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.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Girl's Technovation 2018 Event

Today more than 70 middle and high school girls presented a long list of innovative projects, mostly mobile apps, with an emphasis on equity and social justice.  Anyone listening would leave optimistic about iGen/Gen Z and their willingness and ability to tackle future problems.

The middle school presentations room was overflowing.

Helping these all-volunteer nonprofits fits with exactly what we say we do as a university:

Through experiential learning, future-focused research, and an inclusive, spirited culture, Virginia Tech strives to accomplish the charge of its motto Ut Prosim (That I May Serve).

Despite all the challenges of HVAC, room availability, parking lot yellow tape mazes, and 4 pizza 
deliveries (over 40 pizzas), furniture shuffling, and more, we had really, really great outcomes.

Our interns counted the following:
  • Over 70 middle and high school girls (some were in 5th grade)
  • 11 volunteers  
  • 58 parents (estimated - not all stayed)
  • 10 judges and special presenters
Of course we also heard a lot of "I didn't even realize this (campus) was here", which reveals another important outcome of these events. 

A very big thanks to the Library staff who rescued the day when we discovered the HVAC schedule after the rooms had already been booked, invitations sent, and after a scramble to find space at George Mason ran into similar challenges.

Several sponsors from regional technology companies, nonprofits and government agencies were particularly impressed by the event, and suggested follow-up projects.

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