On Monday, June 1, 2015, Pack 832 at Philadelphia United Methodist Church in Fort Mill, SC presented eight Cub Scouts with the Dr. Luis Alvarez Supernova Award.
There have been many Scouts to earn the Nova awards, but these eight Scouts are the first in the York District and the Palmetto Council to earn the Supernova Award. To date there have been less than 50 Cub Scouts earn the Supernova Award nationwide.
To earn the Supernova Award, Scouts are first recommended to earn two Nova Awards. The Nova Awards are awards based on different Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S.T.E.M.) subjects. The awards were created in 2012 to excite the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of America to look at the S.T.E.M. fields as a career choice. Most of the Cub Scouts of Pack 832 completed the Supernova Award by earning the "Science Everywhere" and the "Swing!" Nova Awards.
To earn the Nova Awards, Scouts were required to discuss subjects in different science fields, watch (or read) science material and discuss the items with a counselor. Then, the Scouts had to earn multiple belt loops above and beyond any they earned for rank. For each Nova Award, they were also required to perform a science experiment using the scientific process (or scientific method) for each Nova Award. After earning at least two Nova Awards, the Scouts were then allowed to start work on the Supernova Award.
The Supernova Award takes the Scouts deeper into S.T.E.M. fields. Each Scout was required to do research on Dr. Luis Alvarez, whom this award is named after, as well as 3 additional scientists of their choosing. The Cub Scouts discussed their findings with their Council approved mentor. They also met a pilot who uses STEM everyday in his career and discussed what they learned with their mentor.
Each Scout was required to earn his Math and Science Academic belt loops and academic pins. Most Scouts also earned the Weather and Geology belt loops and academic pins, the Geography belt loop, and the Softball belt loop or the Hockey belt loop.