STEM Camps Going Virtual!

STEM Camps are switching to Virtual STEM Camps this summer!

COVID-19 response restrictions, our commitment to safety, and guidance from local and state leadership has made it necessary to re-task our traditional in-person STEM camps, which are hosted at schools and NOVA campuses, to a virtual format this summer.

We are preparing a series of virtual STEM camps for students that will provide opportunities for them to explore STEM and the engineering design process from home. The curriculum includes some hands-on projects with micro:bit, scratch, VEX robotics, fabrication and cybersecurity tools for elementary to high school ages students in 1-2 hour online sessions throughout the summer. With fewer contact hours the cost to participants will be reduced and we will host camps per household instead of per student making them more affordable for the entire family.

Be on the lookout for our updated virtual camps information in the coming weeks. We will post on our website, Facebook and Twitter accounts, distribute in email, and in our newsletter as information becomes more solidified.

Looking forward to seeing you this summer online!

NOVA Fab Lab Staff producing PPE Masks!

Being makers and designers at heart, the staff at NOVA’s Fab-Lab wanted to do their part during this crisis by manufacturing DIY face shields for the citizens on the front lines. However, with our Lab closed and access to machinery limited we faced many hurdles. Since our portable equipment would struggle to keep up with demand, and raw materials were already in short supply we took the initiate of designing two different versions that could be made simultaneously. We can now make five laser-cut versions in the time it takes to make one 3D printed model. Since we have five 3D printers in circulation and one laser cutter, we can produce approximately 100 shields a day.

We have just started full production and can’t wait to distribute our first batch to those in need!

More info will be on next months IET Interface Newsletter

STEM Careers Upcoming Events

NOVA and several industry partners are collaborating to host a series of Free Career Exploration & Readiness Virtual Workshops for NOVA students.  The first series will be offered on select Wednesdays from 11AM-12PM and 3PM-4PM beginning May 6 and ending on June 10.

The series will include the following dates and topics:
May 6: Navigating the Job/Internship Search (NOVA)
May 13: Building a Stand Out Resume (NOVA)
May 20: Security Clearance Information Session (Squadron Defense Group)
June 3: Industry Certifications:  Identification-Cert Your Worth. (PRISM Inc.)
June 10: Use Online Power Tools to Build Your Career.  (NOVA Workforce)

Registration is open at career.novastem.us/SpringWorkshops

STEM Careers Activities Recap

STEM Careers Virtual Activities Recap – March 2020

NOVA SySTEMic hosted a series of Career Explorations Activities during the month of March for potential Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) Students and current NOVA students.  These activities were previously scheduled to occur in person throughout our various campuses, but were changed to Virtual Events utilizing Zoom Online Meetings.

The Career Exploration Fair included presentations about several STEM, CTE Programs and Student Services at NOVA.  Current NOVA students and area high school students were able to participate virtually, ask questions and learn more about NOVA.

Six Interviewing Skills Workshops for Northern Virginia Community College students were facilitated by The Career Engineer which included; Interactive Participant Activities, Mock Interview Simulations and time for Questions & Answers.  One participant shared, “I’m happy the virus didn’t cancel the workshop. Thank you for adapting during hard times”. 

Thank You to the faculty and staff members who helped support these STEM Careers events.  One faculty member shared feedback from their students, “My students are saying they thought it was incredibly helpful and they learned a lot. Especially around confidence and anxiety…Thanks so much for organizing this really great event. It’s a wonderful resource for our students!”

Click here for info on upcoming STEM Careers Events

 

NOVA SySTEMic Goes Online!

STEMinars: Online Workshops and Professional Development

We offer STEMinars (STEM Workshops) throughout the year to bring new STEM technologies to light and new students into STEM. In addition, our STEM Education Coordinators work with each school division to provide hands-on technical training to support teachers in academic and co-curricular programs.

Now, in response to social distancing measures, we are launching Online STEMinars, led by STEM staff and faculty, so you never have to distance yourself from project-based learning! These video-recorded or virtually live sessions are offered for FREE and cover a broad range of STEM topics. Some of these sessions include introductions to design software, computer programming, electronics such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi, 3D scanning, makerspace/fabrication equipment, robotics, and more.

STEMinars are designed to be an online resource for the community and will walk you through sample projects and design challenges so that you can develop STEM skills. Registration is required at least 24 hours before a session starts. Sessions run 30-60 minutes depending upon age level and topic.

NOVA staff are working remotely to make additional STEMinars available in the coming months so be on the lookout for new offerings on our website and social media.


Upcoming STEMinars


STEMinar: Cybersecurity Workshops
Tuesdays & Thursdays 12:00-12:50pm starting March 19 through end of May
Check out our popular virtual Cyber Workshops, presented in partnership with ISACA and NOVA faculty and staff. All sessions have different topics and speakers and are recorded for future playback. Topics include Continuity of Operations for the Home, Personal Security Tradecraft, Cyber for High School Students, Teachers, & Parents, and more.

> Register Now

For videos from past workshops click here


STEMinar: Robotics Competitions – A Strategic Approach.
Monday April 6 (4pm) for VEXIQ Challenge 
Wednesday April 8 (4pm) for VEX Robotics Competition
Then weekly through May on Mondays (VIQ) and Wednesdays (VRC)
Learn how to start the robotics season right! Afnan Ali, a world champion roboticist, will spend an hour each week working through game strategy. Participants will learn how to analyze and breakdown previous year’s games as well as document strategies that lead toward successful robot prototypes. This introduction on how to apply the engineering design process to competitive robotics is a great introduction for students, parents and mentors. Suitable for ages 10 and up.

> Register Now 


STEMinar: Intro to Programming with Python
Wednesdays starting April 8 through April 29 (all at 2pm)
Python is a programming language used to develop software on the web and in app form, including mobile. It’s relatively easy to learn, and can be used to process text, display numbers or images, solve scientific equations, and save data.

Intro to Python: Mad Libs (I/O, variables)
Learn about basic keyboard input, terminal output, and variables by writing a simple       Mad Libs game.

Python Branching: Text Adventure Game (if/elif/else)
Explore how to make decisions on the fly with if/elif/else statements in order to create a simple text adventure game.

Python Looping: Guessing Game (repetition)
Examine and use ‘while’ loops to have your user guess a random number until they run out of tries or get it correct. We’ll explore the dynamics of user feedback as well as scoring.

Python Collections: Hangman (managing lots of items)
After a brief intro to Python’s built-in list collection, we’ll use these data structures to implement a simple version of the classic word-guessing game Hangman.

> Register Now


STEMinar: Introduction to SketchUp.
April 10 (2pm) & April 23 (7pm)
SketchUp is a premier 3D design software that truly makes 3D modeling for everyone, with a simple to learn yet robust toolset that empowers you to create whatever you can imagine.

> Register Now 


STEMinar: Introduction to Inkscape.
April 14 (7pm) & April 30 (7pm)
This session provides an overview of the free software program called Inkscape, which helps the user transform ideas into a digital representation, which can then be converted to a physical product.

> Register Now 


STEMinar: 3D Scanning
April 14 (7pm) & May 1 (7pm)
3D scanning allows users to copy real objects for editing on software. Learn about the present and future possibilities of 3D modeling. We’ll discuss the current technologies such as Photogrammetry and 3D scanners and more emergent technologies such as NeRF (Neural Radiance Fields). 

> Register Now 


Digital Realty Mock Interview
Date: TBD


Fab Lab – Sewable LED Emoji Pin
Date: TBD


Fab Lab – TinkerCAD
Date: TBD


 

Fab Lab – Upcoming Workshops

WORKSHOPS: 

Code & Operate a Mini Robotic Car! – March 16
Participants will learn to program and operate a small robotic car.  Activities include use of different sensors (ultrasonic, IR, color), line-following, and driver versus autonomous control.

Laser Cutting & Engraving – March 17 & April 7
Participants will learn how to use a laser system to cut and engrave acrylic and glass.  Participants will be able to keep the items they make, including an engraved drinking glass.  For beginners.

Intro to 3D Design & Printing – March 21
Would you like to learn how to draw and 3D print a design? Do you have no to little experience with CAD (computer aided design) software and 3D printing?  If so, then this is the class for you!

Creating Prototypes & Solving Design Challenges – March 24
Participants will learn to use various machinery (3D printer, plastic forming center, wire bender, etc.) and a CAD (computer aided design) software program to solve design challenges.

Arduino & Raspberry Pi – March 24 & 31
Participants will learn how to build circuits with Arduino and how to build their very own website using Raspberry Pi.  This workshop is intended for beginners with no experience.

Mother’s Day Gift Making – April 29
Use your creativity and some technology to create a Mother’s Day gift at the NOVA Fab Lab!  We will help you design and personalize a gift using one of our 3D printers.  No 3D printing experience necessary.

>> Click here for more details and to register for workshops

SPECIAL EVENTS:

Community Open House – March 14
Open to the public with free hands-on activities for all age levels!  Click here to Register

Thursday Demo Nights
Each Thursday we will be giving an overview and demonstration on how a specific piece (or group) of fabrication equipment works.  Register here

 

Interviewing Skills Workshops in March

NOVA SySTEMic is hosting Interviewing Skills Workshops, led by The Career Engineer® (TCE), for STEM and CTE Majors as well as students enrolled in IT, Business, and Health Care programs. TCE can help increase your career confidence and impact your chance to land your dream job! Students will have the opportunity to participate in interview simulation activities and learn how to successfully get through an interview. Participants receive early entry to the IET Career Fair on April 3, 2020 at the NOVA Annandale Campus.

Where and When?

March 24th
10am Annandale Campus
3pm Loudoun Campus

March 25th
10am Manassas Battleview
3pm MEC Springfield Campus

March 26th
10am Alexandria Campus
3pm Woodbridge Campus

IET Career Exploration Fair – March 18

Explore your future – check out what NOVA’s CTE Programs can do for you! NOVA is hosting their third Career Exploration Fair for high school and college students to explore CTE & STEM Programs and certifications at the NOVA Loudoun Campus. The fair will include an overview of enrollment, programs of study, and student services. Don’t miss it – you may find out what you want to do!

Date and Time:
Wednesday March 18, 2020
NOVA Loudoun Campus
21200 Campus Drive
Sterling, VA 20164
6:00 – 8:00pm

Sign up at career.novastem.us/explore

Questions? Contact STEM Coordinator Tiffanie Rosier at trosier@nvcc.edu

 

CTE Career Exploration Fairs – Nov 19, 22

Check out what NOVA’s CTE programs can do for your future! NOVA is hosting three Career Exploration Fairs for high school and college students to explore CTE Programs on Tuesday Nov 19 at the AN campus and Friday Nov 22 at the WO campus. Fairs will include an overview of programs of study, student services, and enrollment. To sign up for a Career Exploration Fair go to career.novastem.us/explore

There is also a Career Fair scheduled for Spring 2020 at Loudoun Campus, More information will be available closer to the date. Questions? Contact STEM Coordinator Tiffanie Rosier at trosier@nvcc.edu

Teacher Professional Development Update

NOVA SySTEMic launched its 2019-2020 series of professional development sessions for middle and high school teachers on October 3rd at NOVA’s Pender campus in Fairfax. Over 50 teachers from Alexandria City, Manassas Park City, Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William school districts attended a full day of hands-on technical training in cybersecurity, programming, or robotics. Teachers became students for the day as they learned about coding and using Arduino, played with VEX robotics systems, and explored advanced topics in cybersecurity. Teachers will continue their training with additional full-day professional development throughout the 2019-2020 school year, with the next session on November 13th.

Check out some of our brief social media video posts from the Oct 3rd workshops:
Robotics
Cybersecurity
Programming
Teacher Endorsement