Instructions for Supernova Mentors
What’s It All About?
Like a merit badge counselor, a Supernova mentor is a key player in the Supernova awards program. Whatever your area of expertise
or interest—whether it is a special hobby (amateur radio, geocaching, music), a profession (veterinary medicine, aviation, engineering),
or perhaps a life skill (cooking, personal management, communication)—as a Supernova mentor, you play a vital role in stirring a
young person’s curiosity about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). By serving as a mentor, you offer your time,
knowledge, and other resources so Scouts have the opportunity to broaden their horizons and experience achievement. And in doing so,
your mission is to combine fun with learning.
You are both teacher and mentor to the Scout as he or she learns by doing. By presenting opportunities for growth via engaging activities
like developing simulations to predict performance, discovering how to design aircraft for maximum ﬂight, or learning what it’s like to be an
astronaut, you may pique a young person’s interest in STEM and inspire a Scout to develop a lifelong hobby, prepare for a particular career,
or become an independent, self-supporting adult.
Learning to Be a Supernova Mentor
All Scouts deserve trained leaders. It is important that all mentors have a full understanding of their roles, responsibilities, and the
recommended practices for quality mentoring. Since Supernova mentors are unique, the training module “Supernova Mentor Training” is
a great starting point for mentor training. It covers the following topics:
A Scouting overview: mission, aims, and methods Effective mentoring
Mentor qualiﬁcations: how to become a mentor Mentor roles and responsibilities
The Supernova process and requirements Supernova program role and beneﬁts
The training module can be found at: www.scouting.org/stem.
Processing This Application
Supernova mentors must register as adult Scouters and be approved by the council advancement committee for each Supernova award
listed on this form. Mentors do not have to pay a registration fee, but must ﬁll out a BSA Adult Application for position code 52, and
complete BSA Youth Protection training appropriate for the level they will mentor. Mentors may wish to associate with a particular unit but
are encouraged to serve any Scout from any unit.
Special Qualiﬁcations and Guidelines for Supernova Mentors
The Supernova awards are intended to encourage Scouts to explore STEM topics to a signiﬁcantly deep level. Therefore, the Supernova
mentor must be qualiﬁed by vocation or hobby to support and direct explorations in the STEM topics. This application allows you as a
prospective mentor to substantiate your credentials. Additionally, all explorations and activities must follow recommendations for age-
appropriate activities and the BSA’s Guide to Safe Scouting guidelines in the use of tools, chemicals, and machinery. These policies apply
to all BSA activities, including Supernova instruction. For other activities not described in the Guide to Safe Scouting, mentors should have
sufﬁcient depth of knowledge and experience to understand how to safely present the material.
Instructions to Mentors
information of at least one mentor to each Scout desiring to work on a Supernova award. Before beginning to work with a youth,
mentors should check the youth’s award application to ensure it is signed by the unit leader.
guardian, a brother or sister, or a relative or friend. There is no one-on-one contact allowed between Scouts and mentors—the buddy
requirement is mandatory. Ideally, all interaction with Scouts should be in view of others. Follow Youth Protection guidelines.
and expert personnel are limited. However, any group experience must provide attention to every individual candidate’s projects and
progress, and ensure each has actively and personally fulﬁlled all the requirements. If, for example, a requirement uses words like
“show,” “demonstrate,” or “discuss,” then every Scout must individually do so. It is unacceptable to present awards on the basis of
Scouts sitting in classrooms and watching demonstrations or remaining silent during discussions.
If requirements change after a Scout has started working on an award, he or she may stay with the requirements in effect when the
2013 PrintingRevised September 2013