Note: The Nova program is administered at the Council level. Check with your local council about availability before starting on a Nova award.
The Out of This World Cub Scout Nova Award for Space Exploration Science offers young scouts an intriguing gateway into the vast realm of space and the mysteries it holds. Rooted in the principles of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), this award is tailored to provide Cub Scouts with hands-on experiences that delve into astronomy, planetary science, and space exploration.
The primary objective of this award is to foster a natural curiosity in scouts about the universe beyond our planet. By engaging in activities and experiments related to space, scouts are encouraged to ask questions, seek answers, and broaden their understanding of the cosmos. From understanding the phases of the moon to getting acquainted with constellations and the mechanics of rovers designed for planetary exploration, the award covers a comprehensive range of topics.
Moreover, the Out of This World Nova Award emphasizes the importance of real-world application. Scouts are not just learning about space in theory; they actively participate in activities such as star parties, model-building, and even asteroid mapping. These practical components ensure that scouts don’t just memorize facts, but internalize and appreciate the concepts they learn.
Beyond the science of space, the award also touches on the human aspects of space exploration. It sheds light on potential careers in the field, enabling scouts to envision a future where they could be a part of pioneering space missions. This aspect ensures that the award not only educates but inspires.
The Out of This World Cub Scout Nova Award is more than just a badge to achieve; it’s a journey into space science. By the end of their exploration, Cub Scouts come away with not just knowledge, but also a sense of wonder about the universe and their place in it.
Answers and Helps
Where Can I Find the Answers for the Out of This World Cub Scout Nova Award?
Find specific helps for the Out of This World Cub Scout 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.
Out of This World Cub Scout Nova Award Requirement 1: Watch or Read
Choose A or B or C and complete ALL the requirements.
A. Watch an episode or episodes (about one hour total) of a show about the planets, space, space exploration, NASA, or astronomy. Then do the following:
Make a list of at least two questions or ideas from what you watched.
Discuss two of the questions or ideas with your counselor.
B. Read (about one hour total) about the planets, space, space exploration, NASA, or astronomy. Then do the following:
Make a list of at least two questions or ideas from what you read.
Discuss two of the questions or ideas with your counselor.
C. Do a combination of reading and watching (about one hour total) about the planets, space, space exploration, NASA, or astronomy. Then do the following:
Make a list of at least two questions or ideas from what you read and watched.
Discuss two of the questions or ideas with your counselor.
Out of This World Cub Scout Nova Award Requirement 1 Helps and Answers
Out of This World Cub Scout Nova Award Requirement 2: Adventure or Activity
Complete ONE adventure from the following list for your current rank or complete option A or B. (Choose an Adventure you have not already earned.) Discuss with your counselor what kind of science, technology, engineering, and math was used in the adventure or option.
Out of This World Cub Scout Nova Award Requirement 2 Helps and Answers
The Germs Alive adventure is a choice for Out of this World Requirement 2. It’s an activity where Wolves can learn about germs. It gives them hands-on experiences and teaches them in a fun way. It’s a great way to understand more about how germs work and how to stay healthy.
The Super Science adventure is an option for Out of this World Requirement 2. In this activity, Bears get to learn about science in a fun way. They do experiments and discover cool science stuff. It’s a good way for Scouts to explore and learn about the world of science.
The Engineer adventure is a choice for Out of this World Requirement 2. In this option, Webelos learn about engineering. They try out different projects and see how things are built. It’s a fun way for Scouts to understand how engineering works and make cool things.
The Game Design adventure is another way to do Out of this World Requirement 2 for Webelos. In this activity, Webelos learn how to make games. They think about rules, how to play, and what makes a game fun. It’s a good chance for them to be creative and come up with their own game ideas.
Telescope Focusing, Solar System Diagramming, and Constellation Identification
Focusing a Simple Telescope or Binoculars
- Place the telescope or binoculars on a stable surface.
- Point it at a distant object, like a tree or a building, during the day for easier focusing.
- Use the lowest power eyepiece first.
- Turn the focus knob slowly until the object appears sharp.
- For a telescope, you may also need to adjust the finderscope for alignment.
Drawing a Solar System Diagram
- Draw the Sun in the center.
- Draw circles for the orbits of the planets.
- Label the planets in order: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune.
- Add the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
- You can also add Pluto, but note it’s a dwarf planet.
Drawing and Labeling Constellations
- Choose five constellations like Orion, Big Dipper, Cassiopeia, Cygnus, and Scorpius.
- Use dots for stars and lines to connect them.
- Label each constellation.
- Use a star map to locate them in the sky.
Check with local astronomy clubs for hands-on experience and guidance.
If you’re working on the Out of this World Nova Award Requirement 2A, understanding the solar system is important. This worksheet is a great tool to help. It clearly displays the planets in order, from Mercury to Neptune. You can see how big each planet is compared to the others and where they are located around the Sun. The sheet even shares cool details like the number of moons each planet has and a note about Pluto’s status as a dwarf planet. By using this worksheet, you’ll have a much easier time drawing the solar system and learning more about it. It’s a handy guide for anyone starting this requirement.
If you’re working on the Out of this World Nova Award Requirement 2A, this game can help. It shows kids different constellations and helps them learn their names. The game also has drawings that show why some constellations are named after people or animals. Playing this game will make learning about stars more fun.
If you’re doing the “Out of this World” Nova Award Requirement 2A, this can be fun. Scouts get to use hammers, nails, and flashlights to make them. After making them, Scouts can use their planetariums to look at the night sky and see the constellations they learned about. It’s a good way to learn about the stars.
Paper Airplanes and Balloon Power
- Start with a basic airplane design.
- Test fly it five times, noting its average distance.
- Modify its wings, fold, or nose to see if it flies further.
- Avoid making it too heavy; simplicity often works best.
- After changes, fly it five more times and compare distances.
- Smooth, even folds make for better flights.
Balloon-Powered Sled or Boat
- Ensure the sled or boat base is lightweight, like a thin plastic or foam tray.
- Attach a deflated balloon to it using tape or rubber bands.
- Inflate the balloon but don’t tie it; hold the end to keep the air in.
- Release on a smooth floor (for sled) or water (for boat).
- Test with different sized balloons. Larger balloons might give more power, but it’s also about how the air releases.
- Ensure no leaks in the balloon and that it’s firmly attached.
- Experiment with the angle and position of the balloon for optimal propulsion.
Remember, it’s about experimenting and seeing what changes make the most difference. Keep track of your results to understand what works best.
Out of This World Cub Scout Nova Award Requirement 3: Investigation
Choose TWO from A or B or C or D or E or F and complete ALL the requirements for the options
A. Have a star party with your den, pack, or family. (Make sure you wear proper clothing for the nighttime temperature.)
- Choose a clear night to investigate the stars. A fun time to watch stars is during a meteor shower. You may check http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials with your parent’s or guardian’s permission to find good times to watch meteors.
- Find five different constellations and draw them. With your parent’s or guardian’s permission, you may use a free smartphone application such as Google Sky Map for Android phones or Night Sky for iPhones to help identify stars and constellations.
- Share your drawings with your counselor. Discuss whether you would always be able to see those constellations in the same place.
B. Explain how “revolution,” or “orbit,” compares with “rotation” when talking about planets and the solar system. Show these by walking and spinning around your counselor. Do the following:
- Choose three planets to investigate (you may include the dwarf planet Pluto). Compare these planets to Earth. Find out how long the planet takes to go around the sun (the planet’s year) and how long the planet takes to spin on its axis (the planet’s day). Include at least TWO of these: distance from the sun, diameter, atmosphere, temperature, number of moons.
- Discuss what you have learned with your counselor.
C. Using materials you have on hand (plastic building blocks, food containers, recycled materials, etc.), design a model Mars rover that would be useful to explore the rocky planet’s surface. Share your model with your counselor and explain the following:
- The data the rover would collect
- How the rover would work
- How the rover would transmit data
- Why rovers are needed for space exploration
D. Design on paper an inhabited base located on Mars or the moon. Consider the following: the energy source, how the base will be constructed, the life-support system, food, entertainment, the purpose and function, and other things you think would be important. Then do the following:
- Draw or build a model of your base using recycled materials.
- Discuss with your counselor what people would need to survive on Mars or the moon.
E. Become an asteroid mapper. Obtain your parent’s or guardian’s permission and map an asteroid as part of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology’s Dawn project: http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov/DawnCommunity/asteroid_mappers.asp . Then discuss with your counselor your mapping activities, why mapping asteroids is important, and what you learned about space and asteroids.
- Investigate and make models or diagrams of solar and lunar eclipses. (Example: You may wish to use balls of different sizes and a flashlight to represent the sun.)
- Using your model or diagram, discuss eclipses with your counselor, and explain the difference between a solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse.
Out of This World Cub Scout Nova Award Requirement 3 Helps and Answers
Tips for a Star Party
Here are some tips for Out of This World requirement 3a:
- Choose a location away from city lights for a clearer view of the stars.
- Bring blankets or reclining chairs to lay on for comfortable stargazing.
- Wear layers of clothing, as it can get cold at night.
- Check the Earth Sky website in advance to pick the best meteor shower nights.
- Keep in mind, meteor showers are best viewed in the darkest places.
- Start by looking for well-known constellations like the Big Dipper.
- Use a red flashlight or cover a regular flashlight with red plastic. This helps to see your drawings without disturbing night vision.
- Draw constellations on a notepad or use an app to take pictures and then label them.
- Before the party, download and test out the suggested apps.
- Make sure your phone is fully charged, as stargazing apps can use up battery.
- Turn down screen brightness to avoid disturbing others’ night vision.
- Note that constellations change positions based on time of year and location.
- Some constellations are only visible in certain hemispheres.
- Remember, Earth’s rotation and orbit around the sun affect what constellations we see.
Stay curious, enjoy the beauty of the night sky, and share your findings with others.
Revolution, Orbit, and Rotation
Understanding Revolution vs. Rotation:
- Revolution (Orbit): This is when a planet goes around the sun. Imagine walking in a circle around a friend; this represents a planet’s orbit around the sun.
- Rotation: This is when a planet spins on its axis. Think of spinning in place; this represents a planet’s rotation.
Demonstrating with Your Body:
- To show rotation, stand in one spot and spin around.
- To show revolution, walk in a circle around your counselor while also spinning to show you’re rotating at the same time.
- Research Tools: Use trustworthy websites, books, or astronomy apps to gather information about your chosen planets.
- Choosing Planets: Consider choosing planets with significant differences from Earth to make the comparison more interesting. For example, pick one close to the sun (like Mercury), one far from the sun (like Neptune), and one in between (like Mars).
- Recording Data: Create a chart or table to write down the information about each planet. This will make comparing them to Earth easier.
- Planet’s Year vs. Day: Some planets rotate faster than they revolve and vice versa. For example, Venus has a longer day than year!
- Additional Information: If you’re curious, also check out each planet’s unique features, like Jupiter’s Great Red Spot or Saturn’s rings. This adds depth to your understanding.
Stay organized, make sure to demonstrate the concepts visually, and always double-check your facts.
Designing a Model Mars Rover
Here are some ideas for Out of This World requirement 3c:
Designing a Mars Rover Model Using Household Materials
- Rover Body: Use a small cardboard box or a plastic food container as the main body of the rover. This will house the “instruments” and act as the central unit.
- Wheels: Attach bottle caps or lids from jars to the sides of the box using glue or tape for the rover’s wheels. If you want it to move, consider using toy car wheels.
- Solar Panels: Cut out thin rectangular pieces from a cereal box and cover them with aluminum foil to represent solar panels. Attach these to the top or sides of the rover body.
- Instruments & Sensors: Use straws or old pens as drilling instruments or probes. Small buttons or beads can represent cameras or sensors. Attach a paper clip or small piece of wire to act as the sample-collecting arm.
- Antenna: Use a bent paper clip, piece of wire, or a toothpick to represent the rover’s antenna for transmitting data.
- Mast (Camera Stand): Attach a popsicle stick or a straw vertically to the rover body. At the top, add a small bead or button to represent the main camera.
- Suspension: If you want to get advanced, use springs from old pens to create a basic suspension system for the wheels, mimicking the real rover’s ability to handle rocky terrain.
- Decorate: Paint or color your rover using markers to add details and make it more realistic. You can also add numbers or mission stickers.
- Optional Touches: Use LED lights or small flashlight bulbs to mimic the rover’s headlights. If you have small motors or buzzers from old toys, you can incorporate them to give your model added functionality.
Building your Mars rover model with household materials can be a fun and educational project. It offers a hands-on way to understand the design and function of these advanced space vehicles.
Here’s a simple explanation of the model rover’s design and functionality:
The rover is designed to collect various data types to understand Mars better. Equipped with cameras, it can take pictures of the Martian landscape, helping scientists study the planet’s geology. Sensors on the rover can test the soil’s composition, detecting minerals and searching for signs of past water. Atmospheric sensors can measure the air’s temperature, pressure, and composition.
The rover would move on wheels, allowing it to traverse the rocky and uneven Martian terrain. Solar panels on the rover provide power, while its articulated arms, equipped with drills and cameras, allow it to inspect and sample interesting rocks and soils. The rover is built to withstand Mars’ harsh conditions, like cold temperatures and dust storms.
The rover would have an antenna to communicate with Earth. Data collected, including images and sensor readings, would be sent to a satellite orbiting Mars. This satellite would then relay the data back to Earth. This two-step process ensures efficient and reliable communication over the vast distance between Mars and Earth.
Importance of Rovers:
Rovers are crucial for space exploration because they allow us to study distant planets up close without sending humans. This is safer and more cost-effective. They can operate for extended periods, gathering data that gives insights into a planet’s history, climate, and potential for life. By sending rovers like these to Mars, we can prepare for future human missions and understand our place in the cosmos better.
Building a model rover is a fun way to understand the engineering challenges and scientific goals of space exploration.
Designing an Inhabited Base on Mars or the Moon
Base Design Considerations:
- Solar panels can be a primary energy source. Mars and the moon both receive sunlight, although Mars gets about half the sunlight Earth does.
- Backup energy storage like batteries would be needed for nighttime or during dust storms on Mars.
- Use local materials, like Martian or lunar regolith (soil), to build protective walls or barriers. This would protect inhabitants from radiation.
- Pre-fabricated modules could be sent ahead of time and assembled on-site.
- Airtight habitats with oxygen generators and carbon dioxide scrubbers are crucial to ensure breathable air.
- Water recycling systems would treat and reuse water to reduce the need for large supplies.
- Hydroponic farms can grow plants without soil, using mineral nutrient solutions in water. This could provide fresh produce.
- Pre-packaged food from Earth would supplement the fresh produce.
- Virtual reality (VR) systems for relaxation, exercise, and virtual visits back to Earth.
- Books, movies, games, and group activities to keep morale high.
Purpose and Function:
- Scientific research on Martian or lunar geology, climate, and potential life.
- Serve as a launch point for deeper space missions.
- Communication systems to stay in contact with Earth.
- Medical facilities with necessary supplies and equipment.
- Exercise equipment to counteract muscle and bone loss in low gravity.
Bring Your Base to Life:
- Use recycled materials like cardboard, plastic containers, and tin foil to build a 3D model of your base. Label each section for clarity.
- Oxygen: Vital for breathing. Oxygen generators can break down water into oxygen and hydrogen.
- Water: Needed for drinking, farming, and hygiene. Ice can be mined and melted.
- Food: Hydroponic farms and stocked supplies.
- Shelter: Protects from radiation, extreme temperatures, and micrometeorites.
- Clothing: Specialized suits to handle low temperatures and low pressure.
Designing a base for Mars or the moon requires careful planning to ensure human safety and the ability to carry out mission objectives. Using recycled materials for a model offers a fun, hands-on approach to envisioning such a base.
Becoming an Asteroid Mapper
Mapping with the Dawn Project:
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the California Institute of Technology have initiated the Dawn project, aiming to understand more about our solar system through the study of asteroids. One part of this project involves citizen scientists like you mapping asteroids.
Steps to Map an Asteroid:
- Permission: Before starting, ensure you have your parent’s or guardian’s permission to participate.
- Join the Project: Visit the provided website and follow the instructions to become an asteroid mapper. (2023 Note: this website seems to have changed from what is in the BSA requirements and this project might not be active any more. Check with the STEM director in your local council.
- Mapping: You’ll be given images and data related to asteroids. Using the tools and guidelines provided, you’ll map out distinct features and areas of interest.
Discussion Points with Counselor:
- Mapping Activities: Share the specific tasks you carried out while mapping the asteroid. Describe the features you identified and how you went about the mapping process.
- Importance of Mapping Asteroids:
- Scientific Research: Mapping helps scientists understand asteroid composition, structure, and history.
- Safety: Knowing the size, shape, and trajectory of asteroids can help predict and potentially prevent any future collisions with Earth.
- Space Exploration: Studying asteroids can give insights into the early solar system, assisting future exploration missions.
- Learning Outcomes:
- About Space: The vastness of space and the numerous celestial bodies like asteroids that reside within it.
- About Asteroids: Their characteristics, potential origins, and how they’ve become important subjects of study for understanding our solar system.
Becoming an asteroid mapper offers a hands-on experience in contributing to real scientific research. It provides a unique opportunity to understand the significance of asteroids in our solar system and the broader universe.
Here are some ideas for Out of This World requirement 3f:
Models of Eclipses:
Making Models: To understand eclipses, you can make simple models. Use balls of different sizes and a flashlight. Let’s say:
- Big ball: Earth
- Small ball: Moon
- Flashlight: Sun
What are Eclipses? Eclipses happen when the Sun, Moon, and Earth line up in a specific way. The shadow of one body falls on another.
- Solar Eclipse: This happens when the Moon is between the Sun and Earth. The Moon’s shadow falls on Earth. It makes parts of the Sun look dark from Earth.
- Lunar Eclipse: This is when Earth is between the Sun and the Moon. Earth’s shadow falls on the Moon. This makes the Moon look a different color for a while.
Using models helps to see how shadows move and how these amazing events happen in space.
Out of This World Cub Scout Nova Award Requirement 4: Watch or Read
Visit or explore. Choose A or B and complete ALL the requirements.
A. Visit a place where space science is being done, used, explained, or investigated, such as one of the following: observatory, planetarium, air and space museum, star lab, astronomy club, NASA, or any other location where space science is being done, used, explained, or investigated.
- During your visit, talk to someone in charge about how people at the location use or investigate space science. Find out how this investigation could make the world a better place.
- Discuss with your counselor the science being done, used, explained, or investigated at the place you visited.
B. Explore a career associated with space exploration. Find out what subjects you would need to study as you get older. Find out whether you must be an astronaut to explore space, and what other opportunities exist for people interested in space exploration.
Out of This World Cub Scout Nova Award Requirement 4 Helps and Answers
Space Science Visit
Here are some tips for Out of This World requirement 4a:
Going to a Special Place:
- Where to Go: There are places where people learn and work on space stuff. Some examples are:
- Observatories: Big telescopes to look at stars.
- Planetariums: Indoor theaters showing stars and planets.
- Museums about air and space: Places with displays about flying and space.
- Astronomy clubs: Groups of people who like looking at the sky.
What to Do There:
- Talk to Someone: When you’re there, find someone who knows about the place. Ask them:
- How they study or use space science.
- How their work can make our world better.
- Learn More: Pay attention to what’s being shown or explained. This helps you understand the space science happening at that place.
Jobs in Space Exploration:
Here are some ideas for Out of This World requirement 4b:
- Astronaut: People who travel to space.
- Astronomer: Scientists who study stars and planets.
- Space Engineer: People who design and build spacecraft.
- Mission Controller: They guide spacecraft from Earth.
- Space Scientist: They think of questions and try to find answers about space.
- Rocket Scientist: Experts on building rockets.
- Space Robot Technician: People who build and fix robots for space missions.
- Space Medicine Researcher: They study how space affects our health.
- Planet Geologist: Scientists who study rocks and land on other planets.
- Space Camp Trainer: They teach kids and adults about space.
Out of This World Cub Scout Nova Award Requirement 5: Watch or Read
Tell your counselor what you have learned about space exploration while working on this award.
Out of This World Cub Scout Nova Award Requirement 5 Helps and Answers
Things Cub Scouts Might Learn in Out of This World Award:
- Stars and Constellations: Names of star groups and their stories.
- Planets: About Earth’s neighbors in space.
- Rockets: How they work and fly.
- Rovers: Robots that explore other planets.
- Space Jobs: Different careers in space exploration.
- Space Tools: Tools and machines used to study space.
- Eclipses: Why the sun or moon sometimes hides.
- Space Bases: Imagining homes on Mars or the moon.
- Asteroids: Learning about space rocks.
- Space Science Places: Visiting places where they study space.
Related Resources for the Out of This World Cub Scout Nova Award for Space Exploration
The Out of This World Nova Award is a significant part of the larger Nova Awards program for Cub Scouts. The Nova Awards program aims to ignite interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) among young scouts, offering them hands-on learning experiences. While each Nova Award explores a unique aspect of STEM, the Out of This World Nova Award specifically dives into space exploration, allowing scouts to gain insights into astronomy and space science. By participating in this award and the broader Nova Awards program, scouts not only build foundational STEM knowledge but also develop curiosity and problem-solving skills that can benefit them in numerous future endeavors.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Out of this World Cub Scout Nova Award for Space Exploration
What is the Out of this World Cub Scout Nova Award?
It’s an award that encourages Cub Scouts to explore the wonders of space and space exploration.
Who can earn the Cub Scout Out of This World Nova Award?
Any Cub Scout who is a Wolf, Bear, or Webelos and completes the necessary requirements can earn this award.
How can a Cub Scout start working on the Out of This World Nova Award?
Begin by reviewing the requirements and finding a counselor. Check with your local BSA council.
Are there specific activities or projects required for the Out of This World Nova Award?
Yes, activities range from making models to visiting space-related locations, and understanding space concepts.
How is the Out of This World Nova Award different from other Cub Scout awards?
This award is specifically focused on space exploration, teaching scouts about stars, planets, rovers, and more.
Where can a Cub Scout get the materials or resources for the Out of This World Nova Award?
Check with your local BSA council about resources and support for the award.
Can a scout work on the Out of This World Nova Award with their den or pack?
Yes, many activities can be done as a group, making it a fun and collaborative experience.
How long does it typically take to complete the Out of This World Nova Award?
The time varies depending on the scout’s pace and the activities chosen, but with dedication, it can be achieved in a few weeks to months.
What benefits will Cub Scouts get from earning the Out of This World Nova Award?
Scouts will gain knowledge about space, develop scientific curiosity, and acquire skills from hands-on activities.
What is a star party for the Out of This World Nova Award?
A star party is when scouts gather during a clear night to observe stars and other celestial objects, often as a group with family, den, or pack.
What’s the difference between “revolution” and “rotation” for the Out of This World Nova Award?
Revolution refers to a planet’s orbit around the sun, while rotation refers to how a planet spins on its axis.
For the Mars rover model requirement for the Out of This World Nova Award, can scouts use everyday materials?
Yes, scouts are encouraged to use materials like plastic blocks, food containers, and recycled items to design a model Mars rover.
What should be considered when designing a base on Mars or the moon for the Out of This World Nova Award?
Scouts should think about energy sources, construction, life-support, food, entertainment, and the base’s purpose and function.
What materials can scouts use to model solar and lunar eclipses for the Out of This World Nova Award?
Scouts can use items like balls of different sizes and a flashlight to demonstrate and explain the differences between solar and lunar eclipses.
What careers are related to space exploration for the Out of This World Nova Award?
There are many careers in space exploration, including astronaut, aerospace engineer, astronomer, space scientist, and more.
Do scouts need to become astronauts to explore space – for the Out of This World Nova Award?
No, there are many other professions that contribute to space exploration without becoming an astronaut, such as engineers, scientists, and technicians.
What subjects should scouts consider studying if they are interested in a career in space exploration – for the Out of This World Nova Award?
Subjects like mathematics, physics, astronomy, and engineering are essential for many careers in space exploration.