Monday, October 12, 2020

Foundations of STEM Education - Dyslexic Edge Conference October 12-17, 2020

Please register for the Dyslexic Edge conference this week. 

This recorded presentation provides a brief overview of STEM education, emphasizing strategies and opportunities for dyslexic students and other twice-exceptional learners.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Searching for Relevant Research - Starting with Google

 This video was created for Prince George's County high school seniors research their academic, career or personal interests in science and engineering.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

New Standards for Technology Literacy

ITEEA's new Standards for Technological Literacy were completed last Spring and published during the summer.  They are now available for free download.  

While many states have adopted their own standards for technology integration, others have adopted the updated ISTE standards.

Newly published ITEEA Technological Literacy Standards
  • published this summer (replaced 3rd edition):
Most recent ISTE Technology Standards 
State Technology Literacy Standards

To find your state version not listed below, do a Google search for "[STATENAME] Technology Literacy Standards".  Please send an email to to add states to this list.


Monday, September 14, 2020

Four IOT-focused skills virtual summer camps with Arlington Public Schools students


Our DC Metro Area STEM and STEAM Outreach efforts this summer included  four virtual camps coordinated with students from the Arlington Career Center, Arlington Tech, Gunston MS, H-B Woodlawn, Jefferson MS, Kenmore MS, Wakefield HS, and Washington-Liberty HS.  The Virginia Tech Thinkabit Team collaborated with school-based Equity and Excellence Coordinators and STEM and CTE teachers to recruit participants.

All camps had a focus on computer-science, robotics, technical careers and college exploration, and an emphasis on innovation in IOT (the Internet of Things).

A Wearable Tech Camp in mid-July involved the use of Arduino and Micro:Bit microprocessors and programming in Ardunio's C-based IDE, and also the use of Scratch and Microsoft MakeCode, with some participants experimenting with MicroPython.  The products were technology that could be worn, including hand-built pedometers and other motion detection, alters and warning systems, and Bluetooth-connected devices.

A similar Technology for Good Camp at the end of July provided more open-ended explorations of sensors, indicators, and actuators. 

In early August, an Urban Agriculture and Environmental Monitoring Technology Camp emphasized how technology could make agriculture safer and more productive, and how monitoring technologies could be used to protect growing systems and monitor environmental changes.

Finally, in late August to early September, the Virginia Tech team partnered with faculty from Howard University and the University of North Carolina-Greensboro to pilot a Creative Technologies and Digital Storytelling (Digital Media) Camp to make the connections between entertainment and advanced communications and training using the same microelectronics tools.  Participants then used online video editing tools to create short ads or movies depicting their devices.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

STEM Education Partnership with Alexandria City Schools


Virginia Tech is partnering with Alexandria City Public Schools to enhance science, technology, engineering, and math opportunities for students and create potential pathways to higher education.

Virginia Tech faculty will work with ACPS to strengthen four key areas of K-12 academics that were identified through a year-long consulting process with the university. They are:

  • Enhancing the science curriculum across elementary school years.
  • Providing support and professional learning to staff at the city’s two STEM-focused elementary schools, Cora Kelly School for Math, Science, and Technology and Ferdinand T. Day Elementary School, to refine their teaching. 
  • Middle school STEM exploration, including alignment of afterschool and summer programs.
  • The continuation of developing pathways from high school to college for low-income, underrepresented and first-generation students.

“This agreement lays the foundation for a partnership that will be a model for K-12/ higher education collaboration in the commonwealth,” Virginia Tech President Tim Sands said. “It’s an important step that will create

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.