The focus on the April edition is Service. Recently I had the pleasure to promote Nova Labs at the Rotary Club of Reston. I enjoyed drawing from our rich activities to spotlight service – a shared value.
Maker Faire NoVa. In the fourth year, Maker Faire NoVa featured more than 130 exhibitions drawing 5,000 visitors and contributors (March 2017).
Making STEM Magic. Nova Labs Robotics hosted a robotics exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum (January 2017) as part of the series Making STEM Magic. Along with demonstrating, some of the FIRST participants experienced a special tour led by Dr. Jay Northern, a robotics mentor from corporate sponsor Aerospace Corporation. Dr. Northern brought alive the contributions to space exploration told in the story of Hidden Figures.
TOM-DC Tikkun Olam Makers. Nova Labs hosted a 72-hour Makeathon creating solutions for everyday challenges facing people with disabilities (July 2016). In a follow-up, on invitation of TOM Global, Bo Wernick was honored to join more than two-thirds of Congress and thought leaders from across the nation at the AIPAC Policy Conference (March 2017).
Mentoring. Nova Labs Robotics provides mentoring opportunities for youth age 6 – 18 years, representing 40 schools across 2 counties. Mansi Suresh, a high school student and mentor with Nova Labs Robotics, was selected as a Dean’s List Finalist, and is one of only four FTC students from Virginia advancing to the FIRST Championships in April for her exemplary service.
The Power of Thank You. A story that resonated with the Rotary was an expression of gratitude. Educator Angela DeHart provided a lesson at one of our summer workshops on the power of saying “Thank You”. From those letters in July 2016, a student wrote a corporate sponsor, “Thank you for giving me and my buddies a scholarship to attend here in this camp. This camp has made me capable of opportunities for my future.“ This story stood out to the Rotarians who read aloud in their meeting a thank you received from one of the Rotary’s scholarship recipients. The Nova Labs thank you was also meaningful to Nova Labs’ corporate sponsor BTI360 who this month strengthened their partnership with Nova Labs.
Thank you Jennyfer Peterson, for making this speaking engagement possible. I enjoyed sharing these highlights with the Rotary and am so proud of the rich impact that Nova Labs makes.
Key members: This is a name change from full members and these are members that are both key in terms of value to Nova labs and also key holders for the front door. This designation inspires people to work towards this level which encourages people to move up to the higher level.
The dues are kept where they are now. The primary difference is that we would require 5 hours of volunteer time in order to achieve key membership. We believe that 5 hours would require at least 2 interactions which could be anything from teaching a class, volunteering at the front desk or running something like the green session. This helps to ensure that people both understand the process of how to volunteer and serves as a check to make sure that they are willing to give back to the community.
Associate members: Require the green safety orientation and paying monthly dues.
The Board has chartered an ad hoc Handbook Policy Working Group chaired by Patrick Waters, to prepare a Handbook by the end of May, that includes:
• Comprehensive Membership Plan
• Code of Conduct
• Anti-Harassment Policy
• Safety Plan
The core members are Patrick Waters (lead), Jeff Chanesman, Jennyfer Peterson, Daniel Potter, and Mike Hogarty. Additional volunteers serve as reviewers.
Jim Sweeney is resuming the position of Treasurer, following the resignation of Michael Fraser, effective the end of March. Michael was a valued member of the team and we thank him for his time served.
Jim will serve as Treasurer through the remainder of the one-year term. A Nominating Committee will be chartered in April to fill the board vacancy. Jennyfer Peterson has the lead on recruiting for the Nominating Committee.
Entrepreneurship. Makerspaces present unique access to talent, education, and equipment lowering the high barriers in creating an entrepreneurial program for physical product startups. On June 15th, Nova Labs will host a pitch event showcasing physical product startups and connecting innovation with talent and investment. The event is the first in a series of events to support the entrepreneurial component of the Nova Labs mission.
We already have initial sponsors’ interest and the support of community organizations. As we develop the event, look for more information from event lead Callye Keen.
> provided by Callye Keen, Red Blue Collective.