Braxton had earned 3 of his 7 Nova awards when he first approached me.

He was real­ly desirous to learn and do more. I think sci­ence might be in his blood.

When I was a boy I didn’t always have con­sis­tent lead­er­ship. In fact, at one point I final­ly had a Scout­mas­ter for almost 2 years. I didn’t even know what the require­ments were for reg­u­lar rank advance­ments let alone the oth­er pro­grams that exist­ed. When I was asked to be a cub scout leader, I was hes­i­tant, as I nev­er was a cub scout and didn’t know much about the pro­gram. But, I took on the chal­lenge and worked with many lead­ers in a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion as me. Not that they didn’t do an amaz­ing job, in fact I may nev­er be as good as the cub mas­ter we had when I first joined, but there were still some miss­ing parts. 

novaAfter attend­ing sev­er­al round tables and Akela’s Coun­cil, I gained a bet­ter under­stand­ing of the over­all pro­gram and began to dis­cov­er where I was best suit­ed in Cub Scout­ing. I start­ed by becom­ing a mer­it badge coun­selor and Leave No Trace Train­er. I then learned about the Nova and Super­no­va pro­gram. It was like being a mer­it badge coun­selor, but I could work with all age groups to help them bet­ter under­stand and learn about Sci­ence, Tech­nol­o­gy, Engi­neer­ing, and Math.

As an engi­neer myself, I con­stant­ly see the need for every­one to have at least a basic under­stand­ing of math and sci­ence. I see peo­ple get­ting mis­lead by the incor­rect use of sta­tis­tics and claims about things being sci­en­tif­ic, and the claims just aren’t true. For our cul­ture and future, we need to ensure that our youth are obtain­ing skills need­ed to bet­ter under­stand the world around them, and I think the best way for them to get it is through lead­ers, espe­cial­ly par­ents, spend­ing time to teach their chil­dren STEM.

I became a Nova coun­selor and a Super­no­va men­tor because I felt I could help bridge a gap between the desires that the youth have to learn STEM and the abil­i­ty that fam­i­lies and units might have to help them reach that lev­el. I’ve been priv­i­leged to work with over 20 youth so far. Two of them have earned a Super­no­va award. It’s been an incred­i­ble oppor­tu­ni­ty to see these youth light up as they begin to push their under­stand­ing of the world around them and to learn that STEM isn’t that hard, that they can do it, and that they often enjoy it.

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