Mentor -

Notes for Instructors
Goal of this Training Module
Briefly introduce the Nova and Supernova Programs
Describe the roles of Nova Counselors and Supernova Mentors
Demonstrate the activities of a Counselor in supporting Nova activities
This training module should take between 40 and 60 minutes to allow being presented at
Scouting training events (Mentor training events, IOLS, Wood Badges, University of
Scouting, Round Tables, etc.) and at non-scouting training events (professional society
meetings, faculty meetings, chamber of commerce meetings, etc.)
Be prepared by having at least one of the Nova Award Guidebooks, a Nova Patch, and any
program materials required
Ensure that at least one of the activity examples are done by the group.
First, let all trainees be Nova participants, and you model the Mentor
Reflect on what the Mentor did to support the activity, write notes
Then let one or more of the trainees act as Mentor
Sell the Sizzle – we are supporting STEM learning for strengthening youth for tomorrow
Close the Deal – Request their help and get a commitment
Nova Counselor &
Supernova Mentor
Dr. Richard J. Stone
GAC Nova Committee
Month XX, 2012
The STEM Problem
What is the Nova & Supernova Program?
What is a Counselor & Mentor?
Qualifications and Requirements
Example Counselor Activity
The STEM Problem
• Our country is falling behind in science, technology,
engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Only 43 percent of U.S. high school graduates in 2010 were ready for
college work in math and 29 percent were ready in science.
• STEM education is an economic imperative.
– Experts say that technological innovation accounted for almost half of
U.S. economic growth over the past 50 years, and almost all of the 30
fastest-growing occupations in the next decade will require at least
some background in STEM.
• STEM literacy has a profound and growing impact on our dayto-day lives.
– The National Science Foundation “estimates that 80% of the jobs
created in the next decade will require some form of math and science
The BSA Response
• The BSA has partnered with eXXonMobil to increase
STEM awareness in youth and offer them the
opportunities to “Be Prepared for Life”
• BSA created the Nova and Supernova Awards
– Youth Program, Adult Roles, Leader Support, and Awards
programs defined
– Field tested, refined, and improved in two trials
– Development of manuals
– National Roll-Out in mid-July 2012
Nova and Supernova Programs
• Nova Program
– Based on accomplishment of existing program activities (belt
loops, merit badges, venturing activity areas)
– Extends and enhances existing program activities
– Adult counselors familiar with STEM topics guide explorations
and provide advancement quality control
• Supernova Program
Significant accomplishment extending program activities
Learn some fundamentals of the topic areas
Do Original STEM investigations and projects
Adult mentors who are accomplished STEM practitioners guide
explorations and provide advancement quality control
STEM in Scouting – so far
• Scouting has always included Science Technology
Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) topics
– But the content is often hidden in other activities
• Scouting focuses on outdoor program
– Not Every Youth Wants to Be Dan Beard or Daniel Boone.
Some Want to Be Neil Armstrong, Bill Gates, or Albert Einstein.
The Nova / Supernova Programs will highlight
STEM content in existing program and add new
activities and awards.
Nova Program Activities
Cub Scouts
Boy Scouts
Science Everywhere Shoot!
Tech Talk
Start Your Engines!
Power Up
Hang On!
1-2-3 Go!
Designed to Crunch
Numbers Don’t Lie
More in development
More in development
More in development
Nova / Supernova Awards
Bronze, silver, and gold versions
Nova Awards
Supernova Awards
What is a Counselor and Mentor?
• Nova Counselors
– Are adults with knowledge and experience in STEM topics
• Need not be professionals or experts
• Willing to research and study to be ready to guide participants
– Guide youth participants in research and experiences
– Maintain quality and safety in Program
• Supernova Mentors
– Are adults with expertise in STEM topics
• Are professional-level engineers, scientists, educators, etc. who use
STEM skills often
– Guide youth participants in significant accomplishments in STEM
– Maintain quality and safety in Program
Who Can Be a Nova Counselor?
Have you ever played baseball, golf, football, bowling, archery, etc.?
– You understand motion of objects
Have you ever cooked, built things, worked in the garden, ran a race,
did construction, etc.?
– You know how to measure things and make calculations
Have you ever gone fishing, dug a hole, rode a bike, hit a baseball,
fixed a car or bike, etc.?
– You understand simple machines
Have you ever walked, drove a car, sailed a boat, or enjoyed AC?
– You understand energy production and use
Have you ever read a book or researched on the internet?
– You understand how to prepare to help the participants
Anyone who understands the material and can
guide learning can be a Nova Counselor
Who Can Be a Supernova Mentor?
• Must be accomplished and knowledgeable in STEM
– Engineers, Scientists, Accountants, Software Engineers,
Educators, HAM Radio experts, Contracts Experts,
Meteorologists, Doctors,
• Must be able to guide youth participants to
significant accomplishments in STEM topics
– Provide guidance and experiences, but not overt teaching
– Support explorations of STEM ideas and projects in depth
– May take many months to accomplish Supernova activities
Nova Counselors
Supernova Mentors
Registered with BSA
Registered with BSA
Youth Protection Trained
Youth Protection Trained
Nova Counselor/Mentor Trained
Nova Counselor/Mentor Trained
Able to guide participant activities over
many weeks
Able to guide participant activities over
many months
NOT the parent or Unit Leader of your
NOT the parent or Unit Leader of your
Knowledgeable in STEM topics
Expert in STEM topics and guiding
Approved by the Council Nova Committee
What’s In It for Me?
• Nova Counselors
– Adult BSA Volunteers may earn the Nova service pin
– Adult BSA Volunteers may earn the Nova square knot
• Will accomplish training, performance, and tenure
• Supernova Mentors
– Annual “Thank You” letter indicating your service to youth
• Inputs into your annual appraisal
– Plaque (after N years of service)
• Showing your customers of your service
• And – Helping Youth and America Have a Better
Nova Program Activities - Example
• Cub Scout Nova Activity: Science Everywhere
– Requirements summarized:
 Must be a Wolf or Bear
 Watch TV or read about science, collect questions and ideas, discuss
with counselor
 Complete ONE belt loop: Astronomy, Collecting, Geography, Geology,
Map and Compass, Mathematics, Nutrition, Pet Care, Photography,
Science, Weather, Wildlife Conservation
 Act like a scientist. Pick a question to study. Investigate answers.
Discuss with counselor.
 Visit a place where science is being done or used. Talk to someone
about use of science. Discuss with counselor.
Experience a Nova Activity
• Cub Scout Nova Activity – “1-2-3 Go!”
– Design a secret code or cipher
– Write a message in your code or cipher
– Share your code or cipher with your counselor
Experience a Nova Activity
• Boy Scout Nova Activity – “Shoot!”
– Design and build a catapult that will launch a marshmallow a
distance of 4 feet. Discuss your design, data, and experiments,
both failures and successes, with your counselor. Then do the
– Keep track of your experimental data for every attempt. Include
the angle of launch and the distance projected.
– Make sure you apply the same force each time, perhaps by
using a weight to launch the marshmallow.
Experience a Nova Activity
• Boy Scout Nova Activity – “Shoot!”
– Find and use a projectile simulation applet on the internet
– Design and complete a hands-on experiment to demonstrate
projectile motion.
• Keep a record of the angle, time, and distance
• Graph the results of your experiment
– Discuss with your counselor:
What a projectile is
What projectile motion is
The factors affecting the path of a projectile
The difference between forward velocity and acceleration due to
Counselor’s Roll in Nova Activities
• Help participant develop questions and interests
• Help participant research ideas and answers
• Guide participant in project setup and execution
– Safety and resource management
– Data collection and analysis
– Reporting results and extracting meaning of results
• Stimulate discussion of activity project and extract
the more general meaning of the conclusions
• Encourage completion of activities
– Compliance with requirements, no more and no less
– Ensure consistency across all participants over time
Will You Be a Counselor or
• The Youth of Today and the America of Tomorrow
need your support
• What’s Next
– You have now passed the Counselor/Mentor Training
– Get Registered with BSA
– Take Youth Protection training on-line
• URL:
– Get on the GAC Counselor/Mentor List
– Start sharing your STEM expertise
Points of Contact
Richard Stone
[email protected]
256 325 1268
Staff Advisor
Committee Chair

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