NOVA: Out of This World

Getting Started

Welcome to Pack 350's first virtual NOVA award. A NOVA may be earned by any cub scout classified as a Wolf or higher. If a Lion or Tiger would like to do their best and have a good time is encouraged to partake.

First, is your cyber-chip current? If your cyber-chip is not current, or logged in scoutbook, please stop now and either earn your cyber-chip, recharge, or log completion in scoutbook. Requirements for the cyber-chip can be found for each rank on the left hand menu titled "Advancement Trails".

Second, did you ask an adult permission to use the internet? As you learned during the cyber-chip requirements you should not use the internet or go to sites without an adults permission to do so.

Third, gather the items listed in the supply list. Hopefully you are able to find these items with ease around your home. If you do not have an item listed please have your parent send an e-mail to with the specific item you are missing and an alternative supply can be discussed. Remember a scout is Thrifty!

If you have completed all the steps above you are ready to get started.

Supply List

  • A piece of paper

  • Tape measure

  • Fishing line or string

    • Plastic drinking straw

    • Balloon (not Mylar)

    • Medical Tape

    • A empty box

    • Miscellaneous clean recyclables

    • Duck Tape(or any kind)

    • Flashlight

    • Ping-pong size ball

    • Soft ball sized ball

Section 1

Start by watching this Myth Buster's video. While watching the video write down two questions or ideas. After you have finished the video submit your questions/ideas on this form:

Check the Q&A page for the answers to the scouts questions as they are submitted.

Section 2

Make a paper airplane and fly it five times. Try to make it fly farther by altering its shape. Fly it at least five more times to see if your changes were effective. Take a before and after picture of your airplane and have an adult e-mail the photos to Complete the form below to record your flight distances before and after modification in inches, describe the change you made and do you think your change was effective.

Section 3

Make a balloon-powered sled. Make a prediction on which balloon size will go the farthest and why. Test your sled with larger and smaller balloons. Record your distance in inches and the prediction you made in the form below.

Section 4

Explain how “revolution,” or “orbit,” compares with “rotation” when talking about planets and the solar system.

Plus, choose three planets, in addition to Earth, to investigate (you may include the dwarf planet Pluto) on this NASA site.

    1. Find out how long the planet takes to go around the sun (the planet’s year)

    2. How long the planet takes to spin on its axis (the planet’s day).

    3. Distance from the sun

    4. Planet's diameter

    5. Planet's atmosphere

    6. Planet's temperature range

    7. Number of moons

How do these compare to Earth?

To aid in your research please check out the Planet Facts page.

Record your research and answers on this form.

Section 5

Using a box and clean recyclables (plastic building blocks, food containers, recycled materials, etc.), design a model Mars rover that would be useful to explore the rocky planet’s surface. Have an adult send a picture of your finished rover to and use the form to explain the following:

1. The data the rover would collect

2. How the rover would work

3. How the rover would transmit data

4. Why rovers are needed for space exploration

Section 6

Investigate and make models of solar and lunar eclipses. Using your model or diagram, discuss eclipses with your adult, and explain the difference between a solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse.

Use this form to record your understanding.

Section 7

Watch this video to explore a career associated with space exploration. Make a note of what subjects you would need to study as you get older to have a career in space exploration.

Then complete this final form to earn your NOVA.