On May 29, 2021, Robert El-Hage was awarded the Dr. Luis Alvarez Supernova Award by Mr. Randy Young, Sully District Unit Commissioner, at Pack 717’s Blue & Gold event. Robert is a Bear in Cub Scout Pack 717, chartered by St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church in Clifton Virginia, where he is a 3rd Grader at the church’s school. Robert started off as a Cub Scout in the Lion pilot program as a kindergartener. He was quickly inspired by Mr. Young to work on Cub Scout Awards that are not earned very often. Robert first earned the International Spirit Award after expressing his interest in ham radio during the Jamboree-on-the-Air at Camp Snyder. This accomplishment led Robert to discover the Nova program.
To receive the Supernova Award, a Scout first must earn a certain number of Nova awards. He earned four Nova awards: Down and Dirty, Fearful Symmetry, Out of this World, and Up and Away. His favorite Nova was Down and Dirty because he got to make a Papier Mache volcano. He also enjoyed earning the Out of this World award which is all about astronomy. To earn this, Robert watched astronomy videos, participated in a two hour Zoom meeting hosted by the NCAC STEM Committee, and did some cool crafts. After completing this Nova award, Robert was inspired to become an astronomer.
Even after completing these Nova awards, Robert was determined to achieve the Supernova award. He wanted to earn a medal that meant something to him. Robert was mentored by Dr. Hatcher Tynes, who is the Sully District STEM Coordinator. For his scientific method demonstration he created “volcano snow”, experimenting so he could create the right consistency of “snow”. It took him six months to earn his Supernova. If Robert could describe his overall experience in three words it would be “hard, interesting,” and (most importantly) “fun.”
Article authored by Supernova recipient’s big sister, Kiernan El-Hage, SPL Troop 1137G.