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STEM Opportunities for Fairfax County Youth

Sparking a Love of STEM

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. Read more.

Maker Day at Fairfax County Public Library - Video

  Maker Day at Fairfax County Public Library from Channel 16 on YouTube.  

Saturday, March 9, is Maker Day at Fairfax County Library. For details and participating branches,  go here.

GMU MGTA Offers Unique Classes

George Mason University's Mason Game and Technology Academy (MGTA) offers a wide variety of summer classes, some that are unique. For example, Shakespeare and Games: From Stage Combat to Motion Capture blends the art of swordplay with cutting edge motion capture technology. Sword fights figure in Shakespeare and other historical fiction, but also in the light saber duels of Star Wars. Students will choreograph swordplay sequences then digitize the event using motion capture suits and cameras. Other courses include Intro to Blockchain, Music Production for Games, Entrepreneurship and many more. Classes are held at the GMU Fairfax campus as well as the Prince William and Loudoun campuses. 

Children's Science Center Gets Kids Excited About STEM

Interactive exhibits and hands-on experiments and demos make Children's Science Lab the fun place for learning about science, technology, engineering and math. Exhibit rooms have different displays to showcase the science kids read about in text books and make it come to life. The Channel 4 video (above) shows the excitement and enthusiasm as kids dive in to science.

The center also takes experiments on the road. “Taking our program out to schools is really critical to making sure we expose all children in our region to the wonders of science,” says Executive Director Nene Spivy.

MITRE Offering 8-Week Paid Summer Student Internships

9th and 10th grade students interested, experienced, and skilled in the STEM fields can apply to MITRE's summer program. MITRE works in the public interest across federal, state and local governments, as well as industry and academia. They bring innovative ideas into existence in areas such as artificial intelligence, health informatics, space security, cyber threats and cyber resilience.

MITRE Corp. is hiring approximately 10 high school freshmen and sophomore students to work in paid positions this summer in McLean, near Tyson's Corner. Work period: June 17–August 9, 2019. Successful applicants should have:

  • Excellent academic records
  • Mature behavior and good communication skills
  • Previously expressed and demonstrated interests in the STEM fields.
  • Some experience in computer programming would be helpful but not required.

Special consideration given to applicants and participants from groups that presently are underrepresented in the STEM fields—women and minorities. U.S. Citizenship is a requirement. Applications due by March 15, 2019. More information.

Apply for position.

Chantilly Academy Receives Grant from Northrop Grumman

Chantilly Academy, a Governor's STEM Academy, was recently awarded $10,000 from Northrop Grumman, a business partner of the Academy for over 30 years. The grant was presented to the Academy as one of the ongoing partnership components to increase STEM activities for the students. It will also provide support for CyberPatriot; the National Youth Cyber Education Program that includes the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition and annual summer camp hosted by Chantilly Academy.  Additionally, FIRST Robotics Chantilly Team 612 will receive a monetary sponsorship to support their competitions.  Contact news liaison Bonnie Wannett at 

STEM Essay Contest for High School Girls

Governor Ralph Northam and the Virginia Council on Women have announced the 8th Annual STEM Essay Contest for young women in their junior and senior years of high school. At least five $5,000 scholarships will be awarded to high school junior and senior women pursuing a STEM career at a higher education institution. One scholarship will be awarded in each of five geographic locations in Virginia.

To be eligible, the students must be female or identify as female, reside in Virginia, be a junior or senior in high school and have a GPA of 2.5. All entries must be submitted by February 22, 2019.

Application and guidelines can be found here.

Scott Kelly: I Was a Bad Student Who Became an Astronaut. Let’s Stop Telling People They Can’t Be Good at Science.

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.
Read more.

NVCC Expands Information and Engineering Technology Programs

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. Contact Paula Ford for program details.

PatriotHacks Video

A hackathon is a social coding event where people of multiple disciplines work collaboratively to solve a challenge. The concept of hackathon, also known as hack fest or codefest or hack day, was born out of the open source community.

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