Exploring Technical Careers and College, Programming, Engineering Design, Creative Robotics, and all Hands-On STEM Education Strategies
Virginia Tech's DC Metro Area Thinkabit Lab STEM Education and Workforce Development Programs is the longest-serving collaborator in the Qualcomm Thinkabit Lab network. The mission of our Thinkabit Lab 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, AI and robotics automation, 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.
Monday, June 27, 2022
Arlington Magazine recognition for local teens - our Intern Ben
by Lisa Lednicer from Arlington Magazine.
Extraordinary Teen Awards 2022
Life during Covid didn’t stop these graduates from achieving remarkable things. In some cases, it inspired them to reach even higher.
Potomac School graduate and inventor Benjamin Choi. Photo by Skip Brown.
The Potomac School
When pandemic lab shutdowns scuttled his plans for a research project on aluminum fuel in the summer of 2020, Benjamin Choi pivoted to a new idea that he could work on from home, using a 3-D printer—a prosthetic arm for amputees that could be controlled by brain signals. He had seen a documentary about mind-controlled prosthetic limbs in third grade and was convinced he could design one that was not only less expensive, but also less invasive.
His prototype, recently featured in Smithsonian Magazine, costs $300 to produce and uses external sensors on the head (in lieu of surgical implants) to capture the brain signals that move the limb. The project earned Choi national and international accolades, including a top-40 finish in the Regeneron Science Talent Search (formerly the Westinghouse Science Talent Search). He has a provisional patent for the device.