Dear Cub Scout family,
Thank you for your interest this school year in Matthews UMC Pack 214’s BSA STEM NOVA program! NOVA is an award-based program within Boys Scouts of America that operates independently of regular rank requirements and merit activities. Full details are available at https://www.scouting.org/stem-nova-awards/ .
A Cub Scout (Wolves through AOL) may earn a NOVA award by working through a combination of activities at home and together as a group. When we meet once a month, we will focus on the group activities. A few free field trips will be offered on Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teacher workdays through Winter 2018. The NOVA program at Pack 214 will conclude before rank advancement in March 2019.
Most awards have the following basic elements:
- Through any combination of reading and watching an educational program, learn more about your subject for 1-hour.
- Complete a rank-based adventure with your den or a group activity.
- Investigate a question with your counselor using the scientific method.
- Visit a place where science is being done. Talk to a scientist.
- Discuss what you have learned with your counselor.
The expectation is that part one will be completed outside of our monthly activity time together. For part two, we will complete the group activity together as a group on a Sunday afternoon. Part three and five will be completed during our afternoons together as well. Part four will need to be completed through a scheduled group activity, school field trip, or during another time with your family or other outside group.
Fall 2018 Schedule
|Date / Time||Event|
|Weds Sept 19, 2018
11:30 AM – 2:30 PM
|Field trip to Duke Energy Exploratorium|
|Sun Sept 30, 2018
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
|NOVA Swing! at Matthews UMC|
|Sun Oct 14, 2018
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
|NOVA Wild! at Matthews UMC|
|Weds Oct 31, 2018
9:30 AM – 2:00 PM
|Field Trip to Latta Nature Preserve|
|Sun Nov 11, 2018
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
|NOVA Uncovering the Past at Matthews UMC This is Veteran’s Day. Church may be closed. Details forthcoming|
|Sun Dec 9, 2018
|Supernova at Matthews UMC|
At the Cub Scout level, NOVA awards are relatively simple to earn. Your local BSA-approved NOVA mentor, Christopher Bergen, will provide information for your scout to give his/her den leader to enter into ScoutBook for your scout to receive the award through the Pack.
There is no cost to attend NOVA activities this fall. You may commit to one or multiple adventures. We will make a SignUpGenius available a week before our scheduled meeting to ensure adequate supplies (if any). Pack 214 will cover award related costs for Pack 214 members only. Please check with your local pack for any money owed. NOVA award patches and medals can only be purchased through the BSA Scout Shop by approved representatives. NOVA awards are only for registered scouts. Siblings are invited to attend but will not receive the same awards as registered scouts. Ask anyone in a uniform about scouting opportunities for all the children (ages 5-21) in your life. What if your scout is not part of Pack 214? You are still very welcomed. NOVA awards are structured differently than packs. One aspect of the NOVA program is making Council-approved mentors available to any interested, registered BSA scout.
Cub Scout level NOVA awards are for students grades second through fifth. Additional NOVA adventures and awards are available to Boy Scouts (grades sixth through twelfth) and Venturing Crew (ninth grade through age 21). According to the Council’s Etowah District Facebook page, Scott Phillips and Dr. Stuart Tucker (Troop 55 at Myers Park Presbyterian) are leading Boy Scout level and Venturing level NOVA awards. They are also working in conjunction with the Palmetto Council.
Please note that to ensure BSA’s required Two Deep Leadership (as covered in the Youth Protection module), NOVA adventures are not drop off events. Adult help will be needed. For example, one of the core requirements is to discuss investigations with a counselor. Parents are needed to act as counselors for small groups of scouts.
One of the NOVA program’s goals is to provide a framework for scouts to start interacting with scientists in their community. An advantage to being a scout is that we are well known internationally. Many people will make themselves available to help a scout; often they are former scouts themselves. Several adventures ask students to interact with a scientist. One opportunity to interact with a scientist may be during outside group activities, like the Duke Energy field trip. However, we may need families who work (or have experience in) in a science-related area be available to answer a few questions from a small group of scouts. All help is appreciated. Also, please note, that the term scientist is used loosely. A scientist could be anyone in a S(cience), T(echnology), E(ngineering), or M(ath) field.
Dust off your least-favorite scout shirt, warm up your brain from Summer Break, and join us on a few adventures this Fall.
Christopher Bergen, MBA, CPA BSA
Amanda Bergen, Ph.D.