A STEM Nova Counselor Is....

STEM Nova Counselors must be 21 or older and be registered under the STEM Nova Counselor position code 58. A counselor is ideally someone with a passion for sharing a love of Science and Learning, but has no formal position requirements beyond BSA position registration and training. To work on any level award you must be registered for that program.

This is a non-unit position and requires no fee. In addition to the BSA Adult Registration form, counselors must complete the training STEM Counselor/Mentor Training as either a self guided or instructor led training.

As a STEM Nova Counselor, your mission is to join fun with learning. You are both a teacher and guide to youth as they work on an award and learn by doing. The STEM Nova Awards program provides an opportunity to explore various areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. These awards can be earned by Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturers and Sea Scouts.

By presenting opportunities for growth by way of engaging activities, you can pique a youth's interest in a STEM subject. Just think: Your hands-on involvement could inspire youth to develop a lifelong hobby, pursue a particular career, or become an independent, self-supporting adult. By serving as a STEM Nova Counselor, you offer your time, passion, and other resources so that Scouting youth can explore a topic of interest.

Things to Remember:

  • STEM is FUN! STEM-related activities and STEM Nova Awards are designed to be fun. We want to build confidence and communicate that career opportunities in STEM fields are attainable, fulfilling, and interesting.
  • Be safe! All experiments or projects should be conducted using the highest level of safety protocol and should always be under the supervision of a qualified, responsible adult.
  • Encourage youth. The goal is to encourage youth to stretch and grow, yet not frustrate them or turn them off of STEM activities by making them too hard. This is addressed within the scope of the requirements for each age group, but you will be the one assessing your youth's readiness.
  • Age makes a difference. There can be a very broad range of abilities and knowledge among youth of the same age. Some of this may depend on where they live, their school system, or their socioeconomic background. The awards have been designed to take this into account.
  • Group size. When mentoring a group, it is recommended no more than 8-10 youth per group without additional Leaders or Counselors familiar with the material being covered.
  • Time limit. There is no set amount of time or number of sessions other than aging out of a specific program. Completing the requirements takes some work that may be new activities and skills. Most STEM Nova Awards for Cub Scouts will take roughly 3-4 hours at a minimum level, but may take longer depending on the option choices. Scouts BSA, Venture and Sea Scout programs will take notably longer with the increased Watch/Read requirements and Merit Badge/Exploration requirements.
  • BSA program standards are that requirements are followed as written without subtracting or adding requirements. Providing additional related engaging information and experiences "teaching beyond the badge" is however encouraged provided it does not add or substitute requirements.
  • The STEM Nova Awards and Supernova Awards programs have been updated as of June 1 2022, with the program requirements frozen for changes and the administration fully delegated to the individual councils using the National Standards materials. All the awards requirements, supporting information, and counselor resources can be found at www.scouting.org/stem-nova-awards/. You should also familiarize youself with the Supernova Award Path.
  • After completion, should be recorded in Scoutbook or Internet Advancement.

San Diego-Imperial Council STEM Nova Counselor Application

If you would like to sign up as a STEM Nova Counselor, please contact the council office in any of the following ways. Also, if any of your personal or contact information changes, please let us know.

  • Phone: 619.298.6121 or by Fax: 619.369.3600
  • E-mail: Melissa Lardie
  • US Postal Mail: 1207 Upas St., San Diego, CA 92103 Attn: Melissa Lardie
  • Hand Deliver to: 1207 Upas St., San Diego, CA 92103 - Council Office

If you are not currently a STEM Nova Counselor or Supernova Mentor, or you know someone that you would like to refer; in brief, the requirements are: 21+ years of age, some experience and proficiency in the STEM area, a willingness to work with youth and abide by BSA policies (cannot add/delete from STEM Nova Awards program requirements) and to follow Youth Protection Training (YPT) when meeting with youth and to be registered with the BSA.

Rosters are managed by the Council Advancement Chair and are merged to form a Council-wide list.