Dr. Charles H. Townes Supernova Award

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As of January 01, 2018, current Webelos Scouts may no longer use the previous version of this award.
To earn the Webelos Scout Supernova award, you must be a Webelos Scout who is active with a den. With your parent's and unit leader's help, you must select a council-approved mentor who is a registered Scouter. You may NOT choose your parent or your unit leader (unless the mentor is working with more than one youth). If you earned the Cub Scout Supernova award, the Dr. Luis W. Alvarez Supernova award, you must repeat similar requirements while you are a Webelos Scout.

Dr. Charles H. Townes Supernova Award

Award medallion, worn around the neck.
SKU: 613007
Last updated:
Level:Webelos 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. Scouts may earn all Nova awards for their program. The Supernova awards are designed to inspire further study. It is recommended that you complete at least two Nova awards before starting the requirements for the Supernova award.

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

This Supernova award can be earned by Webelos Scouts who want to soar in science.

Supernova Bronze bar pinWorn above left pocket on field uniformSKU: 643290
Supernova Bronze bar pin
Worn above left pocket on field uniform
SKU: 643290

A Note to the Counselor

The Webelos Scout Supernova award recognizes superior achievement by a Webelos Scout in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). All experiments or projects should be conducted using the highest level of safety protocol and always under the supervision of a qualified, responsible adult. Although it is not a requirement, it is recommended that you earn at least two of the four Nova Awards for Cub Scouts before earning the Dr. Charles H. Townes Supernova Award.

Dr. Charles H. Townes Supernova Award requirements

  1. Complete the following [Complete three of the following: Adventures in Science, Engineer, option A or option B.
    Option A: Do all of the following:
    a. Construct one of the following from wood, and one from another material: Book rack, Shelf, Bulletin board, Tie rack, Letter holder, Notepad holder, Toolbox, Towel rack, Recipe holder, Lamp stand, Kitchen knife rack, Kitchen utensil rack, Napkin holder, Garden tool rack, Lid holder, Mailbox, Birdhouse, Desk nameplate, Letter, bill, and pencil holder, Bread box, Key rack, Measuring cup rack, Measuring spoon rack
    b. Keep an "insect zoo" with insects that you have collected. You might have crickets, ants, or grasshoppers. Study them for a while then release them. Share your experience with your den or your Mentor.
    c. With adult supervision, show how to check the oil level and tire pressure on a car.
    Option B: Do all of the following:
    a. Take a field trip to a geological site, geological laboratory, or rock show. Discuss what you learned at an upcoming den meeting or with your mentor.
    b. Construct a simple working electrical circuit using a flashlight battery, a switch, and a light.
    c. Do five activities within your home or school that require the use of mathematics. Explain to your den or your Mentor how you use math every day.
  2. Complete three of the following: Build It, First Responder, Into the Wild, Into the Woods, option A or option B.
    Option A: Do two of the following:
    a. Go on a geocaching adventure with your den or family. Show how you used a GPS unit or a smartphone with a GPS application to locate a geocache.
    b. Describe both the benefits and the harm wildfires can cause in a forest ecosystem. Tell how you can prevent wildfire.
    c. Set up an aquarium or terrarium. Keep it for at least a month.
    Option B: Do both of the following:
    a. With adult supervision, build and launch a model rocket. Describe how Newton's third law of motion explains how the rocket is propelled into the sky.
    b. While on a campout or night hike, identify five constellations or satellites in the night sky.
  3. Complete any three of the following six adventures: Webelos Scout/Arrow of Light elective adventures: Build It, Castaway, Into the Wild, and Into the Woods. the following Webelos required adventure: First Responder, and the following Arrow of Light required adventure: Building a Better World.
  4. Find interesting facts about Dr. Charles H. Townes using resources in your school or local library or on the Internet (with your parent’s or guardian’s permission and guidance). Then discuss what you learned with your mentor, including answers to the following questions: What very important award did Dr. Townes earn? What was Dr. Townes’ most famous invention?
  5. Find out about five other famous scientists, technology innovators, engineers, or mathematicians approved by your mentor. Discuss what you learned with your mentor.
  6. Speak with your teacher(s) at school (or your parents if you are home-schooled) OR one of your Cub Scout leaders about your interest in earning the Webelos Scout Supernova award. Ask them why they think math and science are important in your education. Discuss what you learn with your mentor.
  7. Participate in a science project or experiment in your classroom or school. Discuss this activity with your mentor.
  8. Do ONE of the following:
    A. Visit with someone who works in a STEM-related career. Discuss what you learned with your mentor.
    A. Learn about a career that depends on knowledge about science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. Discuss what you learned with your mentor.
  9. Under the direct supervision of your mentor, do an experiment that shows how the scientific method (or scientific process) is used. Prepare a short report on the results of your experiment for your mentor.
  10. Participate in a Nova- or other STEM-related activity in your Webelos Scout den or pack meeting that is conducted by a Boy Scout or Venturer who is working on his or her Supernova award. If this is not possible, participate in another Nova- or STEM-related activity in your den or pack meeting.
  11. Submit an application for the Webelos Scout Supernova award Adobe Acrobat PDF to the district STEM or advancement committee for approval.

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Please note any errors found in the above requirements on this article's Talk Page.


Worksheet A FREE workbook for Dr. Charles H. Townes Supernova Award is available here! (PDF or Word) with the maps, charts, links, diagrams, and checklists you need! Or click here to print just the Dr. Charles H. Townes Supernova Award 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.

Related awards

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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