Power Up

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Submit any questions regarding the STEM Nova or Supernova awards to [email protected]

Power Up

This patch is worn as a temporary emblem
on the right uniform pocket.
Created:2013, Updated 2018
Last updated:
Level:Venturers and Sea Scouts

The BSA's STEM Nova Awards program is designed to introduce and encourage further study of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) by Cub Scouts, Scouts, Venturers, and Sea Scouts. Youth may earn all STEM Nova awards for their program. The Supernova awards are designed to inspire further study. It is recommended that you complete at least two STEM Nova awards before starting the requirements for the Supernova award.

Youth may complete any STEM Nova award with a parent or unit leader’s guidance. However, Supernova Awards mentors must be approved by the local council. (Note: Lion Cubs and Tiger Cubs are not eligible to participate in the STEM Nova Awards program.)

This module is designed to help you explore how technology affects your life each day. Power Up is part of the Technology category.

Power Up requirements

  1. Choose A or B or C and complete ALL the requirements.
    A. Watch about three hours total of technology-related shows or documentaries that involves transportation or transportation technology. Then do the following:
    1. Make a list of at least two questions or ideas from each show.
    2. Discuss two of the questions or ideas with your counselor.
    Some examples include—but are not limited to—shows found on PBS ("NOVA"), Discovery Channel, Science Channel, National Geographic Channel, TED Talks (online videos), and the History Channel. You may choose to watch a live performance or movie at a planetarium or science museum instead of watching a media production. You may watch online productions with your counselor’s approval and under your parent’s supervision.
    B. Read (about three hours total) about transportation or transportation technology. Then do the following:
    1. Make a list of at least two questions or ideas from each article.
    2. Discuss two of the questions or ideas with your counselor.
    Examples of magazines include—but are not limited to—Odyssey, Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, Science Illustrated, Discover, Air & Space, Popular Astronomy, Astronomy, Science News, Sky & Telescope, Natural History, Robot, Servo, Nuts and Volts, and Scientific American.
    C. Do a combination of reading and watching (about three hours total). Then do the following:
    1. Make a list of at least two questions or ideas from each article or show.
    2. Discuss two of the questions or ideas with your counselor.
  2. Choose ONE STEM field of interest from the following list. Complete ALL the requirements for a Venturing STEM exploration in that field. Venturing exploration topics. (If you have already completed a Venturing STEM exploration in one of these fields, please choose a different field for this award.)
    Automotive MaintenanceElectricityRailroading
    AviationEnergySmall-Boat Sailing
    CanoeingFarm MechanicsSpace Exploration
    CyclingMotorboatingTruck Transportation
    DraftingNuclear Science
  3. Do ALL of the following.
    A. Using the requirements from the above list of STEM explorations:
    1. Tell your counselor the energy source(s) used in these STEM explorations.
    2. Discuss the pros and cons of each energy source with your counselor.
    B. Make a list of sources of energy that may be possible to use in transportation.
    C. With your counselor:
    1. Discuss alternative sources of energy.
    2. Discuss the pros and cons of using alternative energy sources.
  4. Design and build a working model vehicle (not from a kit).
    A. Make drawings and specifications of your model vehicle before you begin to build.
    B. Include one of the following energy sources to power your vehicle (do not use gasoline or other combustible fuel source): solar power, wind power, or battery power.
    C. Test your model. Then answer the following questions:
    1. How well did it perform?
    2. Did it move as well as you thought it would?
    3. Did you encounter problems? How can these problems be corrected?
    D. Discuss with your counselor:
    1. Any difficulties you encountered in designing and building your model
    2. Why you chose a particular energy source
    3. Whether your model met your specifications
    4. How you would modify your design to make it better
  5. Discuss with your counselor how technology affects your everyday life.

View the change list (history) of these requirements. The text of these requirements may be locked. In that case, they can only be edited
by an administrator.
Please note any errors found in the above requirements on this article's Talk Page.


Worksheet A FREE workbook for Power Up is available here! (PDF or Word) with the maps, charts, links, diagrams, and checklists you need! Or click here to print just the Power Up requirements. usscouts.org has PDF and Word versions of workbooks for Scouts BSA ranks and merit badges, Cub Scouting ranks and adventures, and STEM Nova awards.

External links

STEM Nova Awards Program Advancement
Award Overview:STEM Nova awards
Worksheets:Nova & Supernova Award Worksheets
Cub Scout
Nova:Science: Science EverywhereDown and DirtyNova WILD!Out of This WorldUncovering the PastTechnology: Tech TalkCub Scouts Can CodeEngineering: Swing!Up and AwayMath: 1-2-3 Go!Fearful Symmetry
Supernova:Dr. Luis W. Alvarez Supernova Award (Wolf/Bear only) • Dr. Charles H. Townes Supernova Award (Webelos only)
Scouts BSA
Nova:Science: Shoot!Let It Grow!Splash!Mendel's MinionsTechnology: Start Your Engines!Hello, WorldEngineering: Whoosh!Up and AwayNext Big ThingMath: Designed to Crunch
Supernova:Dr. Bernard Harris Bronze Supernova AwardThomas Edison Silver Supernova Award
Venturer / Sea Scout
Nova:Science: Launch!Wade!What a LifeTechnology: Power UpExecuteSomething from NothingEngineering: Hang On!Up and AwayMath: Numbers Don't Lie
Supernova:Dr. Sally Ride Bronze Supernova AwardWright Brothers Silver Supernova AwardDr. Albert Einstein Gold Supernova Award
Scouter:Dr. Paul A. Siple Bronze Supernova Award

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