Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Bicycle Safety Warning System Senior Project by Mickeyla and Roger

Mickeyla Clark, Roger Richardson from McKinley Tech HS were interns at our Thinkabit Lab last Summer as part of the DC Public Schools On-Ramps to Careers Internship Program.  Here is their bicycle safety prototype.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Virtual Summer Camp Registration

Check back frequently- we'll soon be opening registration for several Summer Virtual Camps:

Wearable Technology: Integrating microelectronics with function, self-expression, fashion(?), and certainly creativity. Learn engineering and programming skills, and about careers where creative clothing and accessories change the way people think. This camp is designed for grades 6-9. 
July 13-16, 10am to 12 noon and 2pm to 3pm (with mid-day offline flex time)

Technology for Good plus IoT:  Learn engineering and programming skills and about careers in which microelectronics and the Internet of Things (IoT) are used to solve problems and make life better.  This camp is designed for grades 6-9.  July 27-30, 10am to 12 noon and 2pm to 3pm (with mid-day offline flex time).

Urban Ag and Environmental Sustainability plus IoT:  This camp is for high school students interested in smarter ways to grow food and to monitor and protect the environment the engineering and programming skills.  You'll learn about how sustainability is becoming a part of all areas of work and academic areas. This camp is designed for grades 9-12.  July 27-30, 10am to 12 noon and 2pm to 3pm (mid-day offline flex time).


Academic Year Saturday Camps and Events

We hope to hear soon about how current events will affect our very popular Saturday Camps and Events:

Women's Cyberjutsu Society, Cyberjutsu Girls;  Monthly meetings on 2nd Saturdays with a broad range of experiences with professional women in Cyber security, Computer Science and Engineering skills and creativity.  Girls in grades 5-10.

Boolean Girls: Monthly meetings on 4th Saturdays with programming and engineering experiences for all levels of experience.  Girls in grades 4-8.

NoVa Labs FIRST Robotics: This is a Winter event with fun-level competition co-hosted by NoVa Labs and the Thinkabit Lab.

Northern Virginia Center Maker Festival: Normally held just before Election Day, this event features hands-on STEM activities for all age ranges.

Girls' Technovation Mobile App Design Competition: This event is in May 2021 and serves as the finals for regional Technovation participation in a competitive forum for girls in two divisions - grades 6-8 and 9-12.

Sliding Doors STEM and Dyslexia Center (SD2): SD2 provides highly engaging STEM content throughout the year and hosts annual programs in our Lab for students and educators.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Michelle Korenfeld - 5 E's for PBL & Social and Emotional Learning

New lesson planner from Michelle Korenfeld:

Click the button to download and print the free lesson planner. 

With the end of the school year, it is great time to try out new strategies.

Check out our new mini-course inspiring such education


Background stalactites image by Hadas Korenfeld (C)

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Beyond the Box - One Year Ago Today

 If you haven't read it yet, please read it.  Don't wait until you have a concern to begin exploring all the options and resources provided by your school district.

Beyond the Box by Paula Lazor, Producer of Education Innovations at WERA 96.7 FM (@lazorcte54)

Mascot Books - 
or of course,

Image may contain: text

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Projects with Real Products for Real Needs

Head bands for face shields
We have an informal policy of never saying no to a student or teacher idea, unless of course safety is involved.  But sometimes we establish priorities, procedures, and policies that help all of our team members, collaborators and daily visits pursue goals that are consistent with our mission to promote awareness and access to technical career information for our future workforce in an increasingly global, 5G/IoT, data-driven workforce.

Last year we invested in two mid-priced 3D printers ($700-$800) and shared an informal policy of designing and printing things that have real utility.  We reflect on that broadly and only rarely have to steer someone from creating something cute toward something that is instead interesting and functional.
Packaged for NoVA Labs

Our network of career and technical education (CTE) and STEM teachers and other education experts nearly always seem to have similar orientations, and we realize we are teaching the students who will soon be able to enroll in their courses in middle school and high school as they choose among many other tempting elective course options (e.g., Art, Photography, Chorus, Band, Orchestra).  Like those teachers, we also embrace the idea that lab projects can and should result in real products, even better if those products met a real need in the community.

Accordingly, we are active in those local, state and national agencies and organizations that represent those educators and stay in touch regularly.  Many like Rob Dudek, Topher Paterno, Cassidy Nolan, Danielle Meyer, Matt Cupples, and Kris Martini provided ideas and support and were on the

Monday, April 27, 2020

Internship cancelled?

We are very proud of our Thinkabit Lab internship programs and we are working hard to provide remote work experiences that are similar to what we'd otherwise do on site.

We liked this by Sonia Begum on today from

Students if you had your internship cancelled this is what you should be doing:

1. Look into volunteer remote opportunities. There's plenty on LinkedIn under the volunteer column. Volunteering can be an excellent way to learn and use it as experience on your resume.

2. Start a side business. Are you good at social media, data analysis or maybe designing a website? Start offering it as a low cost service. My first LinkedIn consults were for $4.95 for a 15min call with me.

3. Work on a summer project. There are a billion projects you can find on the internet. Find one and do it!

4. DO SOMETHING. Anything is better than nothing. You can't change what happened but you can make the best of it.


Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Thinkabit's first Graduate Assistant now in the spotlight


DAC Student Spotlight: Andreea Sistrunk

When Andreea Sistrunk started taking classes at Virginia Tech in the fall of 2014 she had left her job as a full time teacher in Northern Virginia to devote more time to her two young daughters, ages three and seven.

Andreea Sistrunk, DAC
Ph.D. student in Computer Science
“It was becoming more difficult for me to hold a full time job and be a good mother so I chose to take a break from work,” Sistrunk said. “I used a sort of ‘mom’s night out’ to enroll in a graduate course at Virginia Tech because I really missed learning new things.”

Sistrunk was drawn to computer science. She held a bachelor of science degree in engineering with a minor in childhood education from University Polytechnica in Bucharest, Romania, and was a licensed teacher for K-12 and Advanced Placement classes in mathematics, computer science, and technology.

From that course, she eventually applied to the Computer Science program and earned a master’s degree with a concentration in data analytics in Fall 2019. Currently, Sistrunk is in the Ph.D. program and a student at the Discovery Analytics Center, where her advisor is Naren Ramakrishnan.

Sistrunk has gone back to work full time as a research scientist in a laboratory outside of the