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STEM Nova Awards Adult Volunteer Support & Registration

I have a supernova mentor asking about what the BSA membership registration and registration renewal policy.

  • What is the policy?
  • Where can it be found?
  • What forms need to be submitted? Where?

To that I am asking

  • Are the registration requirements for nova counselor and supernova mentors different?
  • How often does it need to be renewed? (length of registration)
  • When does it need to be renewed? (Samw registration period as merit badge counselors?)


In the Nova Awards FAQ I found:

Q: Who is eligible to serve as a Nova Awards counselor?

A: A Nova Awards counselor must be age 21 or older and be registered under the Nova Awards counselor position code 58. This is a non-unit position and requires no fee. Online training is now available at (click on “BSA Learn Center” then click on “STEM In Scouting”).

Q: Can a Nova Awards counselor or Supernova mentor be the Scout’s parent?
A: For Nova counseling, yes, but the parent needs to follow the guidelines for becoming a registered counselor found here . For Supernova mentoring, the parent must be a council-approved Supernova mentor, and can only mentor their own Cub Scout in a group setting if there are no other mentors in the council.

Q: Who can be a Supernova Awards mentor?
A: A Supernova Awards mentor must be age 21 or older, be a subject matter expert in a STEM (science, technology, engineering,or mathematics) field, and be registered under the Supernova Awards mentor position code 52. Online training is now available at (click on “BSA Learn Center” then click on “STEM In Scouting”).

Q: What does a Supernova mentor have to complete to be registered?
A: Yes, for someone to become a Supernova mentor they must complete a BSA Adult application, the SuperNova mentor application and provide proof of having taken Youth Protection training.

Q: If I am already registered under another position, do I need to fill out another application to be a Supernova Awards mentor?
A: Yes, you are required to be registered in this position and you will be dual-registered.

Q: To whom do I send my Supernova Awards Mentor Information application?
A: Send your application to your local council service center.


I’m on my Council’s STEM Committee and am in charge of receiving and checking the Supernova applications. It’s been way more work than it looked like when I started.

My Council now has a STEM Committee which has taken over the STEM awards and registrations from the Advancement Committee. The Adv Committee did not seem to have a good grasp on what was required.
You have found National’s web pages with info.

We have a good deal of confusion about the Counselor/Mentor positions.
The Counselor position has a requirement that you be curious and willing to seek answers. And be alive. We deal with that position as a ‘Unit’ position. The only form turned in for that position is a non-fee adult app for position 58 – Nova Counselor.That’s pretty much it.
The Supernova Mentor (position 52) is another beast altogether. There is an application on National’s site. It’s in the material you have copied. That needs to be filled in and submitted to Council along with the adult position app. I don’t like the section where it lists ‘which areas’ you will work with. That doesn’t make sense given how the program works. Anyway, there is a very specific requirement that the adult have an education and experience in STEM. We have had to turn down folks who thought they met this but didn’t. We treat this position as a Council position and let folks know they might get a call to work with other kids.

The online training is caca. There is very little about STEM. It’s mostly about policy.
My Council’s apps all come through me and I call every person who applies and have a conversation with them. For Supernova one of my flags is if the person doesn’t know about the difference between an independent and dependent variable.

How often does it need to be reviewed? Well, I am going through my Council’s list for about a year and trying to clean it up. I have a few on it who wanted to be Counselors and are Mentors. I have about 10 who should be on the list and aren’t. And about 15 who signed off on a Supernova some time in the past, and have disappeared. So the last thing I’m worried about is going through renewing anyone.
As an aside, my Council has a data person who has worked for National and is amazing. So it’s not her. It’s just that messed up.

I have taken some award reporting forms that St Luis Council created for submitting Supernova award information and updated and reformatted them. We are using them as a quality control on the award submissions.
If there is a way to email each other through this I can send them to you.

In my Council we have awarded over 100 of the Pack level awards. Five Scouts have been awarded the Harris, and one of those the Edison. Other Councils I’ve talked to have a similar ratio.
One problem you will have is dealing with the parents at the Pack level who want to push their kid through. That is one of the rationales for the “Don’t work with your own kid” rule. Try to keep that from happening.

Pretty much all I can think of.

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