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Computer Science Data Center Operations Engineering Technology Externships Information Technology

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

Categories
Employee Spotlight IET Recruitment

New Employee Spotlight – Amira Alexander


Amira Alexander

Welcome, Amira Alexander!
Our new IET Recruitment and Engagement Specialist.  

A native of North Carolina, Amira obtained her bachelor’s degree in Nutrition Science from NC State University with a minor in Extension Education. While there, she researched the effects of marketing strategies on children, worked with food education non-profits to provide children with culturally relevant information and spent time abroad in Costa Rica exploring food security. After obtaining her undergraduate degree, Amira began her career in education with the North Carolina State University College Advising Corps where she cultivated her belief in educational access and equity through creating college ambassador programs and building relationships with local college access organizations. For the next six years, Amira worked as a College Adviser and as an Assistant Director curating content for K12 administrators and counselors, mentoring new professionals in professional development and fostering collaboration amongst similar organizations. During her time at NC State, Amira obtained her graduate certificate in Family Life Education and Coaching and in May 2022 completed her Master’s of Youth, Family, and Community Sciences.

Having recently moved to Virginia in the summer of 2022, Amira is enjoying learning a new city, reading books from the local library, spending time with family, caring for her plant babies, perusing farmer’s markets and cooperative extension offices, and completing a FitOn barre class in her free time.

Amira can be reached at aalexander@nvcc.edu

Categories
Career & Technical Education CTE SkillsUSA

NOVA at SkillsUSA National Conference!

Five NOVA students represented Virginia at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC) June 20-24 in Atlanta, GA. The national competitors at this conference are the top 2% of CTE students from across the country. NOVA students competed in Cybersecurity, Computer Programming, Extemporaneous Speaking and Job Skills Demonstration.

Ardian Peach and Humza Ansari finished 4th in Cybersecurity, completing tasks at and demonstrating knowledge at 10 cyber stations.

Alexander Choi finished 4th in Computer Programming after completing 2 challenges.

Claudia Oviedo finished 10th in Extemporaneous Speaking, after being prompted to prepare a 3-5 minute speech in just 10 minutes.

Maddie Gebremichael finished 13th in Job Skills Demonstration, giving a 5-7 minute speech to judges on engineer theory of a suspension bridge.

While at NLSC students also attended SkillsUSA University workshop sessions and participated in Techspo to meet with industry partners.

They also enjoyed the largest unofficial conference activity: trading state pins with other attendees from across the nation and networking with other student members.

Ardian Peach, who finished 4th overall in Cybersecurity, reflected on competing at the National Conference: “I’m extremely grateful that I had the opportunity to participate in SkillsUSA…The personal and professional development that everything led up to is something that you can’t really get anywhere else. Preparing for these events and eventually putting my skills to the test helped motivate me to learn more about my field, as well as evaluate my own self discipline. School can help, but if you want to win, that’s entirely up to you to put in the work to make it happen, and SkillsUSA is one of the best examples to show a student’s hard work.”

Niki Gordon, NOVA’s SkillsUSA advisor, said “SkillsUSA is such a great opportunity for students to take classroom learning and apply it to real world settings.  These competitions are not just written tests, these students have to complete projects, solve problems and showcase their technical skills. I am so proud of them for embracing this opportunity to improve themselves, build their resumes and further prepare for their futures in IET.”

Students will be receiving a congratulatory note from NOVA President, Dr. Kress.

Students had excellent support in preparing outside of classes. For cybersecurity, special recognition goes to Professor William McLaughlin, Professor Kwabena Konado, Professor Fernando Seminario, and AllCyber – Woodbridge Cyber Club. For computer programming, Professor Ryan Ammons.

Advisor Niki Gordon also worked with the two leadership students to prepare for their speech competitions.

Funding for the SkillsUSA Chapter and the trip to the National Leadership and Skills Conference was provided by our Federal Perkins Award, Micron, and the NOVA Foundation through the carry over of the founding InNOVAtion grant which started the chapter two years ago.

NLSC info and stats can be found here: https://www.skillsusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/NLSC-2022-Flyer-Web.pdf

Categories
STEM Camps

STEM CAMP Schedule 2022

General schedule for 2022 STEM Camps.

Camps run 9am-4pm unless virtual, no camps week of July 4.

**IN-PERSON**


STEM Elementary School (4th to 5th grade):

June 27-July 1 at NOVA Manassas Trailside

July 11-15 at NOVA Annandale Campus

July 18-22 at NOVA Alexandria Campus

July 25-29 at Tuscarora High School


Coding With Robotics (4th to 7th grade):

June 27-July 1 at NOVA Annandale Campus

July 11-15 at NOVA Manassas Trailside

July 25-29 at NOVA Alexandria Campus

Aug 1-5 at NOVA Loudoun Campus


Fabrication (4th to 9th grade):

June 27-July 1 at NOVA Annandale Campus

July 25-29 at NOVA Alexandria Campus

Aug 1-5 at NOVA Loudoun Campus


STEM Middle School (6th to 8th grade):

June 27-July 1 at NOVA Manassas Trailside

July 11-15 at NOVA Annandale Campus

July 18-22 at NOVA Alexandria Campus

July 25-29 at Tuscarora High School


VEX Robotics (6th to 10th grade):

June 27-July 1 at NOVA Annandale Campus

July 11-15 at NOVA Manassas Trailside

July 25-29 at NOVA Alexandria Campus

Aug 1-5 at NOVA Loudoun Campus


Arduino (7th to 10th grade):

June 27-July 1 at NOVA Annandale Campus

July 11-15 at NOVA Manassas Trailside

July 25-29 at NOVA Alexandria Campus

Aug 1-5 at NOVA Loudoun Campus


Rocketry (7th to 12th grade):

July 11-15 at NOVA Manassas Trailside


Cybersecurity: Capture the Flag (7th to 12th grade):

Aug 8-12 at NOVA Manassas Trailside


VIRTUAL CAMPS (Cybersecurity only)

Cybersecurity: Intro (9th to 12th grade):

June 27-July 1 Virtual Morning Session 9:30-11am

June 27-July 1 Virtual Afternoon Session 1:30-3pm

July 18-22 Virtual Morning Session 9:30-11am

July 18-22 Virtual Afternoon Session 1:30-3pm

Cybersecurity: Encryption & Crypto (9th to 12th grade):

July 11-15 Virtual Afternoon Session 1:30-3pm

Cybersecurity: Hacking & Forensics (9th to 12th grade):

July 11-15 Virtual Morning Session 9:30-11am

Aug 1-5 Virtual Afternoon Session 1:30-3pm

Cybersecurity: Networking Security (9th to 12th grade):

Aug 1-5 Virtual Morning Session 9:30-11am


**Register for camps at www.nvcc.edu/systemic/camps.html

 

Categories
CTE Employee Spotlight New Employee

Welcome Andy Chaves, NOVA SySTEMic’s New CTE Coordinator!

Andy is excited to join NOVA SySTEMic as our new CTE (Career and Technical Education) Director. Andy promotes and supports public/private partnerships through CTE programs. He served as the Chair of the National Advisory Board and Executive Committee of DECA while also serving on the Board of Directors of DECA, Inc.

Andy is a retired executive from Marriott International, Inc. where he worked for almost 31 years. He spearheaded Marriott’s youth strategies and partnership efforts supporting engagement initiatives across the globe. A graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, he has more than 35 years of experience in the Hospitality Industry.

Andy was Board Chairman of Hospitality High School of Washington, DC, A Public Charter School.  He represented Marriott as liaison to the National Urban League, UnidosUS, NBMBAA, Prospanica, NABA, NRAEF’s ProStart, AH&LA Hospitality and Tourism Management Program (HTMP) and various CTE programs and councils. He has served on the Advisory Board for career and technical program resources development with the Glencoe McGraw-Hill publisher.

Andy was also the founding President of the Montgomery County Public Schools Students Foundation for Hospitality and Restaurant Management (FHRM). As a Human Resources professional, Andy understands that investing in young people and giving back are essential for the future growth of any industry.  These public/private partnerships are what make career and technical education (CTE) programs succeed.  His greatest mentoring efforts are in raising his two children and encouraging them to become life-long learners and continuous career explorers.

Andy can be reached at machaves@nvcc.edu

Categories
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
Cybersecurity NOVA IET Career Pathways STEM Careers Student to Workforce Tech Equity Women in STEM

Student To Workforce Spotlight: Fandrea Tinsley

Fandrea Tinsley is a NOVA graduate who has been hired by Wal-Mart Cyber at a recruitment event after completing a NOVA IET resume and interview prep session. We thought we’d ask her a few questions and get some insights about her new career and how NOVA helped along the way.

1) Why is Cybersecurity important?

In the technology age that we live within, cybersecurity is becoming increasingly important because so many things connect to the internet (almost everything). Any device that connects to the internet can potentially be hacked! Since so many people use the internet daily the threat landscape is vast. This being the case, cybersecurity is not only important in our society but necessary.

2) What got you into Cybersecurity?

My husband, Farod! He is a NOVA alumnus and completed the same cybersecurity program in 2018. After which, he transferred to George Washington University (GWU) to complete his bachelor’s degree. I was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly after conceiving our second son in 2019. While going through chemotherapy treatment, following our son’s birth, Farod recommended that I switch to cyber from the nursing program in which I’d previously been enrolled at Germanna Community College. I took a while to think about it but ultimately decided to take the leap due to me being at high risk during the height of Covid-19. Looking back, I can say that it has turned out to be one of the best decisions that I’ve ever made… thanks Farod!

3) What was your general experience at NOVA?

My general experience at NOVA was great! I’d taken some classes at NOVA when I was younger, directly after high school, but did not finish a degree program. As a returning student, I feel that I was better able to fully understand the importance of what NOVA has to offer and take advantage of this time around.

4) What did you enjoy most about your time at NOVA?

Everything! I enjoyed every class, every lab, every Saturday meeting with the AllCyber club, and forming relationships with classmates. All my professors were exceptional, and I appreciate EVERYTHING that they did to prepare me for the cybersecurity industry. They mentored and advised me until the very end and are one of the main reasons why I received this opportunity with Walmart Infosec.

5) How did NOVA IET help you get started along your career path?

NOVA IET provided me with all the knowledge, tools, and guidance to be successful in the cybersecurity industry. I continuously review everything that I have learned, in my mind, and apply this knowledge to every professional situation that I encounter. I feel that NOVA IET has really prepared me well and positioned me on the path to have a successful career.

6) What was your experience with the NOVA IET team, particularly with Dean Paula Ford?

My experience with the NOVA IET team was one of consistency and support. Throughout my entire experience, I received the same level of follow up, support, mentorship, and career counseling. Dean Paula Ford was an instrumental part of my NOVA IET team through her avocation for me and thoughtful leadership. Professor Kwabena Konodu followed up with me on a weekly basis to provide counseling and to ensure that my plan remained on track. A major part of my success so far is due to my NOVA IET team, and I really appreciate all of them.

7) What skills did you pick up from the mock interview, and how did it prepare you effectively for the real thing with Wal-Mart?

The mock interview helped to prepare me for the real thing by allowing me to “practice before the game”. I’ve been in other interviews over the years, but this was my first time preparing for a cybersecurity interview. The mock interview reinforced my confidence, bearing, and taught me how to structure my answers appropriately. This practice helped me a great deal to be prepared for the real thing, and I know that I would not have felt as confident as I did during my interview with Walmart Infosec, if I hadn’t participated in the mock interview.

8) Describe your confidence going into the interview, your mindset.

I would describe myself as a naturally confident person, and due to me having participated in the mock interview and all the preparation and support that I received from my NOVA IET team, I felt extra confident. I visualized myself already having the job before I even sat down for the interview.

9) Describe the full interview process with Wal-mart. What went well in the interview and what might you do differently?

As much as I tried not to look nervous during my interview, I am sure that I did. However, I’ve been told that I did well. Part of my interview consisted of my interviewer asking about me, my background, my skill set(s) and ambitions. I pride myself on my soft skills and communication, so I think that this part of the interview went very well. The other part of the interview was technical. Prepared as I was, I knew that I didn’t answer every question correctly. However, anything that I wasn’t totally familiar with, or unsure of, I confidently responded that I knew where to find the information and that I am always willing to learn more. I really think that the interviewer liked that.

10) How did your resume help you? Why was it effective? How did your employer refer to it to ask you questions?

My resume was effective in that it helped to get me in the door. My interviewer referenced my resume when asking me questions, for which I was prepared, and questions that weren’t related to my resume as well. Overall, I consider the process a valuable learning experience.

11) What do you do at Wal-mart on a day-to-day basis (that you can comfortably share) and what do you enjoy most about it?

Well, since I just recently began my Walmart Infosec journey, I am still in the research/study phase. My Walmart Infosec team has shown me a warm welcome and I am so excited to be a part of this organization. I look forward to getting to know my teammates better as we work closely alongside each other.

12) How did NOVA prepare you to meet the technical demands of your job?

The cybersecurity program at NOVA is top of the line. Through classroom lectures and work that covers every domain within IT and cybersecurity, rigorous and realistic lab assignments, the AllCyber professional cybersecurity organization, and continuous career coaching and mentorship I feel very prepared to meet professional technical demands. Regarding my job, I have a foundational understanding of all the information that I have been presented with so far, which is an advantage to me.

13) How do soft skills and interpersonal communication play into the interview process and in your job from day to day?

Soft skills and communication skills play a huge part during an interview and on the job. To truly be a team player these skills should be almost second nature. Honestly, I believe that I’ve made it this far relying largely on my soft skills and communication. As I continue to increase my technical prowess, my interpersonal skills enable me to continuously communicate with others, identify needs, and remain an asset.

14) How does your life in the professional world differ from life as a NOVA student? What are the expectations?

Well, prior to entering tech I’d accumulated years of professional work experience in the healthcare industry. Having such experience over the years has fine tuned my work ethic and drive. So, I applied that same work ethic and drive to my studies, and I continue to do so in the professional tech world in hopes that it will continue to serve me well. One difference that I have noticed however, is the level and types of expectation. In school it is understood that assignments must be completed, quizzes and tests must be taken, and regular attendance is expected. In the professional world, some of that stuff doesn’t exist and a lot of expectation is placed on results. I’ve welcomed the challenges from both environments.

15) What are your ultimate career goals?

Well, I’ve already achieved one of my goals having been offered this great opportunity with Walmart Infosec. I think, as of now, I will just continue to focus, buckle down, and see where this journey takes me. I feel that my journey will be more exciting that way! Plus, this exploratory way of thinking about the future of my career seems unrestricting and totally freeing. I can’t wait to see what’s next!

16) What is your experience as a woman in the tech fields? What further steps for equality would you like to see in general in technology fields?

Since my start in tech, I have noticed a strong movement of women entering technology spaces. While I realize the tech industry is still predominantly male occupied, it is exciting to see and know females like me that go out there and pursue their dreams regardless of what others may think or traditional gender roles. If this movement continues to progress, I definitely see the future of tech being very bright for everyone, regardless of gender.

17) What would you say to current NOVA IET students who would like to follow your example? What should they do and what should they expect?

Network, network, network! I personally attended every hiring event available and pursued every opportunity offered to me. Additionally, ensure that you are prepared for these opportunities so as to present the best in you while taking advantage of them. You never know what’s waiting for you behind that next door.

18) And a fun one: Do you watch any TV shows about Cyber (Mr. Robot for example)? What does entertainment get right and wrong when they portray Cyber agents and hackers?

I don’t typically watch a lot of TV, but I have seen cyber related television programs and movies. Prior to entering cybersecurity, the explanation of actors/actresses portraying cyber roles seemed extremely technical and difficult to grasp. But now, if I don’t know exactly what one of these characters is saying, I can at least piece together what they are referring to. Being able to do that is so awesome and makes me feel like I am part of a special club, lol. However, I feel that these roles may sometimes take it a little overboard and not portray the human side of cyber players.

19) Anything important to add that we might have missed?

No, I think that you generally covered everything across the board. I just want to reiterate how appreciative I am for this opportunity, and I encourage everyone striving for a career in cybersecurity to keep pursuing their goals and “stay the course”! If I can do this, you can too!

Categories
Employee Spotlight Engineering Technology Information Technology NOVA Awards NOVA IET NOVA IET Career Pathways

Staff Spotlight: Allison McElfresh is a 2022 NOVA Reward and Recognition Program Awardee

Congratulations to IET Advising’s Allison McElfresh 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.

Allison McElfresh is the strategic lead for advising for students in any of NOVA’s Seventeen Information and Engineering Technology associate degrees and career studies certificates. She brings 14 years of experience as an Advisor and Program Analyst at NOVA to her role.  According to Allison, “One of the greatest challenges of the advising position is finding a balance between responsive advising, where we provide support to students who contact us because they know they need help vs proactive advising, where we try to anticipate problems our IET students might encounter and then attempt to solve those problems before the student even becomes aware of them.”

Her vision is to use data more effectively when advising students and to create resources that help students more easily find the information they need regarding course selection and transfer planning.

So far, she has been able to combine Python programming and Excel to produce tracking sheets that show which students have completed which requirements for their degrees or certificates, so the IET Advisors could identify students who had completed a CSC without being aware of it, so they could be contacted to apply for graduation.  The sheets have also been useful in identifying students who had applied for graduation but forgotten to transfer classes in from another college, allowing those students to complete the transfer process in time.

Allison regularly takes IT classes at NOVA herself in order to acquire the skills to better solve advising problems.  She has been taking courses in Python Programming and Advanced Database Management, and will be working towards the new Data Analytics Specialist CSC which should be added to NOVA’s curriculum sometime in 2023.

“I can’t wait to see the ways in which Machine Learning and Data Analytics can help me find creative ways to advise my students better.”  If you have any advising questions for one of the IET degree or certificate programs, you can reach Allison McElfresh and the other members of the IET Advising team at iet@nvcc.edu.

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.”

Categories
Business Engagement Engineering Technology Externships Industry Tours NOVA Fab Lab NSF Grant NSF Grants STEM Education

DCO Tech Externship Educators Tour Micron and Stack

Engineering technology teachers, counselors, and administrators had the opportunity to tour Micron and Stack Infrastructure this month as part of a NOVA Secondary Educator Externship to help guide students into Engineering Technology careers. There are more tours available for June.

This Externship program is a component of an NSF funded grant awarded to NOVA to expand the pipeline of students preparing for careers in engineering technology. It helps teachers, counselors, and administrators develop first-hand knowledge of engineering technology through higher education and industry connections.

Participants tour local facilities, engage in discussions with industry and higher education leaders, and develop a plan to guide their students to careers in engineering technology.

Participants must participate in a tour of Micron Technology in Manassas and STACK Infrastructure in Ashburn as well as tour NOVA’s Fab Lab and engage in discussion about NOVA programs.

Students who completed NOVA’s Career and Leadership Readiness Institute have been invited to join the externship participants to learn about engineering technology careers and opportunities with industry partners.

Tours of Micron Technology and STACK Infrastructure were held in April and May. The Secondary Externship application is still available, with final tour dates of both sites scheduled for the end of June.

For more information go to iet.novastem.us/Externship2