Sunday, June 27, 2021

Summer Camps

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Descriptions: All camps are free and electronics equipment (and t-shirts and more) will be provided for participants to keep! Also, all camps follow the same format:
  • 9am to noon online learning and discussion (lots of breaks), 
  • noon to 1pm online presentations and discussions, and
  • Currently, all are planned as virtual camps.
1. AAUW Tech Trek Wearable Tech (July 12-16) - suggested ages 12-18
Co-sponsored by the Arlington Chapter of the AAUW, this camp is designed for only girls and non-binary participants.  Participants will build simple LED and servo motor circuits that are controlled by programming an Arduino microcontroller.  These skills will be applied to a creative wearable device that uses the same Arduino microcontroller and allows you to program and operate the device. 
2. Tech for Good with IoT / Smart Cities Technology (July 26-30)  - suggested ages 12-18
Participants will explore the foundations of Internet of Things (IOT) and Smart Cities initiatives, with an emphasis on future possibilities.  Hands-on topics are largely focused on electronic microcontrollers and microprocessors, sensors, actuators, and also Bluetooth, 5G, 4G LTE, wifi and other wireless communication hardware and software components.
3. Urban Agricultural and Environmental Technologies with IoT (August 16-20)  - suggested ages - 14-18
Participants will identify real-world, urban agriculture and environmental challenges or problems, research and model potential solutions, and then test and redesign prototypes.  A variety of materials will be complemented with electronics monitoring, sensors and actuators addressing agricultural and environmental needs. 


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Saturday, June 26, 2021

Recognition for our Interns - Khulan Erdenedalai

Khulan Erdenedalai was our 2019 environmental engineering intern / research assistant through Arlington Public Schools' PRIME Internship program. Nothing about this honor from Arlington Magazine (or Arlington Public Schools, Yale University or the Gates Foundation before it) surprises us. Creative in multiple dimensions, modest, engaged and engaging, and she never casts a shadow.

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Sunday, June 20, 2021

Wise words for the curious...


By Kurt Vonnegut:

“When I was 15, I spent a month working on an archeological dig. I was talking to one of the archeologists one day during our lunch break and he asked those kinds of “getting to know you” questions you ask young people: Do you play sports? What’s your favorite subject?

And I told him, no I don’t play any sports. I do theater, I’m in choir, I play the violin and piano, I used to take art classes.

And he went WOW. That’s amazing! And I said, “Oh no, but I’m not any good at ANY of them.”

And he said something then that I will never forget and which absolutely blew my mind because no one had ever said anything like it to me before: “I don’t think being good at things is the point of doing them. I think you’ve got all these wonderful experiences with different skills, and that all teaches you things and makes you an interesting person, no matter how well you do them.”

And that honestly changed my life. Because I went from a failure, someone who hadn’t been talented enough at anything to excel, to someone who did things because I enjoyed them. I had been raised in such an achievement-oriented environment, so inundated with the myth of Talent, that I thought it was only worth doing things if you could “Win” at them.”

- Kurt Vonnegut

Saturday, May 22, 2021

We’re hosting our Urban Ag and Environmental Technology Camp from August 16-20 (among others!).

Registration shortcut: 

Until then:

Food and Agriculture is STEM

With a global food shortage expecting to double in demand over the next few years, the food and agriculture industry faces some significant challenges. Possibly an even greater challenge is having a robust and diverse STEM talent pool to address the global issues of food production and sustainability. 

An education in STEM opens a world of opportunities in the food and agriculture industry, and yet too few STEM students consider agricultural pathways.

When you explore what it takes to feed the world, you might be surprised at the numerous and diverse skill sets involved, the exciting, and sometimes surprising, roles that play a part in getting food from field to table. From digital agriculture to drones, the food and agriculture industry is more than farming and increasingly fueled by STEM.

In our ebook we explore the crossroads of STEM in food and agriculture, shining a light on careers and pathways to engage and inspire the next generation to consider opportunities in the food and agriculture industry. We’re talking drone bees, autonomous tractors and robots. Although it sounds like sci-fi, these are real technologies helping farmers improve production and solve the global food shortage.

The first in an ongoing series, join us on this ebook journey to explore the high-tech, rapidly changing industry of food and agriculture, where opportunities abound for future STEM generations to make a profound difference in the world.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

You've got options in STEM.

Most everyone benefits from post-secondary technical training or college coursework, but there's no one path perfect for every person or career.  Register now at 

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Our new Innovation Campus

 from the March 2021 Northern Virginia Technology Council Magazine:

Five Things to Know About Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus

Part of Virginia’s winning Amazon HQ2 proposal, the $1 billion campus will enhance the region’s broader technology ecosystem.

By Mark Toner

As construction of what will eventually become the first phase of Amazon’s HQ2 continued last fall in Crystal City, it was easy to miss the first day of class for the nearly 80 students who make up the inaugural cohort of Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus. The students—all seeking master’s degrees in the high-demand fields of computer science and computer engineering—began their studies virtually, while Virginia Tech opened a physical office for its future campus next to Potomac Yard, which will be transformed into a mixed-use, Metro-accessible, 65-acre innovation district in the coming years. 

Over the next few years, the Innovation Campus will become a highly visible part of the region’s technology ecosystem, says Lance R. Collins, who left Cornell University to join Virginia Tech as the campus’ vice president and executive director last August. Equally importantly, the region’s technology ecosystem will become an integral part of the campus.

“We’re looking to build partnerships with companies—that’s an extremely important part of the design of the campus,” says Collins, who has also set a goal to