On the Spot Job Offers!
Rec-PAC is hiring to fill more than 200 positions for its six-week summer camp program. Rec-PAC, affiliated with the Fairfax County Park Authority, is hosting a series of six virtual information sessions for job seekers interested in working as a camp counselor or camp director. These live, interactive open hires will take place virtually via Microsoft Teams. Each event will begin with a 30-minute question-and-answer period and an overview of available positions.
The Park Authority offers competitive pay starting at $11.43 for camp counselors and $13.06 for camp directors. Applicants must be at least 18 years old and must have or be willing to obtain CPR and first aid certifications. Training for these positions is provided.
Learn more about Rec-Pac opportunities.
2021 Virtual Career Exploration Fair
Monday, April 19, 2021 - Friday, April 30, 2021
The event will be completely VIRTUAL with a combination of synchronous (live) and asynchronous (recorded) sessions and workshops. Arlington Public Schools (APS) and Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) are teaming up to host a Virtual Career Exploration Fair. High school students will be able to connect with over 100 local industry professionals from in-demand career fields. Additionally, students can attend college and career-ready workshops and information sessions.
High School Students can take part in the following ways:
▪ Learn about work-based learning (WBL) opportunities.
▪ Attend industry panel discussions.
▪ Take part in mock interviews.
▪ Attend resume workshops.
▪ Learn about postsecondary education, training, and apprenticeship opportunities.
Register for the Virtual Career Exploration Fair now! by visiting bit.ly/2021careerexp
For more information, visit www.fcps.edu and search “2021 Virtual Career Exploration Fair.”
Help advise the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors (BOS) on environmental issues by serving on the Environmental Quality Advisory Council (EQAC). EQAC is accepting applications to select a student member for a term running from July 2021 to June 2022.
EQAC is comprised 14 citizen representatives including one high school student who serves during her or his junior or senior year of high school. If you are currently a sophomore or junior in good standing, apply now!
EQAC's primary function is to make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors for improving environmental protection and enhancement. During monthly meetings, issues such as water quality, air quality, land use, transportation, solid waste, noise, ecological resources, climate change, energy, hazardous materials ... Learn more.
For nearly 60 years, the Black Student Fund (BSF) has provided essential advocacy, academic and retention support to academically motivated African American and other underserved students. The goal is to facilitate students' access, admission and graduation from member schools. BSF partners with member schools to provide financial assistance, as well as instruction, evaluations, feedback and monitoring necessary to facilitate the creation and maintenance of a supportive and responsive environment. This community-based nonprofit offers events throughout the year for participants.
Junior Scholars offers free tutoring by students at Virginia's famed Thomas Jefferson High School to 3rd through 6th grade students so that younger students don't fall behind in math and science due to COVID-19. Junior Scholars is a student-run nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that students everywhere have equal opportunities to succeed. They offer free online one-hour sessions by qualified high school tutors, personal 1-on-1 Google Meets and lessons and homework help during the school year.
NOVA SySTEMic is committed to providing ongoing STEM professional development opportunities for elementary, middle, and high school teachers in the Northern Virginia region during the COVID-19 pandemic. FREE professional development opportunities are provided in the areas of Fabrication, Programming, and Information Technology. Professional development focuses on skills training and application. Additional time is provided for discussion. All participants receive a certificate of attendance for the number of sessions attended in each series. Sessions are hosted via Zoom.
Topics include coding with Scratch, Easel, Intro to Python, Cloud Computing and more.
Techstravaganza (also referred to as Techstrav) is an annual STEM outreach event, hosted by Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology for elementary and middle school students. The event is open to students of all ages and their families and friends.
Techstrav attracts thousands of attendees from the DMV area every year. Over 300 TJ student and teacher volunteers engage students in STEM activities and demonstrations, including lava lamps, banana DNA, CS workshops, student robotics teams, and other STEM exhibits. This event is rain or shine!
This year's event, on May 15, is a day-long online event. More information and register here.
Clean water is our most important resource. To preserve water quality for future generations, we need to understand where water comes from, how we use it, and where it goes when it leaves our homes and businesses. Video.
The latest issue of the library's quarterly magazine is full of ideas, inspiration, how-tos and tools for getting motivated, getting creative and getting crafty. Be sure to pick up a print copy of the magazine (plus a free pack of FCPL colored pencils!) at your local branch to experience the interactive elements we've added to the pages themselves — starting with a coloring page on the cover along with a scavenger hunt and more inside. Fun for all ages. Read more.
The latest episode Gathering STEAM, an NCS-led course for Fairfax County Public Schools students in grades 7-12, focuses on an opportunity for students to get involved in the Clubhouse Network Global RE@CH Media Festival.
The festival encourages youth to create media that describe their personal experiences and gives voice to their ideas, feelings and concerns. Youth gain exposure through exhibition opportunities that showcase their perspectives.
The Clubhouse Network is an international community of more than 100 Clubhouses, 10 of which are located at NCS facilities in Fairfax County. Each Clubhouse provides a creative, safe and free out-of-school learning environment where young people work with adult mentors to explore their own ideas and develop new skills through technology. Read full article.
Check out Northern Virginia Community College upcoming FREE Virtual STEM Career Exploration & Readiness Workshops!
October 21 / 11:00 a.m. — Business & Professional Communication Workshop
October 27 / 3:00 p.m. — High School Focused Resume, Cover Letter & Interviewing Tips Workshop
Register at career.novastem.us/Register
NOVA Career Exploration Days
Career Exploration Days are a showcase of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Degree and Certification programs on designated NOVA campuses throughout the year. They feature excellent exhibits for engaging enrollment and financial aid workshops for High School students interested in the STEM career field.
A new series of virtual STEMinars is being offered by Northern Virginia Community College's NOVA SySTEMic Fab Lab. There are STEMinars on CAD Autodesk, laser technology, VEX robotics, a makerspace challenge and more! All STEMinars are posted here in the STEAM calendar in the Find Opportunities tab.
STEMinars (STEM Workshops) are offered throughout the year to bring new STEM technologies to light and new students into STEM. In response to social distancing measures, the Fab Lab has launched Virtual STEMinars, led by STEM staff and faculty, so you can still learn and explore! Many of these virtual live sessions are offered for FREE and cover a broad range of STEM topics. Past STEMinars can be found here.
STEMinars provide opportunities for participants to learn about a variety of STEM topics through discussions, information sessions, sample projects, or hands-on kits. 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.
NCS Connects: After School is a virtual platform providing programming for youth and teens during after-school hours, Monday through Friday, 3-6 p.m. Virtual programs began on Monday, Sept. 21 and include academics (i.e., STEAM), family engagement, service learning and youth leadership development.
Although they are open on a limited basis, Fairfax County Public Library branches and Park Authority parks are open for your enjoyment. The following restrictions are in place.
Parks are offering a range of activities from tree identification to blacksmithing to watershed clean up. Social distancing is in place for in-person programs and there are online program to enjoy from home. Site-based programs with social distancing, masks and other recommended COVID-19 safety protocols. Online and phone registration is open now!
Libraries are open daily and patrons may enjoy a 30 minute stay each time they visit. A variety of activities is offered. You can use 30 minutes of public computer time per user per day. Printing and copying are included in this time limit. Disposable keyboard covers are available for your use. More information here.
Get out and safely enjoy your local library and parks!
It's not coding or robotics, but getting outdoors safely will reduce pandemic-induced stress and reinvigorate your love of nature and the environment. This list includes federal, state and local parks with hiking trails, activities and unique features. For example, Scotts Run Nature Preserve in Fairfax County is home to a "grove of ancient hemlocks, whose ancestors migrated here during the last ice age, stands in the nature preserve as a reminder that this region once had a subarctic climate. The park's southern boundary is a major fault zone, a relict geologic feature from a distant past some 520 to 570 million years ago when the rocks were created out of slabs of ocean floor pushed up onto this continent." (Quote from website).
Dive into nature with this list of nearby parks: Back to Nature: The Best Hikes in Our Region
Many of these links feature information to stay pandemic-safe while exploring these beautiful places.
SciFest All Access is coming to you virtually this Fall! Register now and stay tuned for more information on this exciting program running September 16-23.
For the past decade, the USA Science & Engineering Festival has been proud to offer the largest and only national science festival with thousands of hands-on activities, conversations with STEM mentors, and exciting stage shows. While we await the opportunity to bring back our in-person Expo, we hope you will join us this fall for a FREE Virtual Festival — SciFest All Access.
Virtually experience exhibit booths featuring hands-on and interactive STEM content, get an all-access pass to performances on the STEM Stage, hunt for clues and earn badges and prizes in the Scavenger Hunt, gear up in the STEM Store, find your next opportunity in the College Career Center.
CLICK HERE to learn more and view SciFest All Access exhibitors and performers.
At SciFest All Access, attendees of all ages can engage directly with our sponsors and exhibitors to experience 100+ virtual STEM activities! This FREE virtual event will be a graphical depiction of the live Festival to include exhibitor booths, pavilions, and lounges with demonstrations, videos, games, and more.
Educators, please relay the exciting opportunity to students and parents before the summer break, so they have access to this fun, educational, and inspiring program! There is no cost to attend!
After a months-long hiatus due to coronavirus safety concerns, Parktakes programs and classes are scheduled to resume this fall!
All classes will be conducted according to Fairfax County Health Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention safety guidelines. Outdoor, indoor and virtual programming options are available in a wide range of interest areas, including fitness, environmental science, fine arts, gardening and golf. You can start browsing the listings now through Parktakes online.
Temperature checks are required for everyone who enters park facilities, and everyone over the age of 2 is required to wear a mask or face covering at all times.
Students in Fairfax and Montgomery County are staying engaged and actively pursuing scientific pursuits even while social distancing.
Eagle Scout Kellen Meymarian is collecting interviews with scientists and sharing them on Twitter. His goal is to build a video library to "inspire students explore career opportunities" in STEAM fields. https://twitter.com/STEM2Share
In Montgomery County, MD, sister and brother Sarah and Brandon Bagheri have developed a website for students who with to continue learning about STEAM in a fun way even during COVID. On MoCo Scientists for Kids students will also learn about and understand different STEAM career paths. They interview scientists and create videos.
The Neighborhood and Community Services (NCS) Community Centers and Teen Centers recently launched NCS Connects (#NCSconnects), Fairfax County's first virtual programming platform specifically for youth and teens of all abilities in grades 1-12.
NCS Connects features original, self-directed activities and videos led by familiar staff members, and on-demand resources for kids and parents in five categories: adapted virtual learning, culture, academics, health and wellness, and STEAM.
When NCS centers closed their doors in March due to COVID-19, it was only a matter of weeks before youth members began asking staff when they could come back. Not knowing when that might be, NCS knew they needed a different way to reach teens — and fast. With the recent announcement that Fairfax County summer camps are cancelled, the need for virtual NCS programming has become even more immediate. Read more.
Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) is launching a new summer schedule of tuition-free online classes for approximately 70,000 qualified Northern Virginia high school students. This is an opportunity for rising seniors through graduating seniors to JumpStart their summers and earn college credit by attending up to two online courses that will run from June 1 to July 15.
The online courses have been selected because they fulfill not only NOVA degree requirements but also transfer to most colleges and universities. A STEAM course in cloud computing is included.
Fairfax County Park Authority Virtual Exploration Center is a collection of resources to help you stay healthy, connected and engaged while our parks are closed. Science and Nature activities and information, Health and Wellness and Culture and History are the categories included. This page will be updated regularly, so check back often for new resources.
For new ideas and updates on content, follow on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @fairfaxparks.
NASA's next rover to Mars will bear the mark of a local seventh grader, Alexander Mather of Lake Braddock Secondary School, when it is launched in summer 2020.
Mather chose the name Perseverance for the rover.
Mather was chosen to pick the new rover's name in the latest "Name the Rover" essay contest, which drew 28,000 entries from K-12 students around the U.S. A public vote with over 770,000 responses decided the winner. Read more.
Perseverance is a robotic scientist weighing just under 2,300 pounds (1,043 kilograms). The rover's mission includes taking readings of the planet's climate and geology and collecting samples of Martian rocks and dust, all to pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet. Read more.
Fairfax county Public Library(FCPL) has resources that can help parents help their young children develop the skills needed for school readiness by preparing them to learn to read and write. Early literacy - what children know about communication and language before they can actually read and write - is the subject of a comprehensive website of resources for parents and teachers to help young children become ready for school. The site, called simply Early Literacy, includes lists of books, videos, songs and more, by topic. Many STEAM topics are on the list and STEAM kits, which include books and activities, are featured. These resources can aid parents inspire the love and excitement of learning in their children. More information.
FLEET is an engaging engineering game for students 8-18 years old that provides the opportunity for a nationwide naval engineering competition for middle and high school students. The competition is virtual but is accompanied by live events. All lessons connect FLEET to instruction in English, Math, and Science classes and most materials are accessible to English language learners.
Teachers appreciate FLEET because it teaches physical science and the engineering design process while engaging students in real-world learning. Students love FLEET because it's fun and requires applying science concepts they understand. Read more.
NOVA's first STEM Fabrication Lab (Fab Lab), located at the Manassas Campus, will support NOVA's academic programs and also provide a unique area where individuals and groups can create and collaborate! Projects, courses, and events (field trips, competitions, and private events) will be offered to K-12 students, teachers and community members. Additionally, the lab will be available for use during "open lab" sessions.
The lab features work spaces with 3D printers, a 3D scanner, a laser engraver, a plastic thermoforming center, a large format CNC router, a mini desktop CNC router, a CNC wire bender, computerized sewing machines, a full woodworking shop, as well as ...Read more
Go to Find Opportunities to see Fab Lab community workshops posted in the Calendar.
Since I've returned from spending a year in space, I've been traveling the world sharing my experiences. I've been surprised by one of the things I've heard from audiences: that they believe science is too difficult, too complex for a normal person to comprehend....I'm here to tell you that's not true.
Students from Oakton High and Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology were named winners in the final round of the Parsons Technology Innovation Challenge, sponsored by Parsons, a leading technology company. Students were asked to develop a program based on the following challenge: What next-gen idea do you have to make your world a better place? Identify ways technology can be applied to solve problems at home, school, or in your community. Read more.
Did you know that less than half a dozen statues of real American women exist outdoors in main parks or downtown areas across the nation? Taking a step to correct this oversight, STEM empowerment nonprofitIf/Then is installing the most statues of women ever assembled in one location at one time. On May 1, NorthPark in Dallas will host a unique exhibit featuring life-size 3D-printed statues of more than 120 female scientists. The display is part of a $25 million program by Lyda Hill Philanthropies to bring more visibility to the work of female scientists and to inspire girls to pursue careers in STEM. Read more
Look closely and you'll see a river otter in this short video clip. The otter was seen below the outfall at the advanced wastewater treatment plant in Lorton. The return of this aquatic mammal is testament to the quality of the treated effluent discharged from the plant, which cleans 40 million gallons of dirty water each day.
On Saturday, January 25, 2020, the new TechLab at the Sherwood Regional Library had its grand opening. It's a new workshop space with lots of tools and resources for all ages such as sewing machines, microscopes, soldering kits and iPads.The Sherwood Tech Lab is a place for customers to enjoy hands-on learning with a variety of high-tech and low-tech equipment and activities. The TechLab was made possible by the generosity of the Friends of the Sherwood Regional Library.
Miss Virginia Camille Schrier, a 24-year-old biochemist from Richmond studying to earn a doctor of pharmacy degree at Virginia Commonwealth University, was crowned 2020 Miss America on December 20. She certainly stole the show during the talent portion by putting on a chemistry demonstration.
Science is all around us! I've loved science since I was a little girl, she said, & dressed in a white lab coat. It's my mission to show kids that science is fun, relevant and easy to understand.
She then poured potassium iodide into three separate flasks that contained concentrated hydrogen peroxide, food coloring and dish soap. What we are about to watch is the catalytic decomposition of hydrogen peroxide, she said. But be careful! Don't try this at home. Foam started pouring out everywhere. The judges were in awe.
Are you an innovator? A problem solver? Then the 2020 Shark Tank Technology Challenge is for you! The challenge asks Fairfax County high school students to develop an innovative, user-friendly device or other solution that will have a positive impact in the lives of older adults, adults with disabilities, or caregivers. Many such adults struggle to live comfortably in a world that changes quickly, often in ways that don't accommodate their specialized needs. The Shark Tank Technology Challenge seeks young innovative entrepreneurs who can design practical products for these adults.
Learn more about this tremendous opportunity.
Science News for Students is an award-winning online publication that provides age-appropriate science news for students, parents and educators. Stories highlight ongoing research in fields ranging from astronomy to zoology.
Student Science features the STEM activities of students across the country, including student inventions, competitions, etc.
Both publications are produced by the Society for Science, the Public, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership organization dedicated to public engagement in scientific research and education.
Justin Shaifer's scientific awakening began after his mom forced him to sign a contract promising that he'd figure out how to pay for college. While searching for scholarships, Shaifer discovered deep pools of money around STEM education, Here's the thing about going into a STEM major in college. There is so much money out there for anyone that's trying to get into STEM, as a student, and even after you become a student," he added. Read the article.
Did you know that your local library offers homework resources for students of all ages? Fairfax County Public Library has online resources for homework, SAT and ACT preparation, specialty databases, free wi-fi and computer access and more. Best of all, they have staff who can help you find the best resources for your assignment. More information.
STEAM homework help can be found here
A list of the top 25 college majors with the lowest unemployment rates in the U.S. based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey, reveals that science-based college majors dominate in the employment category. Compiled by financial news and commentary website 24/7 Wall St. View the list here.
The war between the states for business and jobs has never been more intense, with states paying staggering amounts of taxpayer dollars to woo companies. The prizes are big — including Amazon’s promised $5 billion HQ2 project. The annual CNBC Americas Top States for Business study ranked Virginia as #1. The state has the nation's best workforce, including the fourth-highest concentration of science, technology, education and math (STEM) workers. Strong school test scores, small class sizes and a wealth of colleges and universities make Virginia’s education system the best in the nation. And with Virginia Tech University announcing plans to build a new campus in northern Virginia focused on innovation, things could get even better. Read the entire article.
Parents and families are a child's first teachers. When guiding and supporting a young child's development, laying a strong foundation in the first five years of life is essential to your child's continued healthy growth and development. In addition to supporting early childhood educators with training opportunities, mentoring and resources, Fairfax Futures publishes online, downloadable booklets and videos to help families nurture a love of learning in their young children. Titles include Helping Your Child Love to Learn, Tapping into Technology and Math in Early Learning: Exploring Balance with The Cat in the Hat. Learn more.
An all-girls robotics team from Burke is headed to a worldwide competition. The team of four girls called Fusion Four will compete in the First Lego League Worlds Competition on April 24-27 in Detroit. The team is made up of Ema Hrabak, Minah Sisco and Reira Erickson of Lake Braddock Secondary School and Devon Rudolph of Robinson Secondary School. The Fusion Four got to the world competition after winning the state championship for Division I in Virginia and DC.
The First Lego League challenges teams to solve a real-world problem by building, testing, and programming a robot with Lego technology. Tens of thousands of students from around the world will head to Detroit for the world competition. Read more.
A recent, ground breaking study that asks the question “Who Becomes an Inventor in America“, paints a troubling picture of how we are failing bright and talented students in poor and underserved communities. The New York Times summarizes the most significant finding of this work:
“Not surprisingly, children who excelled in math were far more likely to become inventors. But being a math standout wasn’t enough. Only the top students who also came from high-income families had a decent chance to become an inventor.
This fact may be the starkest: Low-income students who are among the very best math students — those who score in the top 5 percent of all third graders — are no more likely to become inventors than below-average math students from affluent families.”
The Original Mount Vernon High School is a step closer to once again becoming a learning hub for residents of the Richmond Highway corridor. In mid-March, Fairfax County Public Schools and Northern Virginia Community College signed a letter of intent to offer educational and career certification programs at the historic site.
The objectives are to “expand workforce training and certification programs that lead to employment with a focus on information technology, cyber technology, health and hospitality, and culinary arts; expand training and workforce development for early childhood educators; develop a plan to establish a dual enrollment program to offer college credits to high school students, as well as possibly develop an early college high school ... Read more.
A new Innovation Lab at Chantilly High School is enabling students to collaborate with and learn from each other as they delve into stations that include take-apart technology, audiovisual studio, VEX robotics, Arduino, 3-D print and scan, and game design.
Principal Scott Poole said the lab came about thanks to parents Sekhar and Malini Puli, who founded Asha-Jyothi, an organization that serves the underprivileged by providing access to education and healthcare. The Pulis observed the growing popularity of makerspaces in schools and wanted to provide all Chantilly students with the opportunity to explore their own ideas, and Asha-Jyothi raised $106,000 through a private campaign. Read more.
Fairfax Robotics team members, Neha Bhat and Nithya Chintalapati, placed 1st at the World Robot Olympiad Nationals on September 15. They were pronounced the National Champions in the regular senior category and invited to represent Team USA at the WRO World Finals in November in Thailand. Their team, called Absolute Zero, is the first team from VA/MD/DC metro area to reach the world finals, and Bhat and Chintalapati are the only all-girls team from the USA. Both are students at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. Read more
The Children’s Science Center will be merging with the Science Museum of Virginia to create a new regional science center. This expanded regional center will be an extension of and will benefit from shared resources and expertise from the Museum’s four decades of delivering inspiring informal science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning experiences.
Nene Spivy, Executive Director for the Children’s Science Center, said “We look forward to expanding our mission of inspiring a love of learning in STEM; showcasing our region as a science and technology hub; and providing fun, high-quality interactive experiences for families, schools and curious minds of all ages.”
This new STEM-focused resource will serve an estimated 300,000 guests annually and will be located at the Kincora development in Dulles and will be ten times the size of the current Children’s Science Center facility at Fair Oaks Mall.
Oakton High School 12th grader Leela Ayyar’s excitement about science, technology, engineering, and math is contagious, just as it is with her literary alter ego, Elara. One day, Leela hopes to get her pilot’s license and pursue her dream of becoming an astronaut.
It can be tough to be an aspiring engineer in a predominantly masculine field of study, but her passion has always pushed her forward. Along the way, Leela noticed that other girls didn't feel the same way.
In collaboration with technology leaders throughout the region, Northern Virginia Community College has developed three new strategic programs to address key areas of significant need within the Northern Virginia technology workforce. These programs are aligned to the needs of industry, will allow students to earn industry-recognized credentials, and are targeted at high growth areas that show significant job demand within the region. Programs include Cloud Computing, Data Center Operations and an A.A.S. in Engineering Technology. More information on NVCC STEM courses.