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3D Printing Community Partnerships Engineering Design Challenge Engineering Technology Grants Laser Cutting Makerspace NOVA Fab Lab NOVA IET NSF Grants STEM Grants STEM Workforce Tech Equity

NOVA Awarded 3-Year “Makers By Design” Grant

The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently awarded NOVA a three-year grant, set to begin in September 2021, to establish a Professional Learning program in design thinking pedagogy for secondary and postsecondary educators. Makers By Design (MBD) as we call it, is officially titledSupporting Instructors to Embed Design Thinking in Digital Fabrication Courses.

Makers By Design Overview:

> Manufacturing and engineering technologies industries are facing a looming skills gap.

> Employers identify increasing need for soft skills (critical and design thinking, problem solving and communication) as manufacturing transitions to high-tech.

> There is a need to align engineering and engineering technology with industry defined technical and soft skills.

> MBD is a professional learning (PL) program for secondary and postsecondary educators focused on developing design thinking pedagogy through digital fabrication (e.g. 3D printing, laser engraving, CNC) techniques.

> Aligned with NSF includes broadening participation in STEM for underrepresented minorities.

> MBD will foster a community of practice between teachers, faculty, makerspace educators and industry.

The Grant

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 postsecondary educators who will teach more than 3,000 K-12 and undergraduate students in the northern Virginia region. These students will have 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 to: (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 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.

The NOVA Fab Lab has a Makerspace utilized by many NOVA programs and the community as well as a new Makers Program for college students coming up this fall

Check out the NOVA Fab Lab Page

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Categories
Community Partnerships Engineering Technology NOVA Fab Lab Robotics

Friday Night Robotics Starts Sept 17

The NOVA Fab Lab will be open on Friday nights for VEX teams to scrimmage and work on their robots starting Sept 17!

The 1st and 3rd Friday’s of the month are designated for VEX IQ Challenge (VIQC) teams and the 2nd and 4th Friday’s for VEX Robotics Competition (VRC) teams.  A game field will be available along with space for teams to work.

Sessions will start on Sept 17 from 5 to 10 pm and continue until the Virginia State VEX Championship in March 2021.

A one-time registration fee of $10 per participant is required for this recurring event at fablab.novastem.us/FridayNightRobotics (NOTE: Parental consent is required in the registration process as each participant needs to register – coaches cannot sign-up their entire team in one registration).

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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.

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See NOVA IET website for more info about programs

Read article in Technical.ly
See News Story from WDVM