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.
After 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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