STEM in 2023

Cub Scout Science Everywhere

On Saturday, March 18th , we met at St. Stephen CME Church in Fairfield, CA to learn how to be a scientist, the impact of oil spills, and how to clean them up.  Our Nova Counselors guided the Cub Scouts in completing the Science Everywhere! Nova Award.  We had a demonstration by International Bird Rescue in how they clean birds following an oil spill.  

Scouts BSA Whoosh!

On Saturday, April 1st, we met to learn about simple machines and how they are used to make more complex machines.  We took a virtual tour of an amusement park to see these machines in action.  Over that week Scouts designed (created) their your very own amusement park rides using the Minecraft platform.  

The following Saturday, April 8th, we met again to share the Scouts’ creations and finish out our discussions on motion and motion-related engineering.

STEM in 2022

Cub Scout Nova Wild!

In March 2022, the Golden Gate Area Council STEM Committee returned to offering In-Person Nova events.  Our first In-Person event was for Cub Scouts and covered the Nova Wild! Award.  We met at the Wagner Ranch Nature Area for an afternoon of ecology exploration and fun.

STEM in 2021

STEM Escape Rooms

In the winter of 2021 (Jan-Mar), the STEM Committee partnered with Stem Chef to deliver two virtual escape room experiences–Uncovering the Past and 1-2-3-Go!–for Cub Scouts and Webelos.

Scouts BSA Whoosh!

In early Spring 2021, the STEM Committee hosted a Virtual Nova Award event for the Scouts BSA Nova Award Whoosh! using Minecraft as a platform for amusement ride design.  The event drew Scouts from across the country to show off their Minecraft design skills while learning about machines and the transformation of force into motion.

STEM in 2020

Summer of STEM

The summer of 2020 was like no other in recent memory.  With the COVID-19 Pandemic forcing everyone to Shelter in Place, the STEM Committee worked to offer an array of Nova Awards for Cub Scouts and Scouts BSA.

The Cub Scouts had opportunities to earn the Fearful Symmetry, Uncovering the Past, Cub Scouts Can Code, Out of the World, and Down & Dirty Nova Awards.  Scouts BSA were able to work on Splash!, Start Your Engines!, Hello World, Whoosh!, Let It Grow, and Mendel’s Minions.  

Dr. Charles H. Townes Supernova Award

In the Fall of 2020, Ariel Karahalios and Lalitha Balasubramanian offered Webelos and Arrow of Light Scouts an opportunity to earn the Dr. Charles H. Townes Supernova medal.  Over the course of two months, the Scouts learned about electrical circuits, the environment, and what it takes to become a scientist.  The event culminated with a Virtual Science Fairs where the Scouts shared their different science projects.

STEM in 2019

Up & Away Nova Award

On December 27, we traveled to iFly in Union City for a bit of indoor skydiving.  This was a combined event with Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, and Venturers all having the opportunity to complete the Up & Away Nova Award.

If your unit is interested in the Up & Away program offered by iFly, please contact the STEM Committee and we can put you in touch with the people at iFly.

Dr. Charles H. Townes Supernova Award

In the Fall of 2019, Ariel Karahalios offered an opportunity for Webelos and Arrow of Light Scouts to earn the Dr. Charles H. Townes Supernova medal.  Over the course of a month and a half, the Scouts learned about electrical circuits, the environment, and what it takes to become a scientist.  The event culminated with a Science Fair at the MDSC Service Center.

Cub Scout Nova Wild!

On Saturday, October 12, about 40 Cub Scouts and Scouts BSA assistants joined the STEM Committee at the Wagner Ranch Nature Area in Orinda for the Cub Scout Nova Wild! activity.

The Cub Scouts, Webelos, and Arrow of Light Scouts spent the afternoon learning about the local ecosystems and wildlife, and invasive species.  They were joined by the Nature Area’s Naturalist Toris Jaeger for a talk about the Nature Center, its history, and what it takes to become a naturalist.

Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2019 Event

On Saturday, April 6th, the MDSC STEM Committee hosted a STEM event at the Sonoma Raceway in conjunction with the Shell Eco-Marathon Americas 2019 Make the Future Live.  The event was attended by Scouts from Mt. Diablo Silverado, San Francisco Bay Area, Redwood Empire, Marin, Golden Empire, and even Western LA Council.

Down & Dirty!

On Saturday, March 23rd, the MDSC STEM Committee hosted the Cub Scout Down & Dirty Nova Award event at Camp Herms in El Cerrito, CA.  The event was attended by just over 40 Scouts from Mt. Diablo Silverado Council and other Councils (Cub Scouts journeyed from the Greater Yosemite and Sequoia Councils to join in the fun with Elephant Toothpaste Volcanoes).

STEM in 2018

Splash !

On Saturday, December 29th, the STEM Committee hosted the Boy Scout Splash! Nova Award Event at the Big Break Regional Shoreline in Oakley, CA.  The event was attended by 19 Scouts from across the Council. The Scouts explored the nature and forces associated with that most vital molecule, water. 

Wolfeboro 2018

In the summer of 2018, the MDSC STEM Committee offered a pilot program for the Boy Scout Nova Awards.  Start Your Engines!, Shoot!, Whoosh!, and Designed to Crunch! were offered to Scouts in small groups.  In addition, a Supernova activity, Bungee Math, was offered at the end of the week.  The program was such a success that we plan to offer it again in 2019.

Science Everywhere-Oil Spill Clean Up!

In August of 2018, we partnered with International Bird Rescue to offer the Science Everywhere Nova Award for Cub Scouts and Webelos in Fairfield, CA. With Science Everywhere, we looked at how oil spills impact the natural environment and how they might be cleaned up to minimize the ecological damage.

Whoosh! Nova Award

In March 2018, we held an event at Camp Herms in El Cerrito for Boy Scouts to earn the Whoosh! Nova Award. The participants studied simple machines and saw them at work and play.  From there, they designed their own amusement park ride and Rube Goldberg Machine.

1-2-3 Go! Nova Award

In February 2018, a 1-2-3 Go! Nova Award event for Cub Scouts was held in San Ramon.

Past STEM Events

In 2017, the MDSC STEM Committee offered the Start Your Engines! Nova Award for Boy Scouts and the Swing! Nova Award for Cub Scouts. In August of 2017, we hosted a Solar Eclipse Viewing Party at the Martinez Marina, but regrettably Mother Nature did not cooperate and the Marina was fogged in that morning.  We still live-streamed the event and worked with all the Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturers present to earn the special Eclipse patch in celebration of the event.

In 2016, the MDSC STEM Committee offered our first Nova Award events, Shoot! for Boy Scouts in the Spring and late Summer. 

Our very first STEM event was held at Camp Herms in December of 2015.  We invited Cub Scouts from around the Council to come and explore Engineering and Robotics using the Legos Mindstorm platform.


Sea Scouts




Shooting Sport


Scouting for Food

Order of the Arrow

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