Cub Scouts can choose from completing an adventure, taking something apart, or playing sports for requirement 2 of the Cub Scout Nova Award, Swing!
The second requirement for the Cub Scout Nova award, Swing!, gives the Scouts three options to pick from.
Nova Swing! Requirement 2. Complete ONE adventure from the following list for your current rank or complete option A or B. (If you choose an Adventure, choose one you have not already earned.) Discuss with your counselor what kind of science, technology, engineering, and math was used in the adventure or option.
Option A: With your parent’s permission, take an old or broken household or mechanical item, break it down into its component pieces, and identify the purpose of five parts. Suggested items include a keyboard, floppy disk, telephone, VCR, tape deck, bicycle, people counter, printer or similar item. Make sure to use appropriate safety precautions.
Option B: Participate in two sports, either as an individual or part of a team, and identify the levers used in each sport.
When the award was first introduced, there was only one option for requirement 2–complete one of the listed belt loops or pins from the old Academics and Sports program.
After the Cub Scout program was overhauled in 2015, the requirement was updated. Cub Scouts would now choose one of the adventures for their rank.
A third update happened in 2017 which gave Cub Scouts the option to do a project other than completing an adventure.
Adventures for Cub Scout Nova Award, Swing!
For each rank, the kids have a choice of two adventures they may complete. The counselor's edition of the Swing! requirements explains why these particular adventures were chosen.
Here at Cub Scout Ideas, I try to give you fun activity ideas for requirements, but I don't have them for all of the requirements. When I started planning this Swing! series, I wanted to ensure that I covered all the requirements for at least one adventure for each rank.
Option A – Take Apart a Household or Mechanical Item
Taking an item apart can be super fun. It's interesting to look at all the parts and talk about what they do.
But there's an even bigger reason why we should encourage kids to do this. The National Inventors Hall of Fame had this to say:
“Why do we feel the freedom to reverse engineer is important? Research of our world’s greatest innovators showed a commonality that as children, they all took apart household items, re-imagining them into new prototype concepts!”
Where to Get Old Appliances
- Ask your family and neighbors.
- Facebook group. I asked in our community Facebook group, and someone replied almost immediately.
- Goodwill or other thrift shops. We have a Goodwill outlet store close to me where you can purchase items by the pound. They always have a great selection of old appliances. 🙂
- Garage sale.
We want to keep our Cub Scouts safe while they're doing this activity. Here are some things to remember.
- Use safety glasses! You never know what might go flying toward a kid's eyes as they are prying things apart.
- Familiarize yourself with the item. Determine if it has glass or sharp objects. If it does, remove those parts yourself.
- Remove and discard batteries, or cut electrical cord. We don't want Cub Scouts trying to turn on something that has been disassembled.
- Consider younger children. Make sure that the Cub Scouts aren't doing this activity while their younger siblings are around. All those little pieces and parts will be too tempting for the younger children. It's just too much of a choking risk.
Here are some suggestions for tools that you might need.
- Flat Head and Phillips Head Screw Drivers (Note: Most items with electronics will require very small screwdrivers.)
- Safety goggles
- Small bins or trays to put pieces in
Nice to Haves:
- Hammer (Only use with parental supervision)
Learning About the Parts
For this requirement, the Cub Scouts need to identify the purpose of five parts. If you're like me, you won't have any idea what those parts are for!
One great resource is the product's instruction manual. Many of these can be found online. Simply google the brand name and model number of your appliance. Even if you can't find the exact manual, a similar one should be useful.
What to do with the Parts
So, after your Cub Scout has examined his item, what do you do with all those parts? Here are a few suggestions.
- Try to put it back together.
- Use the parts to create a new invention.
- Use the parts in an art project. The Webelos and Arrow of Light adventure, Art Explosion, has a requirement to make a freestanding sculpture or mobile.
- Recycle what you can.
- Discard the rest appropriately.
Option B – Participate in Two Individual or Team Sports and Identify the Levers Used
Almost every sport uses levers–even those that don't use equipment!
This presentation about simple machines in sports will give your Cub Scout a good overview. The first 19 slides are about levers.
Your Scouts might also like the book, Simple Machines in Sports which is described this way:
Kids know that hockey sticks, water bottles with screw-on lids, and cleats are all used in sports. It may, however, be a surprise to them to learn that they're all machines. This book teaches sports enthusiasts how to spot the simple machines they've never noticed and to analyze their favorite games as never before. Labeled diagrams explain concepts such as mechanical advantage, and examples of each kind of simple machine abound.
Here are a few examples of sports that use levers.
- Table Tennis
Have your Cub Scout pick out a couple of sports that he or she likes and play them this week. We'll finish up the requirement next week by identifying the levers they used while they were participating in their chosen sports.
Remember, your Cub Scout only has to do one of these–an adventure, a take apart activity, or two sports–for this requirement. But if they're enjoying learning about levers, they can do all three if they want.
Yours in Scouting,
P.S. Read more about how to earn the Cub Scout Nova Award, Swing!