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Community STEM Teams Fabrication Mentoring Robotics Robotics Competitions STEM Education Student to Workforce Teacher Professional Development Tech Equity Women in STEM

STEM Camp Student to Instructor Spotlight: LisBeth Valladares Hernandez

STEM Camp Student to STEM Camp Instructor

Lisbeth G. Valladares Hernandez has been around NOVA and STEM for a long time. She was a STEM Camp student and now excels as a STEM Camp instructor. We asked her a few questions about her experience.

1. How were you first inspired in STEM? 

My journey in STEM began in 8th grade, when I decided to participate in The Micron Challenge: Rube Goldberg Machine. At the time I was the only student in my middle school that showed any interest, after listening to the announcement over the schools intercom. Thankfully I had two teachers that were willing to stay after school with me, my wood technology teacher and my science teacher. As I learned the many ways simple machine can be used in day-to-day challenges. It all became a game of intentionality and purpose. 

2. What did it take for you to get where you are? 

Once I started high school I knew I wanted to continue exploring more of what STEM consisted of. I once again convinced two teachers to help me out and bring SeaPerch Underwater ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) to my high school and for them to be my robotics club sponsor. I went out scouting my high school and personally invited people from diverse groups of friends to join underwater robotics with me. 

3. Describe your experience as a minority woman in STEM.

Being in STEM as a minority women has not been easy, specially because a lot of this is unknown territory for my parents. They have simply trusted in me, that my passions are rooted in knowledge seeking and educational growth. As a first generation student I have had to go out and find resources and financial assistance to be able to participate in STEM activities. My parents have supported me through it all, they have sacrificed so much for me.

Being a women in STEM has been hard because I have been in positions where my voice is the only female voice in the room at times. It takes a special kind of courage to pave the way, and I am proud of myself for having done so for other Latinas that follow. 

I also have to thank Zuzana Steen from Micron and Aleksander Marthinussen from NOVA SySTEMic. Although I only saw them in the judges chair, they always affirmed me to continue my academic career in STEM.

Without people like them or my teacher my STEM journey would not have lasted this long. 

4. What you want to pass on as an instructor and where you want to go in your career?

The reason I was inspired to become an educator is because of all of those teachers along my STEM journey that sacrificed their time after school to sit with me and even if they didn’t fully understand what I was doing. I want to be that teacher for others and pay back my community. 

5. How has NOVA and NOVA SySTEMic equipped you in your career path?

Having been a dual enrolled student with NOVA lead me to NOVA SySTEMic, after working on the engineering challenge during the semester, I was handed a poster and guided to check out the summer camp and apply for the internship positions. 

Since then I have had the wonderful opportunity to participate as an assistant instructor in summer camp, assist in Expo events, create STEM in-class curriculum, develop and present teacher professional development, and lead as Head Coach for the NOVA VEX IQ Community Teams, winning 2nd place at the VEX Robotics State Championship and qualifying for the World Championship this year! 

I am excited to see what my STEM Journey has in store for me. All of this would not be possible without NOVA SySTEMic and its amazing opportunities for someone like me. 

Categories
Design Thinking Fabrication Fellowships NOVA Fab Lab STEM Camps Teacher Professional Development

Design Thinking Fellowship at the Fab Lab

Saturday May 7th marked the last day of professional learning for the educators in the Design Thinking Fellowship! Teams had worked over the semester to design a LEGO storage solution for a user with specific needs, and this was their chance to prototype and test their ideas.

After all this preparation, educators built small scale “rough prototypes” of their designs using cardboard, hot glue, and common crafting materials. Fellows then gathered testing data from their prototypes before presenting their work and explaining their thinking to their peers.

Next, fellows will be practicing teaching what they learned during SySTEMic’s digital fabrication summer camps. Working in groups of three, educators will deliver modified version of the LEGO challenge they just completed to elementary and middle school students across the region.

Fellow Dahlia Henry-Tett, NOVA faculty, reflected on the experience:

“We have to be in the place of a student more frequently. We sometimes forget what it fills like to start, to try things in a different way. Being here as an instructor, as a teacher, allows me to feel like a student again, to see the struggles that they’re going through, trying to create things. It allows me to be better as a professional. Also the skills I’m learning for Design Thinking will carry into my classroom and allow me to use a different method that will help these students think differently about how to approach things.”

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Career & Leadership Readiness Institute Employee Spotlight STEM Awards STEM Education STEM Grants Teacher Professional Development

Staff Spotlight: Natasha Schuh-Nuhfer is a 2022 NOVA Reward and Recognition Program Awardee

Congratulations to NOVA SySTEMic’s Natasha Schuh-Nuhfer for being a 2022 NOVA Reward and Recognition Program awardee!

The Reward and Recognition Program recognizes administrative and professional faculty, classified staff, teaching faculty, and adjunct faculty who have demonstrated outstanding contributions and exemplary performance.

Natasha serves as the STEM Education Coordinator for the Manassas Campus and leads SySTEMic’s K-12 STEM teacher professional development efforts. She has been instrumental to the success of SySTEMic programs, stepping in to provide support wherever needed. Last summer, Natasha supervised the virtual cybersecurity STEM camps and taught the final Introduction to Cybersecurity camp when camp instructors had to return to their districts for the semester and were no longer available.

With COVID concerns going into the new school year, Natasha spearheaded the design of virtual professional development opportunities for STEM educators to learn to program with the BBC micro:bit, explore cyber and technology innovations, and understand the nuances of makerspace machines and software.

In January, Natasha eagerly stepped in to help support NOVA’s Career and Leadership Readiness Institute while also managing her teacher professional development responsibilities, eventually taking over the program in March and bringing it to its completion in mid-April.

Natasha can now be found supporting NOVA-awarded National Science Foundation grants focused on teacher professional development.

Thank you, Natasha, for your impact on the NOVA community and the region’s educators!

Categories
Data Center Operations Engineering Technology Externships Fab Lab NOVA IET NOVA IET Career Pathways NOVA STEM Faculty Professional Development Teacher Professional Development

Engineering Tech Externship Program at NOVA

NOVA has 2 exciting Externship opportunities for 1) Secondary Educators and 2) Industry Professionals in Engineering Technology. These externships are supported by an NSF DCO Tech Grant.

1) Externship For Secondary Educators
Register at: iet.novastem.us/Externship2 

>> 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. 

Micron Tours: April 5th or May 16th
Data Center Tours: April 22nd, May 20th, or June 30th
NOVA Fab Lab Tours/PD Day: July 22nd or 29th 

>> Register at: iet.novastem.us/Externship2
>> For more info contact Matt Lambert at blambert@nvcc.edu

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


2) Externship For Industry Professionals
Register at iet.novastem.us/Externship

>> 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) on June 10th, where they will create their lesson presentation for NOVA’s Engineering Tech Summer Bridge Program, to be taught on either June 24th or 30th.

Virtual PD Sessions: May 5th, 12th, and 19th
In-Person PD Session: June 10th, 2022 at the NOVA Fab Lab
Bridge Program Instructing: June 24th or 30th

>> Register at iet.novastem.us/Externship
>> For more info contact Matt Lambert at blambert@nvcc.edu

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

Categories
Computer Science Professional Development Teacher Professional Development

Micro:bit Professional Development and Classroom Support with Kilmer Middle School

On October 27 & 28, NOVA STEM Coordinator Natasha Schuh-Nuhfer, and Education Support Specialist, Lisbeth Valladares introduced students in teacher Susie Fox’s class at Kilmer Middle School in Vienna to the BBC micro:bit.

Overall, 150 students at Kilmer Middle School, spread among five 90-minute classes over two days, donned their headphones and listened to Lisbeth explain the features of the micro:bit and how to use block coding to make it come alive. Ms. Fox served as on-site support, helping the students connect their micro:bits, troubleshoot their coding, and share their screens if they ran into any technical issues.

SySTEMic was thrilled to be able to provide professional development and classroom support via a virtual format. Ms. Fox will use this collaborative experience to teach the content on her own in Spring 2022. Much of the materials used were previously created in partnership with Prince William County Schools to advance computer science education and are available for free to all Virginia educators on #GoOpenVA.

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Automotive Technology Career & Technical Education Fabrication HVAC NOVA IET Career Pathways Nursing STEM Careers Teacher Professional Development

Upcoming STEM Careers and STEM Teacher PD Events

STEM Careers

Northern Virginia Community College’s (NOVA) STEM Outreach Program, NOVA SySTEMic, is offering STEM Careers Virtual Workshops – Career & Technical Education.

Zoom sessions are open to high school students, NOVA students and the community. In these sessions, NOVA faculty and staff will share information about educational programs and industry representatives will share information about careers and current issues in their field.  ​

Heating, AC and Refrigeration
Weds 11/3: 3:00-4:00 pm.
(NOVA Professor John Meeker & Women in HVACR President Lauren Roberts)

Nursing
Mon 11/8: 3:00-4:00 pm.
(NOVA MEC Interim Dean of Student Services Kimberly Nicely, NOVA Nursing Program Graduate & HCA Reston Hospital Critical Care Nurse, Diana Hernandez and Director of Critical Care Nurse Director of Acute Care Services, Novant Health UVA Health System Prince William Medical Center and Haymarket Medical Center, Eyad Abdel Latif RN, MSN, MBA, CCRN-K, LSSGBC)

Automotive Technologies
Tues 11/9: 4:00-5:00 pm
(NOVA Professor Laura Garcia-Moreyra & NOVA Automotive Technologies Graduate/Current BMW Automotive Tech Michelle Reyes)

Register at career.novastem.us/Register


STEM Teacher PD

NOVA SySTEMic is excited to announce the scheduling of STEM Teacher Professional Development for the 2021-2022 school year. Virtual and in-person professional development will be offered to educators in the areas of fabrication, programming, and technology integration. All sessions are free of cost to STEM educators within the NOVA region! For the latest session information, schedule, and to register, educators can visit http://teacherpd.novastem.us/Register

December Sessions

Micro:bit STEM Applications – Intro Sessions
Wednesdays: December 1st  & 8th from 4:00-6:00pm via Zoom

This course will introduce educators to the BBC micro:bit and applications to various STEM subjects. The 2-part intro series will focus on getting to know the micro:bit using block and text-based coding. Three follow-on sessions will be offered in 2022 in the areas of science, math/health, and art/music. Educators can choose which sessions they want to attend. All attendees will receive their very own micro:bit upon completion of the intro series. Attendance at the intro sessions or previous experience using the micro:bit is highly recommended for the subject-specific follow-on sessions. This two-part series is open to any NoVA region STEM educators.

Demystifying 3D Printing
Monday, December 13th from 4:00-6:00pm via Zoom

It whirs and bings, and if you’re patient, it prints you a cool miniature Han Solo, but once the novelty is over, how do you make better prints? Understanding your 3D-printer, and how the print settings effect everything from strength, surface quality, print time, and supports is crucial for success. In this session, we walk you through how the printer works, common troubleshooting solutions, print settings, and post-processing techniques. Session is targeted to educators with beginner to middle-level knowledge of 3D printing. Topics discussed are broad and translatable to variety of manufacturers. Sessions are open to any NoVA region STEM educators.