphasizing long-term ecological balance. On the other hand, the Splash! award narrows in on water, its properties, and its importance to life. Earning both allows Scouts to see how water conservation fits into the larger picture of sustainability. They’ll learn not just why water is essential, but also how it interacts with other elements of a sustainable lifestyle.
The Weather Merit Badge and the Splash! Nova Award both explore natural phenomena but from different angles. The Weather badge focuses on understanding meteorological conditions, their causes, and effects. The Splash! award zeroes in on water, its properties, and its role in supporting life. Earning both badges gives Scouts a more rounded understanding of the environment. For instance, learning how weather patterns influence water systems would deepen their appreciation for water conservation, a key component of the Splash! award. It shows how the two subjects are interconnected in the natural world.
Splash! Scouts BSA Nova Award Requirement 3: Investigation
Choose two requirements from A or B or C or D and complete ALL the requirements for the two you selected.
A. Examine models of the structures of liquid water and ice. (You can use either a physical model or a computer model.) Note the similarities and differences between them. Discuss with your counselor how the structures of water and ice affect their properties and their ability to dissolve compounds and carry impurities.
B. Prepare two demonstrations or activities involving surface tension or hydrophobicity and present them to a Cub Scout den or other youth group. Explain the science involved and discuss your presentation with your counselor.
C. Use the internet (with your parent’s or guardian’s permission) to determine the annual water use for your state in gallons and acre-feet.
(1) What are the main sources (provide percentages)?
(2) Who are the main users (provide percentages)?
(3) What are the trends in total and per capita water use over time?
(4) Discuss what you learned with your counselor
D. Household water use.
Create a list all of the ways that water is used around your home in a 24-hour period, including the bathroom, kitchen, and any appliances. Don’t forget outdoor water uses such as pools, hot tubs, sprinkler systems, landscape and gardens, pets and/or livestock, and cleaning efforts such as washing cars, boats, pets, etc.
- (1) Estimate how much water is used for each function over a specific time period. Add your estimates to come up with an estimate of total water usage by your family for one month or one year.
- (2) Compare your estimate with the actual total found on your home water bill, and account for any large differences. (Hint: ask your parent or guardian to help you locate that information on the monthly water bill or well meter.) Note: If you live in a multi-family housing unit and do not have an individual water bill, you may be able to obtain the information from your unit’s
management. If not, measure your water usage for at least two tasks (for example, by leaving the drain closed when you take a shower, then measuring the amount of water that collected in the tub during your shower) and use that data to revise your estimates.
- (3) How does your local usage compare to the average use per capita in your state? The United States Geological Survey (usgs.org) is a good source for data on average water usage.
- (4) Identify several ways to reduce your water consumption and practice them for one month. Estimate how much clean water you have saved.
- (5) Discuss your work and what you learned with your counselor.
Splash! Scouts BSA Nova Award Requirement 3 Helps and Answers
Ideas for Requirement 3a
- Physical Models: Use Styrofoam balls and toothpicks to create molecular models for liquid water and ice. Color-code the atoms (oxygen and hydrogen) for better visualization. Observe the arrangement of molecules in each state.
- Computer Models: Use online molecular modeling software to observe the structures of liquid water and ice. See Explain It with Molecules for one possible resource.
- Density Differences: Discuss with your counselor how the unique structure of ice makes it less dense than liquid water, allowing it to float. This has environmental implications for aquatic life.
- Solubility: Examine how the structured lattice of ice affects its ability to dissolve other compounds compared to the more fluid structure of liquid water.
- Impurity Carrying: Discuss with your counselor how water’s polarity allows it to dissolve and carry various impurities, while ice’s structure somewhat limits this capability.
- Properties: Talk about how the hydrogen bonding in water makes it a good solvent, and how the structure changes in ice to make it less effective at dissolving substances.
These activities and discussions will give you a comprehensive view of how the molecular structures of water and ice influence their properties and behaviors.
Ideas for Requirement 3b
- Soap Boat Race: Cut small pieces of paper into boat shapes. Place them on the surface of a container of water and add a drop of liquid soap at the ‘stern’ of each boat. The soap disrupts the surface tension, propelling the boat forward. Explain to the kids that soap molecules reduce water’s surface tension, allowing the boat to move.
- Pepper Scatter: Fill a plate with water and sprinkle some black pepper on the surface. Touch the center of the water with a soapy finger. The pepper will scatter to the edges. Explain that soap breaks the water’s surface tension, causing the pepper to move away rapidly.
- Water Droplets on a Coin: Challenge the kids to see how many drops of water they can fit on a coin before it spills over. Discuss how the surface tension of water allows it to “pile up” on the coin.
- Floating Paperclip: Demonstrate how a paperclip can float on the surface of water due to surface tension. Gently place the paperclip on the water’s surface using a fork or piece of paper to avoid breaking the surface tension.
- Scotchgard-Coated Sand: Coat some sand grains with Scotchgard and compare their behavior in water to untreated sand. The Scotchgard-coated sand will repel water, illustrating the concept of hydrophobic materials. See Magic Sand – Sand that is Always Dry!
- Naturesorb Water Test: Take two bowls of water, add Naturesorb (dried sphagnum peat moss) to one, and ordinary sand to the other. Observe how the Naturesorb floats due to its hydrophobic nature, while sand sinks. Discuss the hydrophobic properties of Naturesorb and how it repels water.
- Scotchgard vs. Water Drops: Spray a piece of paper with Scotchgard and place drops of water on it. Observe how the water beads up, demonstrating hydrophobicity. Compare this with untreated paper where water soaks in.
- Water Surface Tension Demo: For this demo, fill a mason jar nearly to the brim with water. Attach a piece of screen or tulle fabric to the jar by placing it over the opening and securing it with the lid ring. Hold an index card on top of the tulle and carefully flip the jar upside down. Remove the index card and observe. The water should stay inside the jar, supported by surface tension acting on the mesh. See Mysterious Water Suspension.
You might also find A Gentle Introduction to Water and Its Structure helpful.
After presenting these activities, discuss your observations and the scientific principles involved with your counselor. Talk about how well the youth group was able to grasp the concepts and any questions they had.
Tips for Requirement 3c
- Search Reliable Sources: For accurate data on annual water use, focus on governmental websites like the U.S. Geological Survey or state water boards. Academic papers and trusted news outlets are also good sources.
- Key Terms: Use search terms like “annual water consumption [Your State]”, “water use statistics [Your State]”, or “water sources and users in [Your State]” to find relevant information.
- Use Tools: Some sites offer interactive graphs or charts that break down water use by source and user. These visual aids can help you understand the data better.
- Capture Percentages: Make sure to note percentages for main water sources and users. This will give you a clearer picture of where the bulk of water comes from and where it goes.
- Trends: Look for historical data or reports that show changes in water use over time. This will help you identify trends in both total and per capita water use.
You might find Water Use in the United States helpful.
Discuss your findings with your counselor, focusing on what surprised you and what seems to be the trend in your state.
Tips for Requirement 3d
- Track Usage: Walk around the house and list all points of water use. Don’t forget less obvious uses like ice makers or humidifiers. Note the frequency and duration of each use.
- Estimations: For common activities like showering, you can find average water usage online. Apply this to your frequency and duration to get an estimate. For other tasks, consider measuring water directly for a more accurate estimate.
- Bill Comparison: Obtain a copy of your water bill to compare your estimate against actual usage. A significant difference could indicate a leak or faulty meter.
- State Averages: To compare your usage with the state average, consult the US Geological Survey or a similar trusted source. This can provide a sense of how your household stacks up.
- Water-Saving Techniques: Identify areas where you can reduce water use, like fixing leaks or installing water-saving fixtures. Track your usage after making changes to see the impact. Discuss your findings and any water-saving actions you’ve taken with your counselor.
Splash! Scouts BSA Nova Award Requirement 4: Site Visit
Visit a place where water is being processed either by humans or by nature (wastewater treatment plant, naturalist center, conservation department, etc.), take a tour, and speak with a professional about the processing of the water. Discuss with your counselor the STEM being used.
Splash! Scouts BSA Nova Award Requirement 4 Helps and Answers
Tips for a Site Visit
- Site Selection: Choose a site that aligns with your interests. Wastewater treatment plants focus on water purification, while a naturalist center might look at water ecosystems. Make sure to schedule a visit and confirm they allow tours. Here are some ideas:
- Wastewater Treatment Plant: Learn how sewage and waste water are treated for reuse or safe discharge.
- Water Filtration Plant: Understand the steps involved in purifying water to make it drinkable.
- Naturalist Center: Offers insights into natural water ecosystems and their preservation.
- Dam or Hydroelectric Plant: Observe how water is used for energy generation and flood control.
- Marine Research Facility: Learn about water quality and its impact on marine life.
- Wetlands Reserve: Understand the natural filtration and habitat functions of wetlands.
- Aquarium: Offers educational programs on water chemistry and marine ecosystems.
- Farm with Irrigation Systems: Understand agricultural water use and possibly irrigation technology.
- Desalination Plant: See how saltwater is converted into freshwater.
- Preparation: Before the visit, read up on the basics of water processing so you can ask informed questions. Take note of any STEM technologies you come across in your research to discuss later.
- Tour: Pay close attention during the tour. Look out for any interesting technologies or processes and ask questions about them. Take some notes or pictures if allowed, as this will help in your discussion later.
- Professional Interaction: Prepare some questions to ask the expert about the STEM aspects of their work. This could include the technology used, data analysis methods, or any innovative approaches they’ve implemented.
- Post-Visit Discussion: Summarize what you learned during your visit and discuss the STEM elements involved with your counselor. This could include the types of engineers involved, the technologies used, and how data is utilized for decision-making.
Splash! Scouts BSA Nova Award Requirement 5: Discussion
Discuss with your counselor what you have learned about how water affects your everyday life.
Splash! Scouts BSA Nova Award Requirement 5 Helps and Answers
Some Ways Water Affects Everyday Life
- Drinking: Essential for survival, water is a key component of our daily fluid intake.
- Sanitation: Water is vital for cleaning, both personal hygiene like bathing and in our homes.
- Food Production: Agriculture relies heavily on water for irrigation of crops.
- Cooking: Many recipes require water for boiling, steaming, or as an ingredient.
- Energy: Hydroelectric power stations need water to generate electricity.
- Transportation: Waterways are used for shipping goods and transportation.
- Recreation: Swimming, fishing, and boating activities rely on access to bodies of water.
- Climate: Water in the atmosphere affects weather patterns, which in turn can impact daily activities.
- Industrial Use: Factories use water for cooling, cleaning, and even as part of manufacturing processes.
- Ecosystems: Water bodies are habitats for various plant and animal species, impacting local biodiversity.
In summary, water is not just a basic need but is deeply integrated into almost every facet of daily life.
Related Resources for the Splash! Scouts BSA Nova Award
The BSA Nova Awards program is designed to encourage Scouts to delve into STEM subjects: science, technology, engineering, and math. The program features various modules that focus on a specific field within STEM, each one offering a blend of knowledge-based requirements and hands-on activities. Scouts who complete a module earn a Nova Award patch and can then earn additional “Pi” pins for each extra module completed.
The Splash! Nova Award is one such module and it focuses specifically on water science. It’s aimed at encouraging Scouts to explore various aspects of water, from its physical properties to its importance in daily life and the environment. Activities often include experiments, field trips, and other practical tasks that offer Scouts an interactive learning experience. Like other Nova Awards, completing Splash! involves satisfying a set of defined requirements, often with room for individualized projects or investigations.