As someone with a STEM degree, I considered getting involved with the program when I returned to Scouting — at least in theory, I am the sort that “should” be a NOVA/Supernova Counselor… but I had a hard time getting excited about doing it, and so never got around to it. I wonder if that same sort of issue affects scouts.
That said, I think an approach — if the program itself is going to change, shrink, etc. — is to fold more into some of the existing merit badges. I actually really like the point made in this thread that the distinction between some of the “trades” merit badges and STEM is sometimes not that clear. As someone trained as a chemist, I agree. Infusing a bit more of the science and engineering elements in some of the trades merit badges (my daughter just took Welding MB so I saw it first hand) could benefit them, and strengthening some of the STEM content in some of the other more “traditional STEM” MBs like chemistry or forestry or soil and water conservation could benefit them as well. It would potentially make both categories of MBs a bit harder, but could benefit those that pursue them.
I have not seen any details on how to properly conduct a youth protection violation investigation in either a committee or chartered org handbook. I expect BSA would not want committee chairs or chartered orgs to be leading these investigations. This isn't a volunteer's role.
Back to OP, Is it time for the BSA to change its top leadership model? @gpurlee
A good question... HOW will the BSA best decide WHO will next lead the BSA?
IMHO regarding this topic, the BSA Bylaws appear little changed in the reorganization plan presently under judicial review.
I moved STEM posts to a recent STEM topic.
So, the BSA has two or three different threads for STEM, all undergirded by the highlighting of STEM related topics throughout the Handbooks, Awards, and Advancements...
https://bsastemnova.org/#:~:text=Officially the NOVA program was,of BSA from its creation.
1. Cub Scouts, Scouts, Venturers, Sea Scouts: a series of STEM based awards called the NOVA and Supernova Awards
2. A program with separate units called STEM Scouts
3. And the not-so-strong push for Explorer Units to be STEM career-based
I am a NOVA and Supernova counselor...have been since inception (10 years ago??) I have had one Cub Scout come to me to earn the award. I did push it on our Webelos AOL den when my son was there... after the den had finished AOL program in late Nov, they had "nothing to do" (LOL) so I went through the program with the den.
Scouts are interested, but have little to no bandwidth for ANOTHER PROGRAM 😜
P.S. Supercool bling!!!