The Orange Bay was recently awash in the fragrance and beauty of fresh cut flowers. This welcome addition was brought on by an unwelcome event – the sudden closing of the doors of TechShop earlier that week. Being neighborly, Nova Labs opened our doors to the displaced makers – including Melanie Cameron of Mystical Rose Flowers, who was in the midst of arranging flowers for a wedding that weekend. Thanks to our many volunteers who graciously stepped up to lend a hand however needed.
In the days immediately following the closure of TechShop, we posted an open letter to the TechShop members and TechShop-powered businesses to offer support and help from the Nova Labs community. We created a survey for TechShop members to gather interests and needs and are matching Tech Shop makers with Nova Labs key members with the necessary skills. It is working so well that we plan to incorporate what we are learning for everyone who expresses interest in joining Nova Labs. We are providing support to TechShop members while also preserving what makes Nova Labs a unique, volunteer-driven community: our culture.
We are fortunate to have recently added wonderful talent to the Board of Directors and hired a Makerspace Coordinator, ending the year on a strong note. As we close out 2017, Nova Labs celebrates six wonderful years of making. We look forward to the New Year!
Click below for the rest of the newsletter!
As makers, we are deeply saddened to hear that TechShop closed its doors this week; we believe in the Maker Movement and want to do everything we can to help makers in our community. The Nova Labs makerspace in Reston, VA would like to welcome TechShop members and TechShop-powered businesses.
The board continues to expand the purchase card roll out to simplify purchasing and reduce the burden on stewards. In addition, a huge thanks to Google, Inc. for its donation of $10,000 for the 2018 MakerFaire Nova (March 18, 2018)!
We are super excited to welcome Tae Edell to the Nova Labs community in her new role as Member and Volunteer Coordinator. Tae has an extensive background in fine arts and has volunteered for some of the world’s most famous museums, like the Hirschhorn Museum and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Tae is an alumna of JMU where she graduated with a BA in Art History. As you get to know her, you’ll discover she has an outgoing and enthusiastic personality. Tae is also an avid maker – you may run into her in the wood shop or the crafters’ corner. Please help us welcome her to Nova Labs! You can find Tae here Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday evenings and on Sunday afternoons. Tae also has daytime hours on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings.
Shane Smith is taking on the role of steward of stewards and Jim Girardi is serving as board liaison. Shane brings years of maker and professional experience to the table as well as expertise in bringing people together and creating consensus. Shane embodies the maker spirt and we are positive that he will work with the stewards to foster a constructive and creative community. In addition, the board is recognizing John Hoskins as the lead on technology initiatives – a role which John has has served for the past year without title. We’ve asked Margaret Kositch to serve as board liaison.
This month we’re welcoming Patrick Thompson as a new incubator sharing a space with Bo. Patrick has been active teaching the laser cutter classes for the last couple years and coordinated bringing the new Rabbit Laser (Mongo’s big brother) to the lab this summer. As a new incubator, he is excited to bring more advanced hands-on laser cutter classes to the community. He has also brought Cyber Security speakers to the lab twice a month sponsoring Pizza Wednesdays. Patrick is an infosec professional and co-founder of BSidesNoVA, a grass roots Cyber Security Conference led by the local technical cyber community in Northern Virginia; next one February 23-24, 2018. The Nova Labs community actively participates in organizing the BSidesNoVA event, running a technology village with 3D printers and a soldering station to make small robotics kits during the conference to raise awareness of the many opportunities Nova Labs has to offer. In addition, he hosts a High School Cyber Competition Team at Nova Labs on Sunday mornings to train for the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition called CYBER PATRIOTS. The CYBER PATIOTS program was originally created by the Air Force Association (AFA) to inspire K-12 students toward careers in cyber security or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation’s future.
Shout out to Jeremy Webb. He will be helping all of us keep our fingers unsinged and attached to our skeletons through his volunteer work in the Safety Committee. An agile software consultant and entrepreneur, Jeremy has extensive experience helping teams perform at their best through training and cultural transformation. Outside of work, Jeremy serves the community in a non-profit that hosts camps for children with cancer, and is a private pilot.
Sam Aparicio and Margaret Kositch are welcome additions to the Board (featured later in the newsletter). Jim Sweeney completed his service with a successful hand-off of the treasurer role to Jim Girardi. The board also elected officers for the coming year:
The director terms are three years with staggered expirations:
Please remember Nova Labs when considering charitable donations. As a non profit 501(c)(3) organization, donations are very much appreciated and tax-deductible.
Our on-campus partner will be the GMU Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE). Hosting the Maker Faire aligns with GMU’s position as the leading research university in Virginia.
The Maker Faire NoVa planning committee has started planning for the 2018 Faire, which will take place Sunday March 18, 2018 from 11AM to 5PM on the campus of George Mason University in Fairfax. After four years on the grounds of South Lakes High School and Langston Hughes Middle School, we’re moving to three separate buildings at Mason – The MIX (GMU’s makerspace), the Johnson Center and The HUB.
We are planning to host 140-150 makers, exhibitors, artisans, a speaker series, and a meetup specifically for maker educators. With the larger venue, we expect to exceed last year’s attendance of 5,000. Tickets are now on sale on our website with our best prices!
This is a major event for Nova Labs, promoting our mission and enriching our community through publicity, new members, and networking opportunities.
Last year, exhibitors included Jeff Balderson, Norm Brewer, Paul Chase, Bob Coggeshall, Nick Ferro, Ellen Jennings, Shashi Kuppa, Red Blue Collective, Justin and Amy Shaw, Bill Steinhardt, Patrick Thompson, Craig Trader and Elizabeth Tuck, to name just a few. Ask them about their Maker Faire experience.
If you are interested in exhibiting in March, please submit your Call for Makers application by January 14, 2018. We’d love to hear about exhibitors or speakers you recommend we recruit – send those suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Faire organizing committee includes:
Hope to see you there!
>>>Provided by Margaret Kositch and Carl Hutzler
Margaret Kositch | SECRETARY
We’re honored to welcome Margaret Kositch to the Nova Labs board of directors. During the day, Margaret is the Director of Technology at the Fairfax County Public Library. Margaret spent 20 years in the private sector prior to her involvement at FCPL. A native of Virginia, Margaret attended UVA and also has a Master of Library & Information Science from UC Berkeley. She has volunteered on other boards for a local church and a local youth sports organization, as well as in the organizing committee of Maker Faire Nova 2017. Margaret has worked to bring the world of makers into the public library system as part of her commitment to broaden access to technology. She is curious, patient, and has an offbeat sense of humor.
Sam Aparicio | BOARD MEMBER
The board is pleased to welcome Sam Aparicio to our board of directors. Sam’s myriad and diverse skillsets make him an invaluable member of the board. Sam wasted no time and has already started to work closely with various teams around the maker space. Sam is a serial entrepreneur which means he is patient, bold, and knows how to get things done. Sam is the CEO of a local company, called Ring.io, which develops a highly-rated, CRM-integrated phone system. He also currently runs a bi-weekly meet up to discuss blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. The board is excited to work with Sam and know that his business acumen, insightfulness, and drive to make things better will serve Nova Labs well as we grow and expand.
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: NORMAN BREWER
Nova Labs and the Woodworkers Guild recognized the many contributions of Norm Brewer with the honor of Member Emeritus. For many, Norm provided an introduction to the lathe. His balance of guidance and stepping back to allow independent work was tailored to each of us and promoted “I made it myself” joy. His students walked away with two priceless things – a beautifully turned piece and heaps of self-confidence. At the Maker Faire NoVa, Nikolai Teleguine’s daughter Elizabeth ran the super-popular turning table, with Norm’s coaching.
On Sunday mornings from 9:30 AM to 2:00 PM, Nova Labs hosts a Cyber High School Team to train for the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition called CYBER PATRIOTS. The team is sponsored and lead by the BSIDESNOVA leadership team. The CYBER PATIOTS program was originally created by the Air Force Association (AFA) to inspire K-12 students toward careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation’s future. The competition puts teams of high school and middle school students in the position of newly hired IT professionals tasked with managing the network of a small company. In the rounds of competition, teams are given a set of virtual images that represent operating systems and are tasked with finding cybersecurity vulnerabilities within the images and hardening the system while maintaining critical services. Teams compete for the top placement within their state and region, and the top teams in the nation earn all-expenses paid trips to Baltimore, MD for the National Finals Competition where they can earn national recognition and scholarship money.
BSidesNoVA is a local annual Cyber Security Conference led by the technical cyber community in Northern Virginia; next one 23-24 Feb 2018. Last year over 50 speakers covered topics ranging from the state of the cybersecurity industry to bleeding edge research on vulnerabilities, exploits, protection, and response. Nova Labs Community actively participates in organizing the BSIDES event, running a technology village with 3D printers and soldering station to make small robotics kits during the conference to raise awareness of the many opportunities Nova Labs has to offer.
>>>Provided by Partick Thompson
Drew Rougier-Chapman was pitted against 150 other competitors in the 2017 Toastmasters District 29 International Speech Competition. After multiple rounds of competition, Drew was crowned the District 29 International Speech Competition Champion. Drew continually advanced his public speaking skills as a member of multiple Toastmaster clubs, including NOVA Lab’s own Tech Toast.
Tech Toast is an accredited Toastmasters International Club, sponsored by NovaLabs, and ISSA NOVA. Tech Toast is open to everyone who desires to improve their speaking, listening, and leadership skills in a friendly, supportive, and positive learning environment.
Come join Tech Toast every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month in Nova Labs at 7PM for our meetings.
>>Provided by Mitchell Pang
Many people have a negative association towards bacteria since it was typically only discussed when someone was sick. In order to combat the stigma toward bacteria, in 2015 the American Society for Microbiology launched an agarose art contest seeking to increase knowledge of microbiology, and to accentuate the inherent beauty of bacteria. When this contest started I was in my microbiology course under an extremely enthusiastic professor, Dr. Mary Miller. Dr. Miller’s course was, and continues to be part of an ongoing collaboration with Yale’s Small World Initiative (SWI). SWI was started in order to help combat antibiotic resistance and to share microbiology laboratory methods. In recent years it has expanded into an internationally recognized group of people of varying ages, disciplines, and education levels.
In order to get more students interested in the course, share the knowledge of antibiotic resistance, and exhibit the innate beauty of bacteria; I started making agarose art utilizing the bacteria collected from various swamp and gulf coast collection sites we have taken the students to in the Microbiology course. Over the course of the last three years whilst working as a teaching assistant I have made more than 50 pieces of agarose art.
I’m currently double-majoring in biological engineering and art, and thusly have utilized my training in various mediums including; painting, graphic design, printmaking, and ceramics to create my pieces. Typically, I will design my concept in Adobe illustrator and place a sheet of parafilm over my screen whilst I apply the bacteria onto the gel surface utilizing the aforementioned tools. I employ a combination of techniques with autoclaved toothpicks, pipettes, and sterile loupes to place the various bacterial strains into their given shape. Depending on the bacteria I will grow them typically at room temperature since many bacteria lose their pigment when incubated or refrigerated. Some labs do genetically engineer their bacteria to express certain colors, or allow them to fluoresce, but I focus on the colors naturally occurring from the specimens.
This medium of art does require the proper level of lab biosafety clearance for bacterial work, and personal protective equipment appropriate to the techniques utilized. I have developed a resin and acrylic method of preserving the bacteria in order to share it with the public, and have showcased my work at a local swamp where collections were done, and have an upcoming show in spring 2018 with a healthcare gallery. If you’re interested in seeing more of my work go to my Instagram @mooretothepoint.
>>> Provided by Meagan More
Meagan More is currently a Research Scholar in Medical Physics for Radiotherapy and Additive Manufacturing at Louisiana State University. She is well connected with the makerspace community down in Baton Rouge, LA.