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Cloud Computing Cybersecurity Engineering Technology Information Technology STEM Grants

$1.1M Grant to Build Regional Tech Talent

NOVA’s Go Virginia Grant will Support a Dual Enrollment Expansion Project for Information and Engineering Technology

Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), was recently awarded a Go Virginia grant of $1.11 million, following Governor Northam’s announcement allocating over $11 million to help advance economic recovery efforts across the commonwealth. NOVA will apply the funds to implement the Dual Enrollment Expansion Program for Information and Engineering Technology (DEEP-IET) with a goal to develop regional workforce capacity in IET careers.

In broadening the conversation for technology opportunities and partnerships across the state, NOVA will collaborate with the Northern Virginia Economic Alliance (NOVA EDA), the Loudoun County Economic Development Authority (LCEDA) and local school districts, particularly to improve the regional capacity for producing IET talent by investing in faculty development and student support structures.

The grant allows for expanded programming to raise awareness and access for underrepresented student populations in IET fields, supporting them with mentoring services, career readiness activities, and internship opportunities with the goal of driving up graduation rates for students.

GO Virginia’s Region 7 Council has identified cybersecurity, data center operations (DCO), and cloud computing as some of the fields where the talent shortage is most acute. NOVA currently has one-year career study certificates (CSC) and two-year applied associate degree programs in these fields, which were co-developed with regional industry partners. Additionally, NOVA has CSC and two-year programs in engineering technology leading to high-demand jobs in manufacturing and critical infrastructure support services.

The DEEP-IET pilot program is structured as a block-scheduling model that combines class time, wrap-around services, and support for incoming students. Furthermore, this model will help ensure regional capacity-building for IET by developing secondary teachers into credentialed adjunct faculty who can provide dual enrollment opportunities at regional high schools. The DEEP-IET program is planned to create 288 additional graduates, 96 new internships, and expand the number of certified dual enrollment teachers in the region by summer 2024.

The program roll-out will include:

  • Two summer bridge programs designed to recruit underrepresented students into NOVA’s IET division, serving a total of 48 students per year. Bridge programs provide college credit and will help orient graduating high school students to career pathways in IET and student services on campus.
  • A structured block-schedule for first semester IET students in cybersecurity, cloud computing, or engineering technology. Block-scheduling places students in cohorts with the same sequence and schedule of classes during their first year at NOVA. Up to 48 students will be placed in cohorts each year, which will allow mentoring, career preparation, and advising to be structured in the same way as coursework, increasing student access to these services.
  • An internship and career readiness program for IET students between their first and second year of coursework in collaboration with local employers. This program will also work to further NOVA’s goal to integrate academic coursework and work experience.
  • A credentialing program to prepare regional high school teachers to teach credit-bearing dual enrollment courses in information and engineering technology. Increasing the pool of credentialed dual enrollment instructors will strengthen regional capacity for introductory education in these fields.
  • A veterans outreach program to transition NOVA veterans and military-connected students to IET programs. NOVA currently enrolls 734 military-connected students as General Studies majors. This program will coordinate veteran career workshops showcasing IET educational pathways and careers.

#WeDoSTEM

See NOVA IET website for more info about programs

Read article in Technical.ly
See News Story from WDVM

 

Categories
Engineering Design Challenge NOVA Fab Lab STEM Awards

NOVA Fab Lab Design Challenge Winners

NOVA Fab Lab Design Challenge 2021 Winners

On July 14th the NOVA Fab Lab held an in-person awards ceremony to recognize the 2021 Design Challenge winners, alongside their family members and friends, who were able to see their fabricated designs, meet the judges, receive their prizes and participate in a Fab Lab tour!

The Design challenge consisted of secondary and post-secondary students designing a product that would interact with a common household item to create a toy or game, to “make something amazing out of something ordinary.” Participants were judged based upon digital designs and written descriptions.  The top three then had their winning designs fabricated in the lab (using a Stratasys F370 3D printer) and received them for the first time at the ceremony. 

The 1st place award was won by a two-person team consisting of Charlotte Miller and Michael Neal for their product titled, Puzzle Knot.  Numerous rubber bands are hooked and interwoven through the cubical structure of the product and then the user must try to unravel the resultant knot.  This team won the top prize of an Ultimaker Original+ 3D printer, one year of Solidworks design software, certificate plaques, and their fabricated product.  

Ines Kapur earned 2nd place with her Corkables design.  Inspired by a childhood craft project (which she still has today), Ines created a series of fun animal faces and legs which attached to either end of a cork. These could then be personalized several ways. Ines received a voucher for a free product development consultation with Storycraft Lab, one year of Solidworks design software, certificate plaque, and her fabricated product.

The 3rd place award went to Oscar Platt for his Spyn Art Machine, which incorporated multiple 3D-printed parts such as cranks, gears, and pins into an assembly capable of making spirograph art on its spinning circular surface. Oscar received one year of Solidworks design software, a certificate plaque, and multiple fabricated versions of his design.  

All participants had a chance to hear from the judges and explore the Fab Lab space.  A guided tour was provided after the event with an emphasis on the additive manufacturing technology (3D printing) used to create the winning design prototypes.  Awards, support, and volunteer judges were provided by our sponsors the Amtek Company, Storycraft Lab, and Micron.  Special thanks to our judges including, Alex Baddock with the Amtek Company, Naomi Claire Crellin with Storycraft Lab, and Afnan Ali with Lockhead Martin. #WeDoSTEM

Original Tweet about the event
Quote Tweet by NOVA President, Dr. Kress 

Categories
New Employee NOVA IET

New IET Employee Spotlight

Chris Russell: IET Project Manager

Chris was first drawn to STEM outreach in high school, where he worked as a robotics camp instructor and a peer tutor. Chris earned his BS in Chemistry Education from the University of Virginia, an MA in Communication Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and will defend his PhD in Screen Cultures at Northwestern in December 2021. His dissertation, “Nerds, Hackers, and Gamers: Performing Masculinity in Computing Cultures,” examines the historical relationship between masculinity and computers as it developed during the 80s and 90s. In addition to his historical work, Chris has worked to broaden participation in the STEM disciplines through developing inclusive and research-centered outreach programs.

Prior to coming to NOVA, Chris was a research fellow at the Game Changer Design Lab at the University of Chicago, where he worked to design and implement game-based STEM enrichment camps for at-risk youth. After his tenure at Game Changer, Chris went on found his own educational game company, working with Ashburn non-profit JASON Learning to publish a suite of analog games for middle school science classrooms. At NOVA, he hopes to help grow the IET division’s capacity to produce innovative STEM programs and integrate empirically-proven strategies into practice.

Chris recently moved to Fairfax, VA and can be found surveying regional playgrounds with his two kids, Kieran and Maya.