Bridge Programs Prepare Students For College

We just completed our first series of Summer Bridge Programs in #InformationTechnology (IT), #EngineeringTechnology (ET), and #ComputerScience (CS)! These programs are intended to “bridge’ the gap between high school and college with a pathway that leads to further technology education and in-demand, well-paying technology careers.

The IT Bridge Program performed hands-on activities such as cisco packet tracer and networking, the Virginia Cyber League and cybersecurity, and web site development.

The CS Bridge Program engaged in hands on programming activities such as using recurrent neural networks to generate text based on an input model, building games in Unity, and using the Virginia Cyber League to do the “password ripper.

Students in the Engineering Tech Bridge program worked on engineering cable termination, used the Fab Lab smart factory and other mechatronics equipment, and also had the opportunity to tour Micron and STACK Infrastructure’s Data Center.

One Computer Science Bridge student concluded that the most effective experience in the program was “learning the difference between IT and Comp Sci [and] what it takes to work in the Comp Sci field.”

An IT Bridge student reflected “the greatest takeaway of the program was seeing how people like myself think and how others don’t see the world. The skills in IT will be of great benefit. The instructors were excellent and I loved how they were caring, honest and used real world knowledge…”

Another Bridge student said “the greatest learning for me was about how to be successful in college.”

Bridge Programs are made possible through and NSF DCO Tech Grant, which is geared toward expanding regional capacity for training in Engineering Technology and Data Center Operations

Learn more about these pathways at NOVA:

Information Technology: https://bit.ly/3yJhEjf

Engineering Technology: https://bit.ly/3ONHJmD

Computer Science: https://bit.ly/3ye03ym

Rising High School Juniors and Seniors can apply for next summer’s Bridge Program starting in Spring, 2023.

Sign up for our newsletter (The IET Interface) for developing info or follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

#WeDoSTEM #InDemandTech #EveryProgramAchieves #EveryStudentSucceeds #CollegePrep #BoldlyNOVA

Meet Our New IET Faculty

Welcome to our 6 new full-time IET faculty members for Fall 2022

NOVA IET is pleased to announce our new faculty team members: Ronnie Dasgupta, Aresgul Cuhader, Mike Hon, Abid Mahmoud, Bryce Summers, and Farzan Soroushi. Bios below:


Ronnie Dasgupta

Ronnie Dasgupta brings over 15 years of experience in Electrical Engineering and Control Systems to Northern Virginia Community College. He has transitioned from Control Systems to Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Data Science.  Before joining NVCC, Ronnie founded a Tech Work Force Development company and contracted out with various academic institutions in the DC-Maryland-Virginia Regions. His objective was to coordinate industry and academia so that technical job training and employment placement are streamlined. Prior to his entrepreneurial venture, he worked as an engineer for the defense industry and has experience in intellectual property.

Ronnie holds multiple certifications in Artificial Intelligence and Data Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Cornell University. He also has an industrial FE Certification from South Carolina State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers. He obtained his MS in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University, MS in Electrical Engineering from Clemson University, BS in Electrical Engineering from Clemson University, and BS in Physics from College of Charleston.

Ronnie is Honorably Discharged from the US Marine Corps Reserves. During his free time, he enjoys competitive tennis and cross-fit.


Aresgul Cuhader

Dr Aysegul Cuhadar received her Doctor of Philosophy in Electronic Systems Engineering from the University of Essex, UK. She has extensive subject matter expertise in data science, machine learning, computer vision and high-performance computing, and has published several papers on these fields. She was a full-time faculty of computer engineering at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses in the department and supervising students for their research projects. She serves as an Adjunct Professor of data analytics and provides consulting services to a cybersecurity and IT company as a program manager.

Aysegul is a senior member of IEEE and volunteers as the Vice Chair of Washington section promoting both academia and practice, and managing the local section’s special award process at high school Science Fairs.

In her free time, Aysegul likes to read, hike with her dog, and travel. 


Mike Hon

Professor “Mike” Hon has worked with many law enforcement and intelligence government agencies across security domains ranging from computer forensics to completing successful white hat vulnerability exploit with over 20 years of IT experience and 16 years of teaching at NOVA, UVa, and GMU. Published in IEEE, Professor Hon focuses on practical, hands-on tools and examples to make cybersecurity practical to students. He also leads a team at a non-profit science and technology company that focuses on Cloud Security, FedRAMP, Data Forensics, and Big Data Analytics.

CISSP, CSSLP, SANS GLEG, EIT, PMP
mhon@nvcc.edu


Abid Mahmoud

Abid is a first-generation immigrant, and a proud graduate of NOVA.  He started his U.S. educational journey at NOVA in 1987 taking English as a Second Language (ESL) courses. He went on to earn two associate degrees at NOVA, one in information technology and the other in computer science, a bachelor’s degree in business and has earned two master’s degrees, one in Business and the other in Information Technology Management from Western Governor’s University.

He was offered an opportunity to work at NOVA 23 years ago as and Open Computer Lab Coordinator where he taught classes alongside working in the Computer Lab.  Prior to Coming to NOVA, Abid worked in financial centers’ IT departments.

Amid enjoys seeing his students progress and succeed in life.


Bryce Summers

Trained as a Computer Scientist and Artist, Bryce enjoys teaching programming classes, where he builds supportive learning environments, and creating art, where he tries to make abstract concepts more visible. He has a B.S. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University and a M.S. degree in Integrated Digital Media from New York University.

Bryce has been actively involved in programming education since 2015 and joined NOVA’s Information And Engineering Technologies (IET) department as an Adjunct Professor in the Spring of 2019. At NOVA, he has taught a variety of programming courses in software design, C++, and Python. He enjoys developing authentic assessments and automatic testing programs for student written code.

Outside of his work at NOVA, Bryce has been running a private consulting practice since 2016, where he primarily solves computational geometry problems, writes compilers, and other algorithm design tasks. His clients range from individuals to large companies like Autodesk.

In his spare time, Bryce enjoys lake kayaking, hiking with a companion, watching the land roll by on long train journeys, spending time with friends and family members, creating portraits of people he cares about, building castles and dog bone sculptures out of sand, crafting theme parks in the Roller Coaster Tycoon computer game, playing his bassoon, visiting his friends who have moved throughout the country, playing the power grid board game on his birthday each, reading comics from South Korea and Japan, and reading fun books on compilers and data structures.

When blending work and play, Bryce enjoys creating illustrations related to programming and has created some comic pages over the years. His most recent story was a narrative about a buffer overflow attack where gold is stolen from a passenger on a train due to a faulty protocol.


Farzan Soroushi

Farzan has 35 years of experience in higher education teaching/administration and IT industry. He started his career as CEO/owner of a software development company focusing on development of applications for the higher education industry.

He has extensive hands-on experience in programming languages, database systems, data analytics, and software engineering. His passion is education and he takes pride in seeing students succeed in their educational and professional goals. His hobbies are walking and playing tennis. In his spare time he provides math and computer tutoring to special needs students as a volunteer in his community

Farzan has a B.S in Applied Mathematics, an M.S in Computer Science, and has completed Ph.D. requirements in Information Technology at George Mason University.

Fab Lab This Month

Fab Lab Events For July

NOVA Makers

NOVA Makers is a special program at the NOVA Fab Lab in which members can utilize advanced fabrication equipment to work on personal and class projects.

Members have access to 3D printers, laser cutters and engravers, a UV flatbed printer, a large format printer/cutter, and a plastic thermoforming center (soldering stations and sewing machines certifications will be available in Fall 2022). Safety and machine trainings are provided along with the issuance of digital micro-credentials as certifications are completed.

Membership is initiated upon completion of a Safety & Orientation session and is ONLY open to high school students, NOVA students, and NOVA faculty/staff. More details on this program can be found in the Membership Handbook.

Register for sessions at fablab.novastem.us/Sign-up

Summer Schedule: June 28 through August 4

Safety & Orientation

Tuesdays | 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Thursdays |9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Machine Certification

Tuesdays | 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Thursdays |11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Member Open Labs

Tuesdays | 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Wednesdays | 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Thursdays | 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Makers By Design NSF Grant

3D printing in progress, a real hand is touching a 3D printed-hand

Supporting Instructors to Embed Design Thinking in Digital Fabrication Courses

Makers By Design (MBD) will strengthen the engineering technology pathways by providing professional learning for K-12 teachers, running digital fabrication summer camps, and hosting design challenges. The project is aligned with NSF and aims to broaden participation in STEM through community outreach and engagement. Makers By Design seeks to create a community of practice among engineering educators involved in community-based makerspaces at public libraries, private organizations, public school systems, colleges, and universities.

Outcomes:

Each Year, the MBD grant provides 5 days of professional learning focused on Design Thinking for 12 educators, digital fabrication summer camps for 96 middle and high school students, bi-annual design challenges for secondary and post-secondary students, and a digital lesson plan repository focused on design thinking and digital fabrication.

MBD Grant Flip Book


Design Thinking Fellowship:

NOVA will be recruiting for their second cohort of Design Thinking Fellows later this year. This NSF-sponsored program is open to college faculty, middle and high school teachers, and informal STEM learning professionals.

Complex problems require innovative and creative solutions. Design Thinking is the key to challenging assumptions and approaching problem solving in a collaborative, interdisciplinary, and non-linear way.

During this 9-month fellowship, participants will learn how to integrate design thinking into their pedagogy through a professional learning institute, teach during a 1-week summer camp, and lead their classes through a design challenge. Fellows will receive a stipend of $2,200 for participation.

Applications will be available in late Fall 2023. Contact systemic@nvcc.edu with any additional questions.

You can also sign up for our monthly newsletter, The IET Interface, at http://newsletter.novastem.us to keep up with application information and other fellowship opportunities at NOVA.


Makers By Design Grant Abstract:

Supporting Instructors to Embed Design Thinking in Digital Fabrication Courses Award Abstract #2055324

Manufacturing and engineering industries face a looming gap in skilled workers, with an estimated 2.4M positions projected to go unfilled by 2025. This project aims to help fill this gap by improving the preparation of the needed technical workforce. To do so, it will establish a Professional Learning program in design thinking pedagogy for secondary and postsecondary educators. The curriculum will focus on design thinking projects that involve digital fabrication techniques, including 3D printing, laser engraving, and Computer Numerical Control milling. The Professional Learning program is expected to improve the educator’ teaching practices and enable them to update existing curricula and lesson plans to better align with industry-relevant skills and techniques. The project also intends to create a community of practice around design thinking in digital fabrication that will build a beneficial network among secondary teachers, community college faculty, makerspace educators, and regional employers. It is expected that the project will support 36 secondary and post-secondary educators who will teach more than 3,000 K-12 and undergraduate students in the northern Virginia region. These students will have a greater interest in and be better prepared for technical careers in manufacturing and engineering.

The overarching goal of the project is to use Professional Learning to move digital fabrication instruction beyond the reproduction of simple objects. Instead, the project will train educators to use pedagogy and cognitive strategies to embed design thinking into their digital fabrication lessons and courses. As a result, students will learn to use design thinking to build complex, useful objects. The project’s specific aims include: (1) create a professional learning institute; (2) host digital fabrication summer camps at NOVA and the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington; (3) host a semiannual design and digital fabrication challenge; and (4) establish an online resource library of projects and lesson plans created and refined by educators in the community of practice. The project is expected to advance: understanding of the pedagogies that help to develop student interest in manufacturing and engineering; the capacity for Professional Learning to facilitate the integration of design thinking into classrooms and makerspaces; and the extent to which a capstone design challenge may foster sustainable change in instructional practices. This project is funded by the Advanced Technological Education program that focuses on the education of technicians for the advanced-technology fields that drive the nation’s economy.

 

Internships

Paid Summer Internships for STEM Camps

NOVA SySTEMic is recruits high school and college students interested in STEM education for PAID summer internships in support of our summer STEM Camps. During these two-week programs, interns will support camp instruction, contribute to curriculum development, and learn to teach technical skills in a low-stress, fun environment.

Summer Internship applications for 2022 are currently closed, but you will be able to apply for next summer’s internship slots in March, 2023.

For more info contact SySTEMic Program Manager Aleksander Marthinussen at amarthinussen@nvcc.edu

You can also sign up for our monthly newsletter, The IET Interface, at http://newsletter.novastem.us to keep up with application information and other frequent internship opportunities at NOVA.

Fab Lab Design Challenge

 

Congratulations to our NOVA Fab Lab Design Challenge Winners for Spring 2022!

The NOVA Fab Lab held an in-person awards ceremony on Thursday, June 16th to recognize the Spring 2022 Design Challenge winners. As the ceremony’s highlight, students were able to see their designs realized as the actual fabricated products were revealed to them for the first time, alongside family members and friends. Participants also received their prizes, networked with judges and sponsors, and toured NOVA’s state-of-the-art Fab Lab after the event. This year’s challenge was for middle school, high school, or college students to design or refine a product to improve any area of their school. Sponsors for the Design Challenge were BAE Systems, Micron, Amtek Company, Digital Realty, and Dewberry Engineering.

Design Thinking and creative solutions to common challenges are a prominent feature in STEM education and the technology workforce, making the Design Challenge a touchstone for talented young minds to generate ideas in an equitable way. The NOVA Fab Lab’s mission is to decrease the growing skills gap in the Digital Fabrication arena by providing students a more holistic fabrication experience, including access to the most advanced processes, training in 3D Modeling and design, and a foundation in the principles of Design Thinking and creative problem solving.

With a goal of broadening participation and meeting students where they are at, NOVA allowed student entries in any format, including hand-drawn submissions. This was done to re-focus the goal away from simply displaying digital proficiency and more toward ‘solving a problem’ in their community. “One of the Fab Lab missions is to empower students to think and fabricate in unison and help them unlock their potential to recognize and solve complex problems” said Richard Sewell, NOVA’s Fab Lab Coordinator.

Prior to the final submissions, the NOVA Fab Lab provided 16 free Dominating Our Design Challenge prep sessions in February and March. The first, entitled Using Design Thinking, provided a process for moving an idea to a functional solution. The second, Learning the Tools,helped participants learn the strengths and weaknesses for rapid prototyping on four common fabrication technologies: laser cutting, 3D Printing, CNC Routing, and plastic thermoforming. Dominating Our Design Challenge sessions were utilized by 141 participants in 4 locations: Prince William Public Libraries, Arlington Tech, SERVE Family Shelter, the NOVA Fab Lab, and virtually.

After the design submission deadline of April 17, the Fab Lab received 62 total entries, comprised of 123 participants. Once submitted, participants were judged based upon their digital or hand-drawn designs and written descriptions. The top three then had their winning designs fabricated by our Fab Lab team using a CNC router, woodshop equipment and hand tools as well as a Stratasys F370 3D printer and received their fabricated products at the ceremony.

The 1st place award was won by a two-person team consisting of Eli Reeder and Logan Pennington from The Nokesville School for their product titled, iDesk, which is a desk with an iPad screen and charger built-in. The iDesk solves the problem of having to charge laptops and is purposed so that teachers can send assignments directly to the desk tablet. Eli and Logan won the top prize of $500 plus an Ender-3 S1 3D printer, certificate plaques, and their fabricated product.

NOVA’s own Carmen Chica earned 2nd place with her All In Chair design, a desk with a wide backplate chair composed of two adjustable arms to create right-handed and left-handed usage, so all students feel included. Carmen was awarded $300, a 3D printer, a certificate plaque, and her fabricated product.

The 3rd place award went to Harris Lechtman, from George C. Marshall High School for his Study Buddy Organizer, which offers a solution to limited desk space through an attachment that holds a phone, a drink, pencil slots and other sections for desk items. Harris won $100 plus the 3D printer, plaque, and his fabricated product.

Fab Lab Coordinator Lance Lacey reflected on the payoff of a design coming to realization: “I always enjoy seeing the students expressions as they interact with the physical prototype of their idea for the first time. Before it was an idea and a sketch, but then they see an actual functioning product!”

There were also three honorable mention designs: Eva Torrico from Thomas Jefferson Middle School submitted a Terretami Fork, which combines a spoon, fork, knife, straw, chopsticks, and a milk puncturer all into one reusable utensil.

Tyler Freeman, Connor Freeman, and Lucas Morton from MOT Charter High Schooldesigned a Recyclable Lunch Tray with biodegradable and recyclable material that can be vacuum-formed to allow for bulk-production.

Devin Gerdes, from NOVA, was recognized for Print Catcher, which is a customized basket that prevents sheets from touching the ground once they have been printed.

The Design Challenge is made less of a challenge for NOVA SySTEMic to organize thanks to the generous support of our sponsors: BAE Systems (special thanks to David Sargent and Hannah Wilson), Micron (Zuzana Steen and Robert Simmons), Amtek Company (Alex Baddock), Digital Realty, and Dewberry Engineering (Arlene Evans and Barry Dewberry–Arlene is a NOVA Alumna!)

Industry representatives also served as Design Challenge Judges: from BAE, Jim Sturim (a Project Engineer) and Elly Taylor (a Test Technician). From Digital Realty, Karen Petersburg (a Design Manager), and from Dewberry Engineering, Carmen Bere (a Project Engineer).

The Design Challenge also received stellar support from NOVA, including Dr. Chad Knights, VP of IET and College Computing; IET Dean Paula Ford, Dean of Math, Science, and Engineering; Dr. Abe Eftekari, NOVA SySTEMic Program Manager; Aleksander Marthinussen and Kelly Persons from the NOVA Foundation. NOVA Faculty Nina Lord and Michael Spiller also brought their classes over to the Fab Lab to participate.

Additional recognition and thanks to Kristen Burnham from Prince William Public Libraries, Michelle Van Lare from Arlington Tech, Brittany Greer from Rosie Riveters and Amrata Sahasrabudhe from SERVE Family Shelter.

Finally, special recognition goes to the NOVA Fab Lab team including Lance Lacey, Richard Sewell, Brendan Murphy, Kai Le and Valerie Bierhuizen, who developed, strategized and implemented Design Challenge procedures for months, as well as providing effective outreach to get all participants and sponsors involved.

NOVA SySTEMic Coordinator Brendan Murphy reflected on the focus of student creativity: “We built the challenge to be intentionally open-ended to allow for a wide variety of solutions. It’s truly exciting and inspiring to see the creative ideas that students design.”

First place winners Eli Reeder and Logan Pennington had some sage advice for aspiring future Design Challenge participants; “No idea is a bad idea,” said Eli. “Don’t stress out, because you have a lot of time to do it. You spend most of your time brainstorming. Keep it simple,” Logan added. “If you have a good idea already, don’t stress yourself trying to improve it, just tweak the small things.”

The inaugural Design Challenge Ceremony in July 2021 began the process of bringing back in-person events to the Fab Lab. Going forward, the challenge will be held twice-a-year, in both the fall and spring semesters and is open to middle school, high school and college students.

More information about the Fall Design Challenge will be available here and on the NOVA Fab Lab page by the end of the summer.

#WeDoSTEM #DesignThinking

SySTEMic Fellowship

The SySTEMic Fellowship is a 10-month paid program designed to develop high school students, college students, and professional educators through hands-on experiences and training on vital STEM content with the opportunity to apply these concepts outside of the classroom to promote STEM education in Northern Virginia.

Those admitted to the program will choose one of three fields of focus: Fab Lab Makers, Robotics, and Micro Electronics. The program contains training sessions on the chosen field of focus, opportunities to contribute to existing programs, as well as a call to action to continue to implement ideas learned in the fellowship.

Training for Fellowships are scheduled for Sept 17 and Oct 1, 2022.

For more info contact Natasha Shuh-Nuhfer at nschuhnuhfer@nvcc.edu 

You can also sign up for our monthly newsletter, The IET Interface, at http://newsletter.novastem.us to keep up with application information and other STEM fellowship opportunities at NOVA.

DCO Tech Grant

Bearded Black IT Engineer Standing and Posing with Crossed Arms in the Middle of a Working Data Center Server Room with Server Computers Working on a Rack.

DCO Tech: Expanding Regional Capacity for Training in Engineering Technology and Data Center Operations

Awarded in July 2021, the NSF Advanced Technological Education grant supports NOVA’s Engineering Tech Programs. DCO Tech is designed to increase regional capacity for training in Engineering Technology and Data Center Operations through expanded recruitment, employment training, and increased collaboration between industry, K-12 educators, and faculty.

NOVA’s Engineering Technology program offers 2-year Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) and 1-year Career Study Certificates (C.S.C.), as well as a Data Center Operations specialization.

Northern Virginia is the largest data center market in the United States and is forecast to continue growing. Additionally, Micron Technology has committed to a $3B expansion of its regional manufacturing capacity. DCO Tech is partnering with employers to meet the demand for engineering technicians.

What the NSF DCO Tech Grant Supports:

Bridge Programs for High School Juniors and Seniors

Through the DCO Tech Grant, NOVA IET offers FREE 2-week summer bridge programs to help juniors and seniors get ready for college. During these programs, students receive an introduction to one of three in-demand technology fields: Computer Science, Information Technology, or Engineering Technology, tour at regional employers, and meet NOVA faculty, students, and staff. Bridge students will gain critical skills and have the opportunity to receive college credit.

For more information about our Summer Bridge Programs go to: https://www.nvcc.edu/academics/divisions/it/programs.html


Externship For Secondary Educators

>> For secondary school CTE administrators, teachers, and/or counselors who are interested in guiding students into a successful tech career.

This externship equips educators to build awareness for Engineering Technology (ET) and Data Center Operations (DCO) careers in the region and the educational pathways NOVA provides to prepare students for these in-demand and high-wage careers. Educator Externship participants receive a stipend after completing the following activities:

  1. Attend an industry tour of Micron Technology, where attendees will see the daily operations and gain insight into career opportunities in Engineering Technology. 
  2. Attend an industry tour of a data center, which will provide first-hand visuals of a data center’s daily operations. There will also be a presentation on data center careers and opportunities. 
  3. Attend a tour/professional development day at the NOVA Manassas Fab Lab. The goal is to create clear pathways and provide materials to guide high school students into NOVA’s Engineering Technology and Data Center Operations programs. 

>> For more info contact Natasha Shuh-Nuhfer at nschuhnuhfer@nvcc.edu 


Externship For Industry Professionals

>> For engineering technology professionals and data center technicians to inspire the next generation of engineering technicians.

This externship engages professionals in the Engineering Technology industry to support high school students who are learning about technician careers, and equips professionals to teach NOVA’s engineering tech programs. Industry Externship participants receive a stipend after completing the following activities:

  1. An introduction to NOVA’s engineering technology programs and facilities.
  2. Learn credentials required to teach as an adjunct instructor at NOVA and explore the pathways to becoming a credentialed engineering technology or data center operations faculty member.
  3. Develop and deliver two lessons for the summer bridge program to inspire high school students to pursue careers in Engineering Technology.

Participants will attend an in-person professional development session at the NOVA Fab Lab (NOVA Manassas Trailside Building) where they will create their lesson presentation for NOVA’s Engineering Tech Summer Bridge Program.

>> For more info contact Natasha Shuh-Nuhfer at nschuhnuhfer@nvcc.edu 


Internships with the Career and Leadership Readiness Institute (CLRI)

>> More information about CLRI Internships supported by the DCO Tech Grant coming soon


Veterans

>> More information about DCO Tech Veteran Programs supported by the DCO Tech Grant coming soon


NOVA Academic Programs Supported by the DCO Tech Grant:

Click Here for more info about Engineering Technology at NOVA
Click Here for more info about Data Center Operations at NOVA

Supporting Technology Programs at NOVA

NOVA IET: NOVA’s Information and Engineering Technology Program. Learn more about Information Technology, Engineering Technology, Data Center Operations, Cybersecurity, Information Systems Technology, and Cloud Computing https://www.nvcc.edu/iet.

NOVA SySTEMic: NOVA’s STEM Program to equip students for in-demand technology careers and expand regional capacity for STEM talent. Learn more about STEM Careers, NOVA Fab Lab activities, Summer Bridge Programs (in Computer Science, Information Technology, and Engineering Technology), STEM Camps, Teacher Professional Development, STEM Competitions, Expos, and more: https://www.nvcc.edu/systemic

#WeDoSTEM #InDemandTech #HighTechHighWage