STEMinars – May 13 – Register Now

Our STEMinars are back!

STEMinars are engaging STEM workshops for High School and College Students.

Sign up for CAD/3D Printing and/or Coding STEMinars that will be held at the NOVA Loudoun Campus (Templin Higher Education Center) on Saturday May 13th. You can register here for one or both STEMinars.

STEMinars are $25 each. You can sign up for both for only $40, plus a free lunch. You will receive a completion certificate at the end of the session.

Click here for a one-page flyer for this event.

The CAD/3D Printing STEMinar (9am – 12pm) will focus on the following:

  • Students will be introduced to Computer Aided Design (CAD)
  • Students will start with a basic CAD file and modify it to be personalized
  • Students will be able to print a basic prototype or 3D model

The Coding STEMinar (1pm – 4pm) will introduce students how to utilize an Arduino Uno:

  • Students will learn how to use an Arduino to complete a project.
  • Basic electronics and circuitry will be introduced.
  • Coding or creating sketches will be introduced.

NOVA Loudoun Campus address:
21200 Campus Drive
Temple Higher Education Center
Sterling, VA 20164

Paid Internship & Camp Instructor Opportunities!

We have excellent paid internship and camp instructor opportunities for students residing in northern Virginia this summer. Don’t miss a great chance to get a head start on STEM career!

Interns will help develop STEM Curriculum, aid with outreach and EXPOs and prepare for Robotics Competitions.

Camp Instructors will work with students age 8-18 at our STEM Camps, instruct STEM Camp Curriculum & teach one or more STEM camps.

Sign up at intern.novastem.us/Apply and/or camp.novastem.us/InstructorApplication

Check out and share our STEM Intern flyer

STEM Expos a hit!

Expos are a great way to showcase STEM. Hands-on activities (rather than simply exhibits) have a way of drawing young people in and that was certainly the case for SySTEMic Solutions last month when we held two Expos on the same day: our STEMZone at the Youth For Tomorrow Country Fair and the Loudoun STEM Day, held at the NOVA Loudoun Campus on Oct 1.

dsc_0092STEMZone at YFT Country Fair

Every fall for the last 30 years The Youth For Tomorrow Country Fair in Bristow has been northern Virginia’s most affordable family fun festival. It serves as a fundraiser for at-risk and underrepresented youth and families who need counseling. It is a vibrant community partnership and we were thrilled to have our STEMzone be part of it.

Our STEMZone was designed to get kids and their parents involved in our hands-on STEM activities and introduce them to programs that can ignite a lasting interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

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How did we do this? Well, under three 20×40 tents and seven 10×10 tents we set up separate stations with multiple activities under each banner of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Every student coming to the STEMZone received a passport with the letters of ‘STEM’ highlighted with an empty space beneath. Once they completed designated hands-on activities they would receive a sticker from a volunteer and place it under the corresponding STEM letter. Once they got all 4 they turned in their passport for a prize and also went into the drawing for one of the grand prizes, a brand new VEX robot or a Dronium III AP Protocol Drone!

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There were multiple engaging STEM activities. Children could play robot basketball, design an object in CAD, watch 3D printers print out T-Rex skulls, Millenium Falcons, and nuts and bolts. They could build and launch stomp rockets as well as snuffing out a simulated cyber-threat on a laptop at the cybersecurity station. They could try a drone simulator and better yet, go over to our indoor Drone Zone and fly a drone through an obstacle course.

As we’ve experienced with any of our hands-on activities, the interest was high and the participation non-stop for all age groups. About 1200 people came through our STEMZone and we received about 200 completed passports from students who actively took part in 4 or more STEM activities.

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Our goal is for many of these students to be transformed from a preliminary STEM engagement to pursuing STEM education and beyond. We are able to follow up with registered participants to inform them about Robotics Competitions, STEM Camps, STEMinars and other NOVA opportunities that will aid them onto a pathway that hopefully leads to a STEM career.


Loudoun STEM Day – NOVA Loudoun Campus

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At NOVA’s second annual STEM day, excited families came flooding in (along with the rain) at 10:00am and the flow of traffic continued throughout the afternoon.

NOVA faculty & staff, Liberty Elementary (LCPS) faculty, NOVA student volunteers, and over 20 exhibitors from STEM-related businesses, non-profits, and LCPS student clubs were on hand to provide an exciting and informative experience for students and parents alike.

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Platinum sponsor AOL demonstrated virtual reality technologies and had a never-ending line of attendees wanting to try it out. Our own Robotics-Land attracted people of all ages to the robotics fields and also our 3D printing display. Robotics for Kids, Federation of Galaxy Explorers, and Belmont Ridge Middle School Robotics showed off their signature creations.

Our partners at Liberty Elementary School brought along their coolest gadgets and facilitated activities featuring Ozobots, Spheros, coding, and a maker space. Our interactive Pokemon GO! treasure hunts, facilitated by NOVA’s Geographic Information Systems program, had hundreds of Poke’ players exploring campus for new finds!

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In the Science Building, visitors were amazed by chemistry experiments, piranha plants in Horticulture, and several biology demonstrations. Throughout the campus there were challenges and exhibits ranging from Exploring Mars and Coding 101 to The Science of Music, Drones Take Flight and dozens more! Diverse activities for a diverse audience!

Julie Leidig, Provost at NOVA Loudoun, was enthusiastic about the effect of the Expo, saying “The Loudoun County STEM Day is designed to capitalize on the natural enthusiasm so many kids have for science and technology before they begin to have the thought that STEM fields are not for them.  Our goal is to work with our partners to showcase the wide variety of STEM applications in the world of work and play and to spark kids’ interest in furthering their knowledge.  It’s a joy to walk around and see kids 16-347-004and their families engaged in discovery.  One of the long-term goals is to help build the economy of Northern Virginia by developing a highly skilled STEM workforce.  But even for kids whose career interests lie in a different direction, we want them to experience the positive applications of STEM in any field.”

 

Overall, about 1600 people attended Loudoun STEM Day and 330 STEM passports were submitted, allowing us to follow up with students for further STEM camp, courses, and competition opportunities in the near future!

Take our STEMinars! Nov 5 & 19

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If you are a high school or college student our STEMinars will help you chart a pathway to earning a STEM certificate or degree. In each hands-on STEMinar session you will use industry tools and applications to increase your skills in three of the fastest growing career fields in the region.

Our CAD/3D Printing, Coding and Cybersecurity STEMinars will equip you with skills and valuable insights into the education and credentials you need to be successful in the technology workforce! STEMinars will commence on Nov 5 & Nov 19 on three NOVA Campuses. Check the session dates and times below, choose a STEMinar to engage in and register here. $25 per session.

CAD/3D PRINTING
Sat Nov 5
NOVA Annandale Campus
Ernst Community Cultural Center
9:00 AM to 1:30 PM
Sat Nov 19
NOVA Woodbridge Campus
Regional Center for Workforce Education & Training
9:00 AM to 1:30 PM

⇒ Register Here

CODING
Sat Nov 5
NOVA Woodbridge Campus
Regional Center for Workforce Education & Training
9:00 AM to 1:30 PM
Sat Nov 19
NOVA Loudoun Campus
Templin Higher Education Center
9:00 AM to 1:30 PM

⇒ Register Here

CYBERSECURITY
Nov 5
NOVA Loudoun Campus
Templin Higher Education Center
9:00 AM to 1:30 PM
Nov 19
NOVA Annandale Campus
Ernst Community Cultural Center
9:00 AM to 1:30 PM

⇒ Register Here

Click here for STEMinars Flyer

Visit the STEM Zone at the YFT Country Fair & Auctions! Oct 1

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Looking for something to do with your kids that’s inspiring, fun and educational? We’ll be hosting the STEM Zone at the Youth For Tomorrow Country Fair & Auction in Bristow on Saturday October 1st. Don’t miss it! We’ll offer exciting games & activities that involve drones, robots, cybersecurity, programming, 3D printers, stomp rockets and more!

In addition we’ll have STEM Passports available for students who engage in all the fun! Complete one activity from each STEM category below, get a sticker for each one then enter your passport for a chance to win the grand prize!

STEM Zone activities.
Science
Fly a drone at the ‘DroneZone’
Build and launch a Stomp Rocket
Complete a ChemClub Chemistry experiment
Technology
Complete the FBI Cyber Activity
Design and print an object on our 3D Printer
Engineering
Drive robots and score baskets on our VRC basketball field
Complete a robotics activity at the ‘Explorer Post’ tent
Math
Program an autonomous VEX IQ robot
Program and play Simon Says on a VEX IQ brain
Play ‘Flappy Bird’, a coding game

Location:
Youth For Tomorrow Campus
11835 Hazel Circle Drive
Bristol, VA 20136
10am to 5pm

For more info visit the YFT Country Fair & Auction Website
1P STEM Zone Flyer available here

Come to Loudoun STEM Day on Oct 1

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Don’t miss our second annual Loudoun STEM Day at NOVA! If you love STEM then you’ll love our free showcase of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math opportunities for students of all ages. Featuring hands-on exhibits, workshops, food, fun and learning.

This event is a collaborative effort between Northern Virginia Community College, SySTEMic Solutions, Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce and Loudoun County Public Schools. The event is FREE and open to the public. For a list of STEM Day topics and workshops, see the Loudoun County STEM Day Website.

When:
Saturday October 1st, 10am-4pm

Where:
Northern Virginia Community College, Loudoun Campus
Robert G. Templin, Jr. Higher Education Ctr.
21200 Campus Drive, Sterling, VA 20164

Click here for a STEM Day Flyer

Invaluable Partnerships make Cyber Camps Possible

Version 2We’re all about partnerships. Over the past 6 years we have developed and operated programs, competitions, camps, and curriculum that have only been possible through the aid of partnerships in our local community. Our efforts to enhance and expand STEM in Northern Virginia have resulted in lasting collaborations with industry, government and school divisions.

That’s the bird’s eye view, at least. We’re also about inspiring and equipping students on an individual basis, and so are our partners. That’s why we place such a strong emphasis on STEM camps, which are one of the most effective gateways for students in STEM.

Last month, at West Potomac High School, NOVA SySTEMic Solutions had the privilege to16-259-17 recognize AT&T, FCPS and Ft. Belvoir for their contributions in enhancing STEM camp opportunities for underrepresented students from Mt. Vernon High School. Representatives from each organization were on hand to show support and offer their insights and advice to students who are prospective members of the future STEM workforce.

The focus of the guest speakers was on the cyber security needs for our region, highlighting the vital need for programming and cyber personnel in the workforce and for national defense. AT&T led the way with a $10,000 contribution to enable hands-on robotics (with a programming focus) and cyber security camps for 9th through 12th graders from July 18-29.

DSC_0681 (1)LaTara Harris, Regional Director of External & Legislative Affairs for AT&T, addressed camp students with encouragement about their future: “Leverage the gifts that you have and consider a career in STEM. It’s an absolute priority for our company. We’ve invested over 350 million dollars in ensuring that more students are exposed to the STEM fields. The jobs in cyber security are beyond vast by the time you get out.”

On the government side, Lt. Colonel Christopher Tomlinson from nearby Ft. Belvoir illustrated the numerous cyber security opportunities available in the military and why it’s16-259-23 important: “Cyber is becoming its own domain, its own environment. We’re going to take a whole host of individuals and turn them into cyber professionals operating in that domain, going after threats to networks and information. We’re going to do that in collaboration with educators and industry. That creates power and synergy and you guys are the focus for that.”

DSC_0672The cyber security camp specifically provided students with hands-on experience in networking and computer security, cyber ethics and defense strategies through hands-on activities. Through the visit of these accomplished professionals students had a great introduction to career opportunities through a different type of networking by gaining contacts for possible future employment and internships. After the presentation all the guest speakers stayed to speak with students one on one.

If a career is not yet on the radar for these young minds, NOVA provides a bridge to the professional world. NOVA has a strong cyber security presence, and SySTEMic Solutions acting director Chad Knights was ebullient about what that means for students considering a future in STEM: “NOVA is a leader in cybersecurity education. We offer an16-259-28 A.A.S. in cybersecurity that will ensure you receive training in the hard skills needed to become employable in the field. Even if you are planning to pursue a Bachelor’s degree NOVA is a great place to start. NOVA’s A.A.S. in cybersecurity transfers in full to five institutions including George Washington, Marymount and George Mason. As you plan for your future NOVA is an outstanding local resource available to you. We are dedicated to your success and are here to help you achieve your dreams.”

AOL a perfect stage for STEM camps to engage

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STEM camps can inspire career paths. Not just in ideas but through environment. Earlier this summer, when one of our high school STEM camp instructors experienced the atmosphere at the technically cutting-edge AOL campus in Dulles, he said “I want to work here when I grow up.”

We generally operate our STEM camps at High Schools, NOVA campuses and other educational institutions, but this summer we also had the privilege of holding camps at the industry giant from July 22-26.

16-254-76The AOL Dulles campus is an invigorating center of technology and a great place to hold our Scratch Programming, LEGO EV3 and VEX Robotics camps. We hope the experience of such a tech-savvy professional environment makes STEM engagement more memorable and inspiring.

AOL classrooms provided state of the art equipment, including desktop space with embedded outlets and audio and video equipment that allowed competition action to be displayed in real time for the parents. In addition the auditorium provided a stadium element for the VEX 1 competition.

SySTEMic Solutions’ Loudoun coordinator Liz Coffey noted “both instructors and campers 16-254-66asked about how they could get a job at AOL.” The instructors also observed how the professional surroundings generally led to more focus. Sometimes, when campers are in a school environment “they revert back to school behavior,” as one instructor noted.

The success of SySTEMic Solutions depends on sustained engagement from local businesses, creating not only opportunities for prospective STEM students but also a chance for AOL to invest in the future workforce. Jamie Mittleman, Senior Marketing Manager from Citizen AOL, extolled the potential of partnership: “STEM camps invigorate our employees and campuses. Employees want to work at a company that gives back and actively seek opportunities to get involved in their communities. By opening our doors, we are exposing the next generation of leaders to our brands, but also supporting volunteer opportunities for our employees.”

16-254-90And so it proved all week. AOL employees were intrigued by the camps and often observed proceedings. Some asked how they could register their own children in a camp. One 25 year-old employee who was part of the fishbowl group encouraged the VEX IQ campers that they are “getting ahead of the game” and reflected that he did not have the advantage of doing “things like this” when he was young. Other employees offered free new and used books to campers. AOL not only helped in welcoming our program, staff and campers, they were instrumental in logistical planning and even printed the requisite signs and banners in-house. It was a wonderful example of industry collaboration with NOVA and STEM education.

Mittleman also sees the big picture from camp to career to culture: “We’re talking about making the world a better place. We put that mission in action by investing in future leaders, strengthening communities around the globe and empowering our people, partners, clients and audiences to make an outstanding impact on society’s biggest challenges. Engaging students in STEM is so important because we are giving them16-254-84 tools to accomplish what many could only dream of. We are giving them the skill sets to turn ideas into actions.”

This is something we hope our camp students will absorb as they chart a path towards STEM education and ultimately the future STEM workforce.

AT&T, NOVA, FCPS and Fort Belvoir team up to provide STEM Camps!

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$10K contribution from AT&T enables hands-on robotics and cybersecurity camps for Mt Vernon HS Students. Presentation and recognition of award to take place on July 27th at West Potomac High School in Alexandria.

{Click here to view press release on NOVA website}

In an effort to bolster STEM capacity in Northern Virginia, AT&T, Northern Virginia Community College, Fairfax County Public Schools and Fort Belvoir are partnering to provide hands-on summer STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) camp opportunities specifically for Mt. Vernon High School students.

A $10,000 contribution from AT&T will allow NOVA’s STEM outreach program, SySTEMic Solutions, to offer robotics and cybersecurity camps for rising 9th through 12th graders from Mt. Vernon High School. For logistical reasons, the camps will be held at West Potomac High School in Alexandria from July 18-29.

There will be a special ceremony celebrating AT&T’s gift at West Potomac High School, 6500 Quander Rd., Alexandria, on July 27 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Representatives from AT&T, a ranking officer from Fort Belvoir, NOVA, NOVA SySTEMic Solutions and FCPS will attend.

This event highlights a strong collaboration and mutual support for STEM across the region. Representatives from AT&T and Fort Belvoir will be on hand to engage the campers in a discussion of the cybersecurity needs for the region and the nation and will describe how camp materials relate to those careers. The program will focus on the vital need for programming and cyber personnel in the workforce and for national defense.

NOVA has strong STEM ties in FCPS and throughout the region. The college’s SySTEMic Solutions has a designated representative that helps to increase STEM capacity through camps, competitions and professional development opportunities for teachers.  The partnership focuses on STEM needs in Fairfax, with special attention to recruiting students from underrepresented groups for the STEM workforce. In addition, NOVA has worked hard to align advance standings for those who serve our country through its veterans’ education benefits.

“Inspiring young people to engage in STEM activities is a fundamental mission of NOVA SySTEMic Solutions,” said NOVA President, Dr. Scott Ralls. “This partnership with members of the public and private sector provides not only a fun and educational way for teens to spend their summer break, but it also highlights the great need to build the next generation of STEM employees in Northern Virginia and across the nation.”

LaTara Harris, AT&T’s regional director for External Affairs in Greater Washington area, added, “At AT&T, we believe investing in a well-educated workforce may be the single most important thing we can do to support a strong global economy. Our company and our nation need a capable and diverse pipeline of employees to fill 21st century jobs. Cybersecurity, robotics, and other STEM-intensive jobs are available to the students who have the kind of skills they’re gaining at the camps offered by Northern Virginia Community College.”

The robotics camp, held from July 18-22, will focus on building and programming for the VEX system. Students will build and program a robot to operate on a field by remote control and through an autonomous program. Students will learn basic computer programming in RobotC by programming a robot to complete challenges throughout the week.

The Cybersecurity camp, held from July 25-29, will provide students with knowledge and hands-on experience in cyber security and introduce them to the many career opportunities in the growing field. The camp will increase students’ knowledge of networking and computer security including cyber ethics and defense strategies, all through tutorials, hands-on activities and will culminate with a mock competition on the last day.

NOVA SySTEMic Solutions Program Manager: Josh Labrie | 703.530.2829 | jlabrie@nvcc.edu.

NOVA Media Contact: Kathy Thompson | 703.764.0896 | kthompson@nvcc.edu