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Boy Scouts earn prestigious STEM award

The Boy Scouts of America recently honored 18 Scouts from the St. Peters area for earning the Supernova Award.

Nine members of Troop 858, chartered by the Progress South Elementary PTO, decided to earn the Dr. Bernard Harris Supernova Award during the stay-at-home order this past spring. 

“I heard the idea of a Scout troop getting Supernova when everybody’s inside and doing nothing,” Samuel Halloran, of Fort Zumwalt South Middle, said. “This troop is doing something during a pandemic. I thought, ‘OK, that sounds like fun.’”

Milo Cravens, of Fort Zumwalt East High, also participated and earned the award. He did an array of projects, like earning four STEM merit badges, teaching a STEM class to a group of Cub Scouts, making a model car with an energy source and more. 

“I plan to be a teacher one day, and anything I do now, like this, helps a lot to prepare me,” Cravens said. He is currently completing his Eagle Scout project and hopes to achieve that goal later this year.

“My favorite part was taking apart a bike and learning gear mechanisms of how a bike works,” Yash Chigurupati, of CBC High, added. “I thought it was really interesting. I’ve been interested in cars and robotics, so I’ve known about gear ratios before, but I didn’t have any practical experience. That was really helpful because it gave me an opportunity to take something that I used in my everyday life and get a better understanding of it.”

In order to earn the Supernova Award, the middle and high school students had to teach STEM classes to younger Scouts. They used Facebook to invite local Cub Scouts from Pack 858 at Progress South Elementary and Pack 961 at Hawthorn Elementary to attend virtual classes. Each of the nine older Scouts taught a different class. 

Nine Cub Scouts in first and second grade completed the program and earned the Dr. Luis W. Alvarez Supernova Award for Cub Scouts. 

“My favorite part of Supernova was working with the older Scouts in Troop 858,” Mae Calder, of Progress South Elementary, said. “They worked with us on a science fair project, cooking some meals, building a Rube Goldberg machine, meeting with a meteorologist, learning architecture, making a flyer and learning about famous scientists. It was a lot of fun.”

Caiah Stull, of Fort Zumwalt High, said the hardest part of earning the Supernova Award was “just getting motivated.” 

“But it helps to have people supporting you,” Stull said. “I’m definitely glad that I did it.”

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