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20 Book & Show Ideas for the Cub Scout Nova Award Swing!

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A requirement for the Cub Scout Nova award Swing! is to read books or watch shows about motion or simple machines. Here are 20 suggestions for them.

book and show ideas for cub scout nova award swing f

The first requirement for the Cub Scout Nova Award, Swing!, is this:

Choose A or B or C and complete ALL the requirements.

A. Watch an episode or episodes (about one hour total) of a show about anything related to motion or machines. Then do the following:

(1) Make a list of at least two questions or ideas from what you watched.
(2) Discuss two of the questions or ideas with your counselor.

B. Read (about one hour total) about anything related to motion or machines. Then do the following:

(1) Make a list of at least two questions or ideas from what you read.
(2) Discuss two of the questions or ideas with your counselor.

C. Do a combination of reading and watching (about one hour total) about anything related to motion or machines. Then do the following:

(1) Make a list of at least two questions or ideas from what you read and watched.
(2) Discuss two of the questions or ideas with your counselor.


You can find the complete Cub Scout Nova award Swing! requirements here.

The first time I read that, I was so confused! It is very easy to miss the word “or” between A, B, and C in the first sentence. Combine that with “ALL” in capital letters, and it seems like the kids need to spend 3+ hours on this first requirement.

In fact, I believe it was my good friend, Betsy, who set me straight. Your Scouts only need to spend one hour learning about motion or machines (via books or shows) with a little work after that.

Here's my simplified version of the Cub Scout Nova award Swing! requirement 1.

Spend one hour learning about anything related to motion or machines. You may either read for an hour, watch shows on TV or YouTube for an hour, or do both for an hour (30 minutes of reading and 30 minutes of watching).

After your hour of learning, make a list of at least two questions or ideas you had about what you learned. Then discuss two of the questions or ideas with your counselor.

Much easier than three hours, isn't it? ?

Books to Read for the Cub Scout Nova Award Swing!

Here are some suggestions for books that your Cub Scout can read for the Cub Scout Nova award, Swing!:

1. A Crash Course in Forces and Motion with Max Axiom, Super Scientist – “Follows the adventures of Max Axiom as he explains the science behind forces and motion. Written in graphic-novel format.”


2. Simple Machines (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2) – “Machines help make work easier, like when you need to lift something heavy or reach way up high. There are six simple machines: the lever, the wheel and axle, the pulley, the ramp, the wedge, and the screw. Can you adjust a seesaw to lift an elephant? What happens when you combine two or more simple machines? Read and find out!”


3. The Kids’ Book of Simple Machines: Cool Projects & Activities that Make Science Fun! – (Kindle only book) “Wheel and axle, wedge, and screw. Lever and pulley and inclined plane, too! Learning about the six simple machines has never been more fun!”


4. Motion – “Introduce students to the concept of motion with this science reader that features easy-to-read text. This book teaches important scientific topics and vocabulary including Newton's Laws of Motion, force, drag, and friction.”


5. Simple Machines: Forces in Action, Do It Yourself Series – “How did the Ancient Egyptians build the pyramids? What is an Archimedes’ screw? Which wedge do you use every time you eat? Do It Yourself offers an exciting new approach to understanding and investigation.”


6. Give It a Push! Give It a Pull!: A Look at Forces – “You push a swing. Your brother pulls a wagon. Forces are at work all around you. But what exactly is a force? And how do forces act on different objects? Read this book to find out!”


7. How Do You Lift a Lion? – “Explore the functions of levers, wheels, and pulleys, and learn how to lift a lion, pull a panda, and deliver a basket of bananas to a baboon birthday party!”


8. Simple Machines: Wheels, Levers, and Pulleys – “Kids use simple machines every day without realizing it. Teeth are wedges and so are knives, forks, and thumbtacks. Slides, which are inclined planes, and seesaws, which are levers, are also simple machines. Two appealing kids and their comical cat introduce levers, wheels, pulleys, inclined planes, and more, and explain how they work. This lively introduction to physics will get kids excited about how simple machines simplify our lives.”


9. Scoop, Seesaw, and Raise: A Book About Levers – “Provides examples to describe levers as simple machines used to lift, push, or move a load. Includes an activity.”


10. Machines – “This mix of hobby and science teaches kids to observe, collate information, and reach conclusions.”

Videos to Watch for the Cub Scout Nova Award Swing!

Here are some videos your child can watch for the Cub Scout Nova award Swing!:

Force and Motion – PBS Science Trek video

Pulleys and Simple Machines Facts for Kids Video – From Easy Science for Kids

Soaring Into Science – Force and Motion – Examines how motion can be described, measured, and predicted.

4 Machines: How They Work from Science Channel – If you have access to the Science Channel through your cable or satellite TV provider, your child can choose from 20 different videos. They can learn about machines such as dental drills, 3D printers, air hockey tables, vending machines, and bicycle pumps. You'll need to log in using your cable or satellite TV login.

Simple Machines for Kids: Science and Engineering for Children – “Simple machines have been helping people to do work for thousands of years! The lever, wheel and axle, pulley, inclined plane, wedge, and screw each have a job to do. Some amplify force, some change its direction, and some reduce friction or create mechanical advantage. Come learn about simple machines and what makes them work in this educational video!”

Simple Machines: Levers – Older cartoon that describes how levers work.

Pulley, Wheel, Lever and More Simple Machines – “Mocomi brings to you an interesting compilation of simple machines. These simple machines use the fundamental law of forces and mechanics to carry out very simple movements. These in turn can be used to create machines that we see around us in our everyday lives.”

Physical Science for Children All About Simple Machines – Science video created by science teachers.

Introduction to Simple Machines – Created by the Children's Museum of New Hampshire.

10 Science Court: Work and Simple Machines – “The half-hour program mixed courtroom drama, science experiments, and humor to teach fundamental concepts in elementary and middle school science such as the water cycle, work, matter, gravity, flight, and energy. As each case unfolded, the characters in the trial used humor to highlight scientific misconceptions and model good scientific practice.”

What will your kids choose? Will they read, watch a show, or do both?

Links to Other Swing! Requirements

Yours in Scouting,

P.S. Read all of my Cub Scout STEM-related posts here.

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