Loudoun Campus Holds NOVA STEM Day

Nearly 700 parents and children swarmed NOVA’s Loudoun Campus for the NOVA STEM Day! In its fifth year, the goal of this popular event is to generate excitement for STEM education and career opportunities by showcasing local businesses, non-profit organizations, and college programs. STEM Day is a collaboration between NOVA SySTEMic, NOVA Loudoun Campus, NOVA Educational Foundation, Loudoun County Public Schools, and generous industry sponsors including Oath and Micron.

This year’s activities included a strong showing by Loudoun faculty featuring exhibits in Veterinary Technology (Amy Laubinger and Lisa Scott), Horticulture (Anders Vidstrand, Sue Dickson), Biology (Paula Rodgers, Eric Voll, Heidi Wangerin), Geology (Bill Bour, Will Straight), Physics (Francesca Viale, Ramani Kharidehal), Environmental Science (Pavithra Sekhar), Music Recording Technology (Sanjay Mishra), Cybsersecurity (Babur Kohy), Computer Science (John McNally), Psychology (Georgeana Stratton) and Graphic Design (Jackie Gage).

There were some fresh faces in 2018, including representation from the newly formed NOVA ISACA Student Group (NOVAISG). NOVAISG promotes cybersecurity education and awareness, connects students with employers, and provides leadership opportunities. A warm welcome was extended to the American Society of Naval Engineers, Toshiba/National Science Teacher Association ExploraVision, the Academies of Loudoun, and the Washington Capitals’ Street Caps, which showed visitors how the principles of physics can be applied to ice hockey.

The NOVA SySTEMic event space included a hands-on fun zone organized by staff and volunteers. This year’s activities included laser engraving, coding with Spheros, Ozobots, Arduino and Osmo, Vex IQ robotics, and a stomp rocket station where visitors engineered their own vessel and launched to the clouds using the magic of air pressure. Local robotics teams participated as well, including middle and high school students from Riverside High School (Leesburg), FIRST Robotics of Gainesville, X-Bots FTC Team 6700, and Ashburn Robotics.

NOVA STEM Day is possible thanks to faculty, staff, and student volunteers who greet campus guests and assist with activities. More than 60 students volunteered alongside Dr. Julie Leidig (Provost, LO), Dr. Barbara Canfield (Dean, MTSB Division, LO), Tatyana Schum (Campus & Community Relations, LO), Sharis Ahmadi (Faculty, LO), and Vitaly Thompson (Facility Rental Coordinator, AL). NOVA STEM Day Loudoun is coordinated by Dr. Laura Siko (Director, Enrollment Management, LO) and Liz Coffey (Loudoun County STEM Education Coordinator, NOVA SySTEMic).

Miss the NOVA STEM Day at Loudoun? Attend NOVA STEM Day Alexandria on Saturday, December 1 from 10:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. For more information, visit www.novastemday.com.

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