“Look who became a referee.” I smiled when opening my inbox to see the thank you note accompanying this picture and greeting from Robert Simmons. Robert, officiated for the first time after participating in a training I recently organized.
The journey to this day started last winter, toward the end of the FIRST robotics season, when I answered a last-minute desperate call for referees at a regional qualifying event. I thought it would help in my leadership role with Nova Labs Robotics. Additionally, I answered the call in part because I had noticed that very few women cover the referee role – and at an event set up to inspire kids in engineering, it matters who they see is in technical roles. I learned the rules, donned the stripes, integrated with the team, and discovered a surprising knack for officiating. I went on to referee at the Virginia State Championship!
This year, I was determined to start earlier in the season so that I could add more value. At the very first qualifier of the season, I was ready to go, or so I thought, having passed the referee test and studied the rule book that first came out. I quickly found myself out of my comfort zone as I realized that I had missed critical rule updates and the paper scoring I was comfortable with had been replaced by computerized scoring. Despite encouragement from the leadership team, I chose not to referee that day. One of the referees, Jim Anderson, a Rockwell Collins engineer, offered to come out to Nova Labs and give me practice with the computerized scoring system, while Robert, a longtime judge, shared that he was curious about the role. Touched by Jim’s kindness, I organized a volunteer session, inviting Robert and others. The next weekend both Robert and I officiated in different cities – Robert in Haymarket and me in Richmond.
At Nova Labs, the game is changing under us. With the pending redevelopment of Isaac Newton Square, the current best estimate is as early as two years to secure a new home. The clock has already run down for the robotics program – the program is moving out of the dedicated space on the first of the year. With change there is always risk. In addition to the externally forced changes, Nova Labs embraced change by expanding the board and drawing from a broad range of candidates. The first of December we transitioned the board – welcoming additional directors, some of whom were on the periphery of Nova Labs, with the newest members jumping into the real estate challenge, already at work from the first day. We are deeply appreciative of the newest members’ fresh ideas and connections.
In November, Nova Labs volunteer Angela DeHart and I participated in leadership training with 2020 Women on Boards. One of the panelists’ advice resonated – “If we can’t manage risk in the boardroom, how can we manage it in the organization?” The challenges ahead are bigger than any one of us to take on. As a team with a deep bench of support that is attracting and welcoming fresh talent, Nova Labs is well equipped to rise to the challenge. Please join in one of the upcoming town halls focused on the move ahead.
Welcome to our new key members: Yuri Beckelman, Sean Crane, George DeGennarro, Alexander Glasco, Aaron Goldstein, Michael Kim, Jared Munyan, Daryl Peace, Daniel Schneider, Jeff Spugnardi, Brian Summers, Gillian Webb, Ingrid Werber (and her husband Tom Crowe).
Welcome to our five new board members: Yuri Beckelman, Daryl Peace, Karen Shumway, Shane Smith and Jeff Spugnardi. Many of you know Karen and Shane as longstanding NovaLabs members. Yuri, Daryl, and Jeff are new to Nova Labs.
We elected a new slate of officers for 2018-2019: Marybeth Haneline as President (returning), Jim Girardi as Vice President, Sam Aparicio as Treasurer and Margaret Kositch as Secretary (returning).
We bid farewell to two retiring board members, Tom Welsh and Lieselot Whitbeck. There is no way to thank them for their many contributions, to our community, and we look forward to seeing them around the Nova Labs world.
We are all going to miss Bill Steinhardt, who posted a farewell message to Nova Labs on Slack.
Pat Marstall is our new blacksmithing steward – please take a moment to congratulate him next time you see him.
NovaLabs 3.0 is the board focus for 2019. Please join us for Board Listening sessions starting in January – RSVP below. Bo Pollett, Daryl Peace, and Yuri Beckelman will host these events, so please reach out to them with your comments and suggestions.
As always, the board loves to hear from you. Please share your comments and suggestions in person, on Slack or via email at email@example.com
Provided by Margaret Kositch
At the December member meeting, the board members were the lucky recipients of gift bags, that were full of reasons that Nova Labs is special.
Special thanks to Craig Trader from the 3D printing team, Anne Glenzer from the blacksmiths, Patrick Thompson and Adam Winsor for the NL ornaments, Siobhan Williams for the wire bows, Fabiana Cesa for the gift boxes and Carrie Hafer and Jennyfer Peterson for general organizing awesomeness.
We are holding the following Town Hall meetings in preparation for NovaLabs 3.0 Please RSVP! All are welcome.
Calling All Makers for 2019! The Call for Makers for the 2019 Maker Faire NoVa will officially launch at this event. Join us for a fun event with presentations, information about Maker Faire, encouragement and, of course, food! Come ask questions, run your ideas by some seasoned Maker Faire makers — January 23.
Get started! Get inspired. RSVP here!
The Reston community at large is a very active crowd. Nova Labs seized the opportunity to participate in the Reston Town Center Holiday Parade! Despite the freezing cold, the masses showed up for an outstanding show of community. Nova Labs was there!
Here’s the YouTube Video! Check it out! Nova Labs is at 37:52 holiday parade link
Reston Holiday Parade 2018! Nova Labs is at 37:52
As part of the Maker Market, we held a good ole fashioned “Fix It Cafe” in Classroom A. We had a number of people from NOVA Labs and the local community bring all sorts of strange things in to have fixed. We fixed everything from a bathroom digital scale to a bike derailer, to a valiant attempt at several soldering irons, and a 50 disc CD changer. We pulled stripped screws from an old window pane hinge and even had a small electrical fire when we plugged in a t-shirt heat press…which was later repaired to good working order! It was a fun day for several members to hang out and see if we could keep things out of the landfill. Overall, I think we had a 75% successful day, but 100% fun!
Provided by Carl Hutzler
Nova Labs’ Robotics team, FLL 103, “The BrainStorm Troopers” was given the best gift a rookie FIRST Robotics team could have asked for — an invitation to NASA Headquarters in Washington DC — to cap off its Into Orbit season! On November 29, 2018, The BrainStorm Troopers (FLL 103) participated in NASA’s special media event to announce its new Moon to Mars Partnerships with US companies. It was an awesome experience- one that the whole team and their parents will always treasure.
The BrainStorm Troopers did a fantastic job representing Nova Labs as they appeared live on NASA TV Live and Facebook Live. Team member Gabe Aparicio was calm and poised when he asked NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine a question about 3D printing in space on live TV. He made the team proud! The BrainStorm Troopers captured the attention of several media outlets to include NASA website (Image of the Day), the Wall Street Journal, Twitter, and Reston Now.
The highlight of the day was when NASA Administrator Bridenstine visited The BrainStorm Troopers’ display table to speak with the team. Team member Jacob Carey described the experience, “It was really great to learn the details of NASA’s plans to return to the moon to study it more and eventually go to Mars. The best part for me was when I got to talk to the NASA Administrator and asked him if NASA could also partner with biochemist Leroy Cronin to 3D print medicines on Mars one day.” The team learned about Cronin doing research for their Project.
The BrainStorm Troopers Tech Coach Steve Struebing summed up the day best: “If the FIRST season is set up to get kids excited about STEM, well this is an amazing way to finish the season. The pictures of the kids with the #1 of NASA will be with them forever, and I would bet will always keep some drive to look to the science.”
The BrainStorm Troopers wish to thank the many people who helped us along our journey as a first-time robotics team and who made the NASA day possible. To name a few: AiAA/Boeing, Marybeth Haneline, Spencer Allain, Dave Lavery, Betsy Daniels, Angie Fontanilla, Alexander Shumway, Karen Shumway, Liz Mason, Sam Aparicio, Tom Welsh, and all the wonderful folks at Nova Labs – THANK YOU!!!
Provided by Laura Carey, Nova Labs Robotics Coach
Jan 8, 7pm Tech Toast
Come learn, practice, and improve your technical, conference, and spontaneous speaking skills in a friendly, supportive environment. Become a more effective speaker, listener, and seller of your ideas at work, business, college or school.
Jan 9, 6:30pm ISC2 Tech Talk: Wireshark
The new Northern Virginia Chapter of ISC2 will host its 2nd event in the Tech Talk Series at Nova Labs. ISC2 CPE will be given for this event.
Jan 12, 2pm Open House
Please RSVP. TOURS leave in groups every 30 minutes starting at 2pm
Get a detailed tour of the lab. See the laser lab, CNC, metal shop, woodshop, and arts and craft lab. How does it all work, who should you contact, when should you come in, what classes are here for you? Get answers to your questions with no obligations or pressure to sign-up for anything.
Jan 24, 7:30pm Nova Labs 3.0 Town Hall Meeting
All are welcome. Please RSVP and join us as we discuss Nova Labs 3.0
Provided by Julia Smith
Years ago, when newspapers were still used to find employment, I was looking for an afterschool teaching position when I ran across an ad for a teacher at a school that serviced the children of congressmen and senators. The add was subtly unique and reading it made me feel like I had found a hidden treasure. I have looked through thousands of want ads in my life but had never seen one like this until that moment. I remember the ad because I knew that I was getting a glimpse into a world that I do not usually see – and it was enlightening. While I was not qualified for the position, the ad permanently piqued my curiosity. I wanted to see what was behind the curtain.
On Thursday, November 15th Marybeth Haneline invited me to attend the 2018 National Conversation on Board Diversity. The following week we attended the 2020 Women on Board luncheon. After having been invited to apply for one of the open board seats at Nova Labs, I was even more eager than usual to attend an event that would inform me about the mechanics of being a board member and the real purpose of a board. I always had some vague notion of what a board was but these events offered me a way to look behind the curtain.
Both luncheons were wonderful places to network and speak to women who are “making things happen.” In fact, several women are going to be speaking to the students involved in the STEM Impressionists program that I facilitate. Not only will this opportunity enhance their knowledge and experience while they are still in 9th and 10th grade – it will open doors they never knew existed.
The luncheons were also a forum for discussing the value and impact having women on the boards of corporations. The goal is to increase the percentage of women on U.S. company boards to 20% or greater by the year 2020.
“Women hold just a small number of corporate board seats. In 2015, the 2020 Women on Boards Gender Diversity Index of Fortune 1000 companies showed that 17.9% of corporate directors were women. This is a small number when you consider that women comprise about half of the total U.S. workforce, hold half of all management positions, are responsible for almost 80% of all consumer spending, and account for 10 million majority-owned, privately-held firms in the U.S., employing over 13 million people and generating over $1.9 trillion in sales.”(1)
In fact, shifting demographics in the United States have brought diversity to the forefront of issues on the minds of C-suite executives and corporate boards. As the population of the United States continues to diversify, companies need to determine ways to gain more diversity of thought, experience, and background in both management as well as the boardroom. The report, commissioned by Deloitte US Chairman Mike Fucci, examines the current state of today’s corporate boards and the need for boardrooms to become more diverse. Those surveyed expressed near universal agreement that greater diversity provides a competitive advantage and improves business performance.(2) Diversity in the board room breaks the glass ceiling and offers a voice to those who have been limited in their ability to be “taken seriously.”
My luncheon experience awakened the possibility of celebrating diversity in a new way. I realized that the board of a corporation or a non-profit could allow underrepresented citizens access to the tools that make the dream of an equitable democracy more achievable.
The luncheons were wonderful and highly recommended. The food was tasty, the esprit de corps was remarkable, and the discussion about the importance of diversity in the board rooms of corporate America will fundamentally redefined my definition of success. I became a school teacher in order “to make a difference.” My experience at the luncheons helped me understand that the path to an equitable democracy lay in the classroom as much as it lay in the ability to participate on a corporate board.
My personal goals have now been updated to include presenting my skills to a board looking to gain insight from diverse membership. Being on a board will offer me the ability to interpret “power as the ability to impact with purpose” (Oprah Winfrey). My classroom expertise created the STEM Impressionists – a sustained mentoring program focused on ensuring that underrepresented students have access to STEM opportunities that will translate into internships, college, and leadership opportunities. Being on a board will offer me the opportunity to translate my life experience, passion, and perspective into business innovation and global competitiveness. “Making a difference” from behind the curtain is definitely a journey worth taking.
NOTE: Marybeth Haneline has quietly and consistently offered me opportunities to advance my career and has helped me help my students. Her gifts to me are priceless. I would encourage other women to support underrepresented minorities by providing access to opportunities they may not otherwise have access to – it changes lives.
MAKING IT SEASON 2, HOSTED BY AMY POEHLER AND NICK OFFERMAN!!
Do you thrive on creating? Armed with a hot glue gun or a hammer, can you make just about anything? Whether you are a late-night garage tinkerer, an Etsy-preneur, or everyone’s favorite crafting grandma, we want you to apply!
You could be a household hacker, a DIY decorator, a scrapbooker, wood worker, hand builder, accessory maker, doll maker, textile maker, shibori expert, potter, paper crafter, leather or denim worker, costume maker, basket weaver, an artisan or maker of any type… basically any super creative person who loves making things by hand…
PLEASE APPLY BELOW NOW!
Terms, conditions and eligibility requirements apply. Responses may not be provided to all who submit.
Provided by Margaret Kositch
In addition, NOVA Labs is seeking volunteer help for the following:
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested!
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.
We are open! See our COVID-19 Phase III reopening guidelines.