Thinkabit World of Work and Robocrafting Labs

The mission of the Qualcomm® Thinkabit Lab™ at Virginia Tech, National Capital Region, is to serve Washington, D.C. area students, teachers, administrators, parents, and collaborators in technical career exploration and the hands-on electronic and programming foundations of IOT and Smart Cities sensors, actuators, and data collection and analysis. In doing so, we are preparing our future STEM workforce and our increasingly diverse, technology-driven community for jobs that may not yet exist. VT-Thinkabit will work with like-minded teams, organizations and individuals interested in promoting curiosity, innovation, creativity, and students’ self-actualization and self-determination.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Diane Murphy honored by Falls Church City

Our long-time ally Dr. Diane Murphy of Marymount University was honored by Falls Church City Council this week.

Marymount Professor Recognized by City Council

DECEMBER 14, 2017 1:32 PM0 COMMENTS
FRONT, from left: Marshall Webster of Mary Riley Styles Public Library; Senior Center volunteers Debbie Massey and Ellen Salsbury; Dr. Diane Murphy and Associate Provost Bridget Murphy of Marymount University; Danny Schlitt, director of the Falls Church Recreation and Parks Department. Back, from left: City Council members Letty Hardi, Karen Oliver, David Snyder, Mayor David Tarter, Vice Mayor Marybeth Connelly, Phil Duncan and Dan Sze. (Photo: City of Falls Church)
Dr. Diane Murphy, a Marymount University (MU) professor, was commended by Falls Church Senior Center volunteers and the Falls Church City Council on Nov. 27 for her work in helping seniors learn and adapt to new technologies.
“She has relieved technology anxiety for a lot of us,” Ellen Salsbury, a volunteer, said. “She brings in graduate students to assist in our tech classes, and as a result we seniors are much more comfortable with technology and social media. We’re even texting!”
Salsbury introduced Professor Murphy, and Bridget Murphy, associate provost, who accepted a plaque from Falls Church Mayor David Tarter “in appreciation of the Marymount University faculty volunteers for exceptional generosity and expertise in providing outstanding practical and academic classes that enrich the lives of seniors.”
Salsbury said 11 different Marymount faculty members had volunteered their time and more than 220 seniors had been enrolled in eight classes since the partnership began in 2014. She credited Dr. Liane M. Summerfield, an MU professor who was then associate vice president for academic affairs, with helping start the popular classes.
Dr. Murphy, chair of Marymount University’s Information Technology, Management Sciences and Cybersecurity Department, has enjoyed her involvement.
“It’s been very satisfying to teach seniors the technology that has been promoted by their children and grandchildren and see them develop some skills,” she said.
Falls Church Recreation and Parks Director Daniel Schlitt said that since MU became involved they’ve helped take the Senior Center workshops “over the top.”

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Rosie Riveters Girls Saturday Camp

This was a return visit for Rosie Riveters, which we hope will lead to regular (quarterly, monthly?) opportunities for girls 4-14 in our Lab.  

Learn more at
www.rosieriveters.com

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Our Cedar Point ES Tech Lab partner in VT News


Photos and video: Principal, teacher inspired by Qualcomm Thinkabit Lab create their own
Photos and video: Principal, teacher inspired by Qualcomm Thinkabit Lab create their own
 Cedar Point Elementary School is one of the first schools in Virginia to get its own version of the Thinkabit Lab. More and more labs like Cedar Point’s have popped up all over the Mid-Atlantic, with plans of opening as far as New York.   Read More 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Hour(s) of Code

One of the best discoveries among our school partners is that visiting school groups get a solid two hours or more of coding experience in an Arduino-based C++ language similar very similar to the programming language supporting their cell phones and school robots, and many, many other things in our daily lives. Best of all, they apply their program to real, moving circuits, sensors and/or actuators.  Then we provide loaner kits for teachers to extend learning back at their schools.





Monday, November 13, 2017

Dean Watford talks about college applications with our HS Interns


Dr. Bev Watford spent the day in the Lab today and then spent the last part of the afternoon talking with our 14 high school interns.

Dr. Watford is the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Engineering, and her office is responsible for all matters pertaining to undergraduate students. This includes activities related to recruitment, matriculation and graduation of students. Curriculum and accreditation issues are also within the scope of academic affairs. 

Dr. Watford is also the Director of the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity and Director of the Ware Lab.  She oversees the overall Thinkabit Lab Project and helps us navigate university procedures in Blacksburg.


Friday, November 10, 2017

Dean Blieszner's Roundtable visit to the Thinkabit Lab

Dr. Rosemary Blieszner is the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and is an Alumni Distinguished Professor of Human Development.

Her Dean's Roundtable was held in Northern Virginia on November 9 and 10.  On Friday afternoon, her group visited the Lab to see and understand how the Thinkabit Lab provides a school and community connection to Virginia Tech's STEM education programs, the computer science and engineering foundations for IoT and Smart Cities initiatives, and our special emphasis on providing equity in opportunities and outreach to diverse thinkers.


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

First group of 5th graders visit Harrisonburg Labs today

While the Harrisonburg Labs have been serving MS school students both of the city's middle schools since summer, today is the first day Harrisonburg's STEM leader, Amy Sabarre will have elementary students visit the Lab as an introduction to their future middle school STEM courses next year.


Monday, November 6, 2017

John Kaufhold at NVTC Titan's Breakfast

Deep Learning: Promise and Pitfalls - John Kaufhold to speak at Northern Virginia Technology TITANS Event

November 2, 2017
Hear how deep learning is taking AI to the next level on Jan. 31, 2018. 

Join NVTC, In-Q-Tel and your technology business colleagues on January 31, 2018 for a Titans event on the promises and pitfalls of deep learning, featuring Melvin Greer, chief data officer at Intel, and John Kaufhold, CEO of Deep Learning Analytics.Panelists will discuss how deep learning is harnessing massive datasets and advances in computing hardware and algorithms to solve today's complicated challenges in defense, healthcare, infrastructure, the environment, and more.

Some of the cutting-edge innovations being powered by deep learning today include autonomous vehicles, precision medicine, and facial and speech recognition. The discussion will be moderated by Ravi Pappu, Chief Architect of In-Q-Tel.

Location:
The Ritz-Carlton,
Tysons Corner
1700 Tysons Blvd.
McLean, VA

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Maryland STEM Career Fair at Morgan State

From a great day at Morgan State. Technical career exploration, and programming traffic lights, servo motors, state trooper lights, and holiday lights with just over 300 student visitors. Best of all were the like-minded educators who stopped by to brainstorm.


Sunday, October 29, 2017

Irwin and Joan Jacobs visit to our Lab

Irwin and Joan Jacobs visited our Lab on Sunday, October 29.

Dr. Irwin Jacobs, Joan Jacobs, and Lab Director Dr. Jim Egenrieder.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Virginia Tech Maker Festival

Our doctoral student graduate assistant (GA) Wei and her daughter Arwen with a Halloween project.


October 28 Annual Maker Festival - 10am to 4pm

Our Lab is part of the annual Maker event again this year.  Please come.  Registration is not required.



Welcome!




The 3rd Annual Virginia Tech Maker Festival will take place on Saturday, October 28th, 2017 from 10AM - 4PM at the Virginia Tech Northern Virginia Center (7054 Haycock Road, Falls Church, VA 22043).

Friday, October 20, 2017

Cedar Point Tech Lab Ribbon-Cutting Event

Our partner school in Bristow launches their Hub for outreach throughout Prince William County.

Our interns care...

One of our longest-serving interns, Haben Yohannes was featured in this month's Arlington Magazine, joined by her sister Brikiti (also now an intern).



Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Collaboration with Cyberjutsu Girls Academy



WSC and Virginia Tech Thinkabit Lab Offer Hands-On STEM Workshops for Middle and High School Girls 
Media Contact: Jessica Gulick | 703-731-8678

Cyberjutsu Girls Academy Workshops will be held at the Qualcomm® Thinkabit Lab™ at Virginia Tech in Falls Church, VA
Arlington, VA. October 17, 2017—The Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu (WSC) is excited to announce that WSC’s upcoming 2017–18 Cyberjutsu Girls Academy (CGA) Workshops will be in collaboration with and held at the Qualcomm® Thinkabit Lab™ at Virginia Tech. Located at Virginia Tech’s Falls Church, Virginia. The Thinkabit Lab is a combination of an engineering lab, makerspace and innovative learning space for participants of all backgrounds and age groups.
The Cyberjutsu Girls Academy, a 501(c)3 program, offers a wide range of workshops that are held once a month from November through June for middle school to high school-aged girls and young women to explore the many areas in technology and cybersecurity. These workshops provide a hands-on, fun and interactive environment for topics such as web design, mobile application development, computer fundamentals, programming and much more. The goal of the workshops is to increase girls’ competency and confidence in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); and CGA offers its workshops at minimal cost to students, encouraging all interested girls and young women to apply.
“The Thinkabit Lab’s goal of exposing students to hands-on STEM activities and careers makes it the perfect location for the Cyberjutsu Girls Academy Workshops,” said Jim Egenrieder, director of the Qualcomm Thinkabit Lab at Virginia Tech, “and we are always supportive of smart, strategic collaborations to offer these important experiences to girls and young women.”  
WSC’s founder and CEO Lisa Jiggetts added, “We look forward to working with Virginia Tech and are

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Teach a Girl to tech Day - October 11, 2017

Saturday, October 7, 2017

New IbQT Lab at Thomas Harrison MS

The ribbon-cutting ceremonies for our new Inspired by Qualcomm Thinkabit Labs in Harrisonburg at Skyline MS and Thomas Harrison MS took place yesterday, thanks to our partnership led by Amy Sabarre.

Here are photos of the two rooms of the new Lab at Thomas Harrison MS:

The new engineering lab at Thomas Harrison MS.
MORE PHOTOS (click below)...

First year data highlights

Contact Jim Egenrieder for a complete summary of first-year participation data:


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Thinakbit Lab at Smart Cities


Susie Armstrong welcomed Smart Cities Conference attendees interested in the Inspired by Qualcomm Thinkabit Lab program.  We made several great connections in cities and universities throughout the U.S.A.


Monday, October 2, 2017

Friday, September 29, 2017

HS Internships in Electronics, Computer Science, Robotics, Materials Science and Environmental Engineering

We're welcoming new HS juniors and seniors for our 2017-2018 Thinkabit Lab internships.  No prior experience is necessary, but we do require curiosity, smiling faces, and a willingness to try all sort of new things.  Student replies only please: JimE at VT dot EDU

Jose, Aisha, Nina, Abian, Adem, Nicholas, Jim, Tommy

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Friday, September 22, 2017

Thinkabit Lab Intern is a National Merit Semifinalist



Virginia Tech Thinkabit Lab intern and resident meteorologist and mathematician Grace Young was one of Virginia's and Arlington's 20 students named as a semifinalist.  This program recognizes fewer than the top 1% students who took PSAT exams in their junior year of high school.


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Gov. McAuliffe in Our Parking Lot

from https://fcnp.com/2017/09/21/mcauliffe-visits-f-c-1-66-launch-city-officials-meet/

McAuliffe Visits F.C. for 1-66 Launch & City Officials Meet

SEPTEMBER 21, 2017 9:25 AM0 COMMENTS
VIRGINIA GOVERNOR Terry McAuliffe speaks in Falls Church Wednesday at a ceremony unveiling new transporation options along I-66 inside the beltway while Falls Church Mayor David Tarter (right) looks on. (Photo: News-Press)
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe came for his first visit to Falls Church yesterday since his election almost four years ago, and made the most of it with a ringing speech at a ribbon-cutting unveiling the first group of 10 new multimodal transportation options along the I-66 corridor inside the beltway, subsumed under an overarching “I-66 Commuter Choice” moniker. He then retired for a half-hour briefing by City of F.C. officials on the campus development project that will include a new high school (if a bond referendum passes in November) and 10 acres of economic development.
McAuliffe has only until the end of year to end his one term as governor (Virginia is now the only state in the union that restricts a governor to a single term). As of January, after four years in the governor’s mansion in

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Traffic Engineering Game

Visit https://www.wired.com/story/freeways-traffic-engineer-game/

Freeways is a new release from independent game maker Justin Smith, who owns Captain Games. The objective is simple enough: build a road network that connects a series of highways and buildings. When you've finished, you'll be scored on three metrics: the average speed of cars on your network, how much concrete you used to build it, and how easy it is for drivers to get from one point to another.

You can make roundabouts, standard intersections, even send one road over another. But plan carefully. Too many merges and you slow everything down. Too many interchanges and you waste money on concrete. Too many intersections and you risk gridlock. Or, as the game puts it when everything grinds to a halt, "Jammed!"


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Skyline STEAM Lab in Harrisonburg City Public Schools

We conducted teacher training in the engineering room of the new Inspired by Qualcomm Thinkabit Lab at Skyline MS in Harrisonburg.


The second room (emphasizing technical career exploration) of the Skyline Lab is still under construction.



Thursday, July 13, 2017

Saura's Robot Dress

Saura was a most valuable mentor in setting up our Thinkabit Lab in Falls Church, VA.


Saturday, July 1, 2017

Thinkabit Lab Intern Receives Arlington Educators Scholarship

IMG_0147.JPG
Our own Fabian Montenegro-Andrade was one of 10 students who received scholarships from the Arlington School Administrators and the Arlington School Administrators Associations.  Fabian was previously recognized as an award winning intern by our partner, Urban Alliance.  Fabian is attending George Mason University in the Fall.

Scholarship recipients include Kevin Tipan Calvachi (Wakefield), Catarina Davis (Wakefield), Emanoor Hamid (Wakefield), Laura Londono Iza (Arlington Career Center), Peace Pius (Yorktown), Veronica Olivera Rojas (Arlington Community High School), Eric Tyson (Yorktown), Jasmine Connor (Washington-Lee), Fabian Montenegro-Andrade (H-B Woodlawn) and Johanna Klein (Washington-Lee).

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Thinkabit Intern Wins First Place in Photo Contest












As part of Arlington's PRIME Internship program, Madelyn Wood was our very first Thinkabit Lab intern in Summer 2016, and she was involved in nearly every aspect of the Lab's construction.  She even taught younger students programming and robocrafting.

This semester she won first place the Kaspar Awards for Excellence in the Arts for her photograph called Shadow Dancer.