November 2018 Newsletter




TechShop sign over our Shop Entrance

Last year at this time, Tech Shop abruptly shut its doors. Nova Labs was uniquely positioned to lend a helping hand to the small business owners in their time of need. This brought out the best in Nova Labs members, who are compassionate, resourceful, and talented. From this leadership challenge, Nova Labs went on to reorganize, testing out a slightly different leadership model, in which team leads were identified to form the core leadership team, in collaboration with the board. The team leads and board have now met consistently for ten months. In the most recent meeting, a newly opening incubator was discussed, and there was fresh energy and innovation around ideas for how to use this space. More on this later in the newsletter. This is just one example of how the team leads model serves Nova Labs well, and positions Nova Labs for meeting upcoming challenges.

Not to be missed in November – the Green Way Roundup! On the weekend of November 17 and 18, the wood shop is a hub of activity as a load of lumber is transformed into cool shop furniture.

Happy Making!

RSVP FOR UPCOMING MEMBER MEETING (Wednesday, December 12, 2018 – 7:00 PM)


The board welcomes key members Margie Foster and Erickson Foster. Learn more about Margie and Erickson in this newsletter.

Last month, the board interviewed several candidates for the upcoming board positions. The board meeting to bring on new board members and elect officers was postponed until December to allow scheduling of a final round of board interviews. We also have been in discussions with our current landlord in order to get a firmer timeframe on when we will need to vacate this property…more to come on that later in the month.

In addition, if you purchase things from Amazon, please consider switching to and selecting Nova Labs as the beneficiary. Doing this shifts 0.5% of your purchase price to Nova Labs as a donation, at no expense to you! It’s a simple way to help Nova Labs!

>Provided by Jim Girardi & Marybeth Haneline


Seeking Artist or Artisan for Incubator

The Red Blue Collective‘s expansion to a larger space of their own creates an opportunity for others who’d like to benefit from and contribute to our Makerspace. We’re seeking to fill the space with people or firms who’d complement the skill and experience sets of our current incubator community. Accordingly, preference in consideration will be given to artists or artisans. Incubator participants contribute time and talent to Nova Labs. The participation fosters leadership and growth. Key membership is required of incubators, with preference given to applicants who have a history of investment in Nova Labs. If interested, please let us know by completing the interest form and we’ll be in touch about next steps. For more information, please feel free to contact Jeanne Marshall or Patrick Thompson.

>Provided by Jeanne Marshall

Apply for Incubator


Lieselot Whitbeck hosting the Chinese Delegation.

On Thursday, October 17, we had the privilege of hosting the Chinese Delegation. There were 20 people who attended. They took lots of pictures and asked a lot of questions. While some seem familiar with the concept of maker spaces, for others it was a new idea. They had some basic questions about our founding and funding and they were interested in how we got started and how we stay open. They also asked about government regulation of maker spaces. They seemed surprised when we told them that starting the space was relatively simple – a few guys with an idea and a bit of money. We explained that no one actively regulates Nova Labs, apart from the fire marshal, and that we get limited assistance (or guidance or control) from the government apart from our tax-free status as a non-profit.

All in all, a very successful visit – with help from Jeanne, Bob, and Bo.

If anyone knows another group that may want a presentation/tour (like a Rotary club, Government organization, or tech team), feel free to let the board know – We are always happy to host and share the joy of making.

>Provided by Lieselot Whitbeck

Don Williams

In partnership with the Woodworker’s Guild, Nova Labs welcomed VIP speaker, Don Williams, during his visit in October. Don is a conservator, educator, scholar, and all around inquisitive guy, having worked on some of the most interesting objects and historic buildings in our nation’s public and private collections. He has developed, managed, and presented educational programming on an array of subjects in the fields of conservation, woodworking, and wood finishing, and has published and presented scholarly research on subjects like ancient coating materials and craft techniques, and created pioneering uses for traditional and modern materials, including some of his own invention. (From Don’s Barn: About Don. )


Jeremy has worked very hard to bring the metal grinder up to high standard. Thank you, Jeremy, for your work and dedication!

Here’s Jeremy’s report: The belt grinder has a couple more upgrades. All of the plastic wheels have been replaced with aluminum wheels which seems to have fixed the issue with the belt wandering.

The drive wheel is also smaller which means belt speed is slower but the grinder seems to have more power now.

We also have a 10″ contact wheel now. It is medium hardness so it should give a very nice finish but please make sure you are keeping your piece cool so it doesn’t wear out prematurely.

I will hold a couple of free classes to go over all of the new attachments, functionality and some new tips for better grinding in the next few weeks.

Knife samples from our Blacksmiths’ Group

> Provided by Jennyfer Peterson


An example of Rick’s work

I’ve been turning for about 5 years now in my home shop. I escaped from the box farm (retired from my IT job) one year ago in August, discovered Nova Labs this past Spring, and started teaching bowl turning at NL shortly afterwards. I developed a couple of classes – bowl turning, and lathe tool sharpening – and am working on a bowl/vase design curriculum. I love the willingness of NL members to share what they know and to lend a hand in what others are doing. I love the way the community encourages participation and exploration. I love the multi-generational and multi-faceted nature of the community. And I love all the neat tools I get to play with. Since I’ve joined N-L, I’ve been exploring metal working, welding, laser-cutting, and blacksmithing. Not that I need more hobbies – skiing, diving, hiking, and landscape photography pretty much ensure I don’t lack for things to do when I’m not being a maker. I have several websites. My etsy store is on life-support at t he moment, I really need to post some items for sale, but its URL is My portfolio site is It’s a little dated as well, I need to post some of my recent work. Too much making, not enough publishing!

Beautiful work, Rick!


Nov 17 & 18: Green Way Roundup
Need a LOT of makers to help with a major rework of our Green Way shop commons. You can learn, learn and HELP make a BIG difference. This is an area we ALL use regardless of our home tribe. Learn more & RSVP: Green Way Roundup. Signup for a crew here: Crew signup

Nov 19, 6:30pm: VIP visit! Gina Waldhorn, CEO of Quirky “The Quirky World of Licensing”
Join us for a presentation by Gina Waldhorn, Quirky CEO. Ms. Waldhorn will share some tips and tricks for using Quirky to help you secure a licensing deal or even outright acquisition. Gina Waldhorn was named by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of 2017’s Most Daring Entrepreneurs. She will join our meetup via Skype. This event is in partnership with INCA. Learn more: Quirky

Nov 22, 1:30pm – 6:00pm: Maker Thanksgiving Potluck
Our highly successful holiday Maker meal is back by popular demand! We’re gathering for a friendly potluck Thanksgiving dinner featuring turkey, ham, brisket, and all the delicious things you’ll make and bring. This is great for anyone not traveling home for the holiday who wants to share a meal, conversation, and plenty of laughter. More Info & RSVP: Potluck RSVP What are you bringing?: Meal/Dish Signup

Nov 28, 7pm: Nova Labs Safety Meetup
Join us for a discussion of our maker space safety and emergency needs. Are you interested in or experiences with any areas of safety? Do you want to find ways to contribute to our community? Do you have a safety and emergency management question or need you want to help discuss or ask about? Please RSVP: NL Safety

Dec 1: Maker Market & Artisan Fair – Need YOU to be a vendor
Calling all vendors/maker/entrepreneurs/hobbyists! Get a table for only $15 (Request your table here) at our Maker Market and Artisan Fair on Saturday, December 1, from 10am to 4pm, and we want YOU to be there to sell your awesome creations! Artists, crafters, and inventors in general are welcome. We will have 22 tables and they are going fast! We are expecting over 400 people who will see your awesome stuff. For more info & RSVP: Maker Market.

>Provided by Jennyfer Peterson


NOVA Pass is an access control system for NOVA Labs tools. NOVA Labs members use their badges to activate the tools. The system checks the member database to confirm they are they are signed-off on the tools. The project will eventually be released to open source in the hopes that other maker spaces may benefit.

NOVA Pass is being developed in-house by software and hardware developer member volunteers. If you are a software or hardware developer and would like to help, we’d love to hear from you.

NOVA Labs is seeking volunteer help for the following:

  • Programmers needed for NOVA Pass development effort
  • Front Desk Volunteer for Monday evenings
  • Outreach Team: Website, social media, photos, marketing, and outreach to external communities
  • Open House Tour helpers, 2nd Saturday of each month
  • Interns at College and High School levels
  • Wiki Page Maintenance
  • Graphic designer for fliers & marketing
  • Crafter’s Cove: Admin Steward to assist Carrie
    Contact if you’re interested!

October 2018 Newsletter



Newsletter Highlights:

Newsletter Highlights:
  • Letter from the President
  • Board Updates
  • Now Recruiting for Nova Labs Board – Closes October 26
  • American-Made Solar Prize
  • Empower2Make
  • Volunteer Appreciation: Celebrating Round Up
  • VIP Visit: Josh Hix of Plated
  • Highlights in October
  • Member Spotlight
  • Call for Volunteers

Letter from the President

Brandon Davies-Sekle & Tracee Garner: E2M Team Wheel Chair Desk

When I came in to prepare for the September member meeting, one of the Empower2Make teams was engaged in a follow-up. Brandon Davies-Sekle and Tracee Garner were here at NOVA Labs continuing to work on the project. Not shy at public speaking, both were happy to share their stories with the membership meeting that evening.

Tracee works for a nonprofit that hires a large percentage of people with disabilities called Loudoun ENDependence (LEND). Her colleague at Loudoun County Area Agency on Aging (AoA or AAA) knew Bo and the E2M mission, and was able to get Tracee connected.

Brandon, a previous Tech Shop member, joined Nova Labs and was recruited for E2M while using the ShopSabre CNC. Brandon jumped in, happy to contribute. I love this story because the ShopSabre was made possible because of the prequel to Empower2Make – TOM-DC. Sponsorship funds raised for TOM-DC were used to purchase the ShopSabre in time for the earlier event and since has provided a much appreciated addition to the makerspace. This is the give and take made possible at Nova Labs. Each event builds on the success of the earlier one and stretches us. Read more about Empower2Make in this issue!

Be sure to check out Nova Labs’ newest venture: Engaging with the Department of Energy Solar Prize Competition – especially for makerspaces, in partnership with the Nation of Makers. Please come Tuesday, October 2, to learn more, at a special information session, with special guests from the Nation of Makers: Jade Garrett, Program Manager and Jeanne Marshall, Virginia State Ambassador for Making. There are many ways to get involved.

Happy Making!


Nation of Makers/Department of Energy

Compete in the American-Made Solar Prize

Come to the Nova Labs Solar Challenge Meetup on Tuesday October 2nd at 6:30 pm to learn more information on how to compete to win part of the $3 million dollar prize by creating a 90 second video and answering four questions!

The American-Made Solar Prize is a $3 million prize competition designed to accelerate and sustain American solar innovation through a series of prize competitions. Competitors will have access to a diverse and powerful support network that leverages the expertise of national laboratories, energy incubators, and other resources across the United States. The Solar Prize is a series of three progressive competitions that will incentivize the nation’s innovators and entrepreneurs to rapidly discover, research, iterate, and deliver new solutions to market. Submissions are due October 5th.

Solar Prize Info Session

Board Updates

This month, the board approved a new Key Member, Tiffany Winsor. Welcome, Tiffany! We also submitted all information for our FY17 taxes which should be filed on-time this year.

The board also approved a Greenway renovation proposal from the Woodshop and Metalshop stewards. The renovations will make the Greenway easier to organize, cleaner, safer, and more welcoming to new members.

The board continues to work on expanding liability insurance coverage for our instructors who are legally referred to as 1099 sub-contractors. The board has already approved a budget to cover the expansion of our umbrella policy and we will activate it as soon as all the paperwork is completed. The board will send out an update once the new policy is active.

As mentioned in the recent member meeting, the TechComm team is working on a new website. Margaret Kositch has scheduled several web listening sessions. Please check MeetUp for details.

We also met with Joel Leonard, a well-known maker in the national circuit. Joel discussed many strategies for raising money and engaging the community. We were very excited to meet Joel and were thankful for his insights and lessons learned.

Lastly, the board is recruiting! As you might have heard, we’re looking for new board members. Please read below for more information.

>Provided by Jim Girardi

Now Recruiting for Board Members – Closing October 26

Nova Labs is currently recruiting for the board, and is especially interested in candidates with one or more of the following:
Some bookkeeping experience
Basic knowledge of cash-based GAAP accounting
Experience reading balance sheets and profit and loss statements
Experience with non-profit finances
Experience with Quickbooks
The Nova Labs board recruitment fall round is closing on Friday, October 26, but there is still time to find out more:

Please come to a Meet-the-Board session:

Wednesday 10/3 at 7PM
Wednesday 10/10 at 7PM

Please contact any of the members of the Board recruitment committee if you are interested in learning more or have someone to recommend as a Board candidate:

Margaret Kositch, (lead)
Lieselot Whitbeck,
Jeff Nicholas,
Jade Garrett,

>Provided by Margaret Kositch

If you are ready to apply for the Nova Labs Board, here’s the link to get started:
Apply for Nova Labs Board

Empower2Make | A Make-A-Thon for Assistive Technology
The Empower2Make (E2M) Event was a huge success for everyone involved. Over 60 makers, innovators, volunteers, and need-knowers converged on Nova-Labs for a 72 hour make-a-thon to make this possible. They formed into Six teams that worked together with their Knower and Pro Makers to develop some amazing assistive technology:

Team Car Chair created a removable vibrating/massaging chair seat system that helps their Knower’s legs while in the car.
Team Skateboard enabled a blind skateboarder to get haptic feedback while skating and used machine vision and signals to allow their Knower to navigate a skate park.
Team Foot Scooter designed and built a custom addition to their Need Knower’s shoe to help him walk better on his own.
Team Hand Raising fabricated two LED indicator panels controlled by a discreet custom 3D printed joystick to allow their Knower to be able to get people’s attention and communicate his needs.
Team Head Pod redesigned a neck support system so that it would comfortably fit their Knower’s head.
Team Wheel Chair Desk fabricated a slim and portable desk that helps their Knower throughout the day be able to get tasks done.

We are excited for the next make-a-thon around the corner April 12-14, 2019! Makers, innovators, need-knowers, and sponsors can sign up on our website below.
Web: Email:

> Provided by the Empower2Make Team: Bo Pollett Wernick, Jade Garrett, Fred Briggs, Tae Edell, Jennyfer Peterson, Callye Keen, Mike Hogarty and Patrick Thompson

Volunteer Appreciation: Celebrating Wood and Metal Shops –

Wood Shop Awards presented at the Fall Wood Shop Roundup

Woodworker of the Year: Woodworker who most exemplifies the Nova Labs Maker ethos Zach Borshuk for his amazing efforts building segmented vases, maintaining any and all equipment, selfless community mentorship and volunteerism and attention to detail while making pokeballs.
Shop Volunteer of the Year: Maker Volunteer who has made the biggest impact in the past the year. Dual awards given to Frank Sogandares and Doug Calvert for their tireless efforts keeping the shop organized, clean and in working order. A fantastic duo, so give them your gratitude.
Mentor of the Year: Maker who has taken time out of their busy schedule to give back to you and others. When you must go to the mountain top, you go to Larry Root. Is their another woodworker as knowledgeable or as willingly to guide you down the shining path? Maybe, but they ain’t in our shop.
Social Media Maven/Over-Sharer of the Year: The maker with the biggest mouth and is always showing off their latest, greatest, sweetest project! Our local wood-turning guru, Rick Wiel. If you haven’t seen his work, you are missing out. Absolutely incredible. The type of work that inspires you to do something with your maker self, if only your jaw could get off the floor.
Over-Engineer Engineer that Could of the Year: For the maker who bites off a little bit more than they can chew….EVERYTIME! Brian Kidwell. Ask him about the maple/walnut table that also doubled as a dog house? Or was it a dog-house that doubled as a two-toned table for different decor?
Who Made That? Maker Of the Year: An award of ambition, if not completion. Often given to the maker who leaves their completely weird project on the shop shelf….just because…. This year, we award this to Aaron “Paduk” Goldstein, a maker of argyle end-grain cutting boards, modernist menorahs and more!
Slacker of the Year (Maker who Contributes Most Online): Your Slack friend and mine. Nick Carter, proud maker dad who always has something useful to add to the conversation.

> Provided by Patrick Waters, aka WoodShopCowboy

Metal Shop Roundup

On Saturday, September 8th, our maker community came together for what has become an end of summer tradition, the Metalshop and Woodshop Roundups.


In the Metal Shop, 16 people signed up for the meetup, but many more showed up and contributed. We stripped apart the welding and fabrication area and cleaned and organized everything from floor to ceiling! Even toothbrushes were used to clean equipment to a level not seen since they were removed from their shipping boxes! Thanks, guys!


Phase two of the day kicked in with a project to build a new sheet metal rack and to resolve an important safety issue of securing our inert gas tanks to the wall. Everyone helped cut steel for parts of the project, including a well-known wood shop hero who stepped up to contribute his weight to the work!


The results for the day were outstanding! It’s such a joy to be part of such an outstanding and energetic community that can work together to make our organization such a great place!

> Provided by Curt Welch

Josh Hix Visit

Nova Labs partnered with Josh Hix, Co-Founder and CEO of Plated for an event on September 20, focusing on Engineering a startup.

Josh Hix, has built three companies from scratch (two were sold, one is still running), some technical business-to-business products, and one direct-to-consumer food delivery business (Plated). Having grown up with an engineer as a mother, and earning an electrical engineering degree himself, Josh very much approaches the world with an engineering mindset. He has applied this to engineering – and building – companies from inception to hundreds of millions in revenue, and where this mindset has been a help, and on occasion a hindrance.

Biography: Josh is the Co-Founder and CEO of Plated, which is on a mission to make it easy to eat well by building a data science driven perishable food supply chain and empowering people to cook more. To date, Plated has shipped millions of meals to over 95% of the United States, and partnered with the Albertsons Companies family of grocery brands in 2017 to create the first truly omni-channel meal kit experience. Josh received his MBA from Harvard Business school, a BS in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech, and founded two SaaS businesses prior to Plated.

Highlights in October

American-Made Solar Prize Info Session
Come to the Nova Labs Solar Challenge Meetup on Tuesday October 2nd at 6:30 pm to learn more information on how to compete to win part of the $3 million dollar prize by creating a 90 second video and answering four questions! Sign Up Here: Solar Prize Information Session

INCA Meetup
Inventors Network of the Capital Area Oct 9th MeetUp

An evening with Dr Lonnie Johnson – the inventor of the Super Soaker and Nerf Guns! Hear about “The Power of Perseverance” from this world class inventor and NASA engineer. Dr Johnson, who holds over 130 patents, will discuss his NASA engineering and inventing history, and the determination he needed to find success. Tuesday, Oct 9th at the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Full event info at: INCA Meeting 10/9 RSVP

Highlights in November

Greenway Roundup

On Nov. 17th and 18th, the Greenway will undergo a huge renovation. If you are interested in helping build out a new space, learning to use woodworking equipment and adding your mark to Nova Labs, this is the event to do it! Be on the look out for more information as we get closer to the date.

Greenway Roundup – Nov. 17
Greenway Roundup – Nov. 18

>Provided by Patrick Waters

Maker Spotlight
Adam Winsor
Adam Winsor is making a big impact on Nova Labs! Adam has been making some pretty radical Halloween decorations and has encouraged many to join him in getting spooky! They’ve been meeting almost every Friday evening, but the official meetup is every two weeks (signup below!). You will be amazed at the costumes, decorations, and community. Come join us! RSVP here: GET SPOOKY!!

>Provided by Julia Smith

Call to Volunteers


Nova Pass is an access control system for Nova Labs tools. Nova Labs members use their badges to activate the tools. The system checks the member database to confirm they are they are signed-off on the tools. The project will eventually be released to open source in the hopes that other maker spaces may benefit.

Nova Pass is being developed in-house by software and hardware developer member volunteers. If you are a software or hardware developer and would like to help we’d love to hear from you.

Sign Up here for the next info session: NOVA Pass

Volunteers needed to work at two outreach events, on Saturday 10/13 at Edison HS in Alexandria, and Saturday 11/3 at Virginia Tech – Northern Virginia Center in Falls Church. Both events are aimed at kids, so we are looking for kid-friendly, mind-expanding, hands-on activities. Contact Jeanne Marshall or Margaret Kositch.

In addition, Nova Labs is seeking volunteer help for the following:

  • Programmers needed for Nova Pass development effort
  • Front Desk person for Monday evenings
  • Outreach team members – Help our team lead with the website, social media, pictures, marketing, and outreach to external communities
  • Open house tour helpers, 2nd Saturday of each month
  • Fall interns at college and high school level
  • Wiki information maintainers
  • Graphic Designer for marketing Flyers
  • Crafter’s Cove needs a serger and/or Sewing 101 Instructor
  • Crafter’s Cove: Administrative Steward to assist Carrie

Contact if you’re interested!

September 2018 Newsletter


At the August member meeting, Jennyfer Peterson was recognized with an outpouring of handcrafted gifts and stories in appreciation of her service. The plans were in the works for months to make the recognition truly special. In early summer, I had noticed one of the stewards, Patrick Waters, putting in long hours and was curious what was engaging him. That’s when Patrick let me in on the secret “competition” underway by the stewards to create truly special gifts to honor Jennyfer’s service. This collection of gorgeous gifts, freely given, pays tribute to Jennyfer’s valuable contribution. In the banner photo, Jennyfer, with her captivating smile, is caught out and about in August at the Cardboard Boat Regatta. Jennyfer is enjoying the afternoon at Lake Anne, supporting the Nova Labs crew in the latest creative endeavor, and promoting the makerspace in the community.

We are pleased to welcome Julia Smith to the Nova Labs team. Julia works the front desk kiosk as well as providing valuable behind-the-scenes support. Julia fits right in with her “can-do” attitude, her quick assessment of the tasks at hand, and her love of Nova Labs.

A heartfelt thanks goes to Doug Newton who has nurtured the metal shop. The metal shop is a hub of activity under Doug’s leadership. Doug is transitioning responsibilities to Curt Welch, interim metal shop steward.

Empower2Make Make-A-Thon is coming September 14-16! More about this signature event follows.

Happy Making!


The board extends a warm welcome to our newest key members Troi Bandy, Jeff Nicholas, Olivia Morgan, and Pat Marstall. Additionally, welcome to Julia Smith, makerspace admin, who started August 18. Julia works Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday – please stop by to say hello! This month the board is focused on strengthening two aspects of Nova Labs infrastructure: expanding insurance coverage to include our paid instructors and board recruitment. More on board recruitment follows.

>Provided by Margaret Kositch


Nova Labs is looking for board members who embrace the all-volunteer model, who bring a lot of energy to the table, and have genuine enthusiasm for the makerspace concept and the maker movement. The maker movement includes many different worlds, so we want to draw the Nova Labs board from a wide range of candidates. We’d love to talk with candidates with skills in entrepreneurship, manufacturing, creative pursuits, marketing, grant writing, human resources, real estate, technology, finance, non-profit management and leadership in all its forms.

Nova Labs board members hold three-year terms and the terms are staggered, so that two or more directors’ terms end each year. Officer terms are one year. New terms begin in October or November, so now it’s officially Board Recruitment season!

Currently the board is comprised of 7 directors. A plan is underway to expand the board from 7 members to 9, in order to expand the skillset, extend the network of contacts and allow Nova Labs to accomplish more. We anticipate welcoming up to three directors to join the board in the coming months.

A search committee, made up of four Nova Labs members, will work with the broader Nova Labs community to cultivate a candidate pool. Board candidates will have an opportunity to meet with the collective board in October or November. The search committee is facilitating Board Q&A sessions and following up with applicants.

The right people are out there and finding them will require the entire Nova Labs community to pitch in. Ways you can help include talking with people you know who might be interested and coming to one of the Board Q&A sessions. RSVP on meetup appreciated.

Please feel free to reach out to the search committee:

For more details, check out the wiki:
>Provided by Margaret Kositch

Empower2Make | A Make-A-Thon for Assistive Technology

On 14-16 September 2018 teams of elite designers, innovators, entrepreneurs and individuals with special needs will converge at Nova Labs to build custom products to help people with physical challenges in their lives.

During this focused period, teams of engineers, fabricators and designers (we call them “makers”) will work hand-in-hand with people in the special needs community (we call them “need-knowers”) for 72 hours to develop affordable working prototypes to specific challenges. Our goal is to work with partner companies to reproduce these items and make them available the world over, open source and free of charge.

Similar to our annual makerfaire, this make-a-thon is one of Nova Labs signature events that brings our community together and demonstrates the power of the Maker Movement and our collective passion, optimism and perseverance for making the world a better place.

If you were not able to participate this time around, we are planning our next event for April 12-14, 2019. Please encourage future Makers, Need-Knowers and potential Sponsors that would like to support us to fill out the forms on our website. Email:

> Provided by the Empower2Make Team: Bo Pollett Wernick, Jade Garrett, Fred Briggs, Tae Edell, Jennyfer Peterson, Callye Keen, Mike Hogarty and Patrick Thompson


Celebrating Jennyfer Peterson

Nova Labs bestowed the inaugural Volunteer of the Year award to Jennyfer Peterson, Event Team Lead at the August Member meeting. If you have ever taken a class, attended an event, read a policy, talked to one of our incredible interns, or even asked a question at Nova Labs, you have benefited from Jennyfer’s direct or behind-the-scenes work. Where there is maker hay to be had, Jennyfer is the one tilling the field and ensuring the sun shines. When you next see Jennyfer, take the time to thank her for her hard work, positive attitude, and willingness to help Nova Labs grow and expand into the best little makerspace in the DMV.
To honor her incredible organization and execution Maker powers, the stewards of the CNC, Arts & Crafts, Wood Shop, Blacksmithing, and Metal Shop all made gifts to honor her commitment to the lab. Suzanne Chanesman, our graphic artist extraordinaire, created a wonderful picture and plaque which hangs on our wall of fame.


For the second year, Nova Labs and Maker Faire have participated in the Reston Cardboard Boat Regatta. Several Nova Labs members also took up the challenge. The material list consisted of cardboard, wood glue, water based paint, and duct tape. Sound like a challenge?

Captains Quincey (USS Cinder), Paul (Wisdom Cube), Sam (Nova Labs), and Shane (Maker Faire) ran great races. The Cinder crew, Captain Quincey and 1st LT Lea, stole the show with first place. Nova Labs tracked a straight line, sorta’. The Maker Faire boat managed to keep the bottom down. All better than the previous year.

We had a great volunteer showing, thanks to all – you know who you are. All challenges were met with fun and sun. 😉

>Provided by Shane Smith


Woodshop Round Up

The woodshop will hold an End of Summer Round Up on Sept 8th from 5:30pm to 8:30pm. The WoodshopCowboy will BBQ Texas style, so get there on time to get food.

5:30pm to 6:30pm – Round Up
6:30pm to 8:30pm – Food, Awards, Updates, Conversations

Please nominate a woodworker & Nova Labs Maker for any one, or five, or all of the following categories:

Stewards will vote/pick/draft/inexplicably choose just like the Oscars one nomination for:

  1. Woodworker of the Year – Woodworker who most exemplifies the Nova Labs maker ethos
  2. Shop Volunteer of the Year – Maker volunteer who has made the biggest impact in the past the year
  3. Mentor of the Year – Maker who has taken time out of his or her busy schedule to give back to you and others
  4. Social Media Maven/Over-Sharer of the Year – The maker with the biggest mouth and is always showing off his or her latest, greatest, sweetest project!
  5. Over-Engineer Engineer that Could of the Year – For the maker who bites off a little bit more than he or she can chew….EVERYTIME!
  6. Who Made That? Maker of the Year – An award of ambition, if not completion. Often given to the maker who leaves his or her completely weird project on the shop shelf….just because….
  7. Slacker of the Year (Maker who Contributes Most Online) – Your Slack friend and mine.

And we will give away as many of these as we have nominations for:

  • I Learned Something From You Award
  • Volunteer Appreciations
  • Donor Tip o’ the Hats!

Send nominations to or or DM on Slack @woodshopcowboy

>Provided by WoodshopCowboy

Maker recognition:

Two of Chip Levy’s pieces have been selected for the 48th Annual Labor Day Art Show at Glen Echo Park in MD. The piece “Starlight Over Waco” (top) was mostly fabricated at Nova Labs. Congratulations, Chip!

>Provided by Chip Levy

New makerspace administrator: Julia Smith

Julia brings with her 30+ years of executive admin experience. She is looking forward to meeting and working with all of you. Please say hello if you haven’t met her yet! Julia runs the front desk on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.


Volunteers needed to work at two outreach events, on Saturday 10/13 at Edison HS in Alexandria, and Saturday 11/3 at Virginia Tech – Northern Virginia Center in Falls Church. Both events are aimed at kids, so we are looking for kid-friendly, mind-expanding, hands-on activities. Contact Jeanne Marshall or Margaret Kositch.
Empower2Make Hospitality and Logistics support team help. September 14th,15th and 16th. Help with organizing, food, and other event support needs. I need a few good makers with energy and team spirit. Contact

In addition, Nova Labs is seeking volunteer help for the following:

  • Programmers needed for Nova Pass development effort
  • Front Desk person for Monday evenings
  • Outreach team members – Help our team lead with the website, social media, pictures, marketing, and outreach to external communities
  • Open house tour helpers, 2nd Saturday of each month
  • Fall interns at college and high school level
  • Wiki information maintainers

Contact if you’re interested.