Exploring Technical Careers and College, Programming, Engineering Design, Creative Robotics, and all Hands-On STEM Education Strategies
Virginia Tech's DC Metro Area STEM Education and Workforce Development Labs (VT-DC STEM Labs) is the longest-serving collaborator in the Qualcomm Thinkabit Lab network. The mission of VT-DC STEM Labs 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. The VT-DC STEM Labs team will work with like-minded teams, organizations and individuals interested in promoting curiosity, innovation, creativity, and students’ self-actualization and self-determination.
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