BY KAREN GERHARDINGER | MIRROR REPORTER — Jordyn Scharringhausen is just 8 years old, but she’s paving the way in Cub Scouts.
A member of Pack 101 in Waterville, Jordyn is the first of her peers to receive the Dr. Luis W. Alvarez Supernova Award. Named for the experimental physicist, inventor, professor and 1968 Nobel Prize winner in physics, the Supernova Award is designed to take Scouts on a deep dive into science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) topics.
“Less than 1 percent of Scouts get Supernova,” said Pack 101 Cubmaster Andy Shoup. “It takes commitment from the Scout and their parent – it’s a lot of effort.”
To earn the award, Jordyn spent three months working on experiments and interviews, filling out paperwork and tracking progress. One interview was with Waterville Primary second-grade teacher Nichole Siravo to learn about the importance of math and science. She also interviewed an architect about the practical use of geometry and physics to design buildings. Jordyn conducted experiments as well, including making a cloud in a cup.
“I like science because I get to experiment with different things,” Jordyn said.
A prerequisite to earning the Supernova Award was to earn the Nova patch, which can be supplemented with up to 11 pi-symbol pins to represent each STEM activity completed – such as learning about outer space, physics and math.
Jordyn joined Pack 101 as a kindergartner and has risen through the ranks of Lion, Tiger and Wolf. Along the way, she’s filled her Scout shirt with patches and badges to represent that growth.
A Resource Stewardship Scout Ranger patch, for example, required spending 10 hours at national parks. At Perry’s Victory and International Peace Mem-orial in Put-in-Bay, Jordyn learned about the often-used phrase “Don’t Give Up the Ship,” which Naval Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry used on his battle flag. At Hopewell Culture National Historical Park in Chillicothe, Jordyn saw the artifacts and burial mounds of Ohio’s first inhabitants from over 2,000 years ago. And at the William Howard Taft National Historic Site in Cincinnati, she learned about the 27th president and laughed to see chickens running around the yard.
“Scouts is fun. You can do fun and cool activities,” she said. “You can go hiking on trails and you can earn cool awards.”
Jordyn has earned more awards than any other Scout in Pack 101, Shoup said.
“It motivates the others to do more, and with her earning the Supernova, it paves the way for others to learn how to do it. It’s not just the normal rank advancement,” he said.
Jordyn is currently working on another Nova badge that’s based on outer space, using information and activities from NASA. She’s also doing more hiking, as her mom, Jennifer, is launching a hiking club for Pack 101.
Among her favorite activities with Scouts is the Raingutter Regatta – building ships to race in a gutter – and the Pinewood Derby. At Camp Miakonda earlier this summer, she especially liked BB guns and archery activities.
In addition to Scouts, Jordyn plays baseball for the Anthony Wayne Area Baseball Softball Association (AWABSA) Dodgers team. She also plays hockey and basketball and takes karate. She likes to read Dragon Masters and Harry Potter books, and to hang out with the family dog, Scout.
Pack 101 stays active in the summer, including an upcoming campout at Oak Openings. The summertime program gives kids a chance to keep busy and enjoy the outdoors when school is out, Shoup said.
For youths in grades K-5, Pack 101 is always welcoming new members. Visit www.watervillepack101.com for more information.