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Another hot, sweltering summer, another attempt to sail a cardboard creation across Lake Anne is upon us. In addition to providing entries for the race, Nova Labs members have committed their time to the planning committee for the regatta as well offered their expertise to local schools who wish to participate. Our membership is fully committed in our mission to rediscover the joy of making things, both as makers and as mentors. This spirit makes our space unique, a cooperative endeavor within Isaac Newton Square and amongst our entire northern Virginia community. As to our own endeavors, the two lovely pieces hanging in the Orange Bay will not be competing again this year, as the so-called Nova Labs Rule prevents the same boat from entering the competition more than twice. Ergo, the indomitable Nova Labs team has another opportunity to create the most over-engineered concoction of cardboard imaginable. Also, it has a rudder. There was some muttering amongst the crew about the stodgy steering of past Nova Labs entries. Given these specifications, our favorite CAD artist, Sam Winkelstein, has designed an ~800 piece cardboard boat. The lasercutter has been in constant use creating parts and has needed some extra maintenance, gratefully provided by Patrick Thompson.
Initially, Jeanne Marshall and Fabiana Casa expressed their concern about whether or not Sam W.’s design would actually hold four crew members. Now the cardboard is mostly assembled, there is doubt as to whether it can exit Classroom B. Sam has assured everyone that it will, barely, fit all crew members, and that he has a plan for removing the boat, intact, from Classroom B.
Shane Smith and Fabiana Casa are working on a Viking longboat inspired piece, using a PVC kayak as its inner shell. While not as over-engineered a piece of CAD design as the first entry, it is still an impressive work of cardboard art. The Quincey family has used the lasercutter to cut their own design, an entry they are assembling at home. Paul Chase will also contribute his own boat to the race. Please show your support for Nova Labs and your fellow friends by coming to Lake Anne Saturday, August 10, 1:00pm for the 2019 Cardboat Boat Regatta. We will definitely need volunteers to man the Nova Labs Dry Dock & Boat Repair Clinic.
Karen ShumwayNova Labs Director
by Lauren Capeheart
This weekend is all about the fiber arts and textiles. We have a weekend full of classes and classroom A/B will have vendors will all sorts of fibery goodies. And in between classes and shopping – enjoy hanging out and yarning with friends in Orange Bay. Please join for one class or as many as you can handle, or just come by and shop with our vendors and bring a friend.
Fiber at the Lab is a 2 day indoor fiber retreat!
Some of the Main Attractions in August are below. Please RSVP via the links.
Check the Calendar of Events for all upcoming classes!Provided by Instructors and Karen Shumway
In addition, NOVA Labs is seeking volunteer help for the following:
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested and able to help!
You can also visit the webpage at https://www.nova-labs.org/volunteer/
Nova Labs is a shooting star…From our start in 2012, we’ve grown to over 350 members. The demands on our ad-hoc “made at a maker space in 2012” member management software is on life support. We are looking for IT-savvy, not-necessarily-programmer types with that independent maker spirit to help us plan our migration. Please contact John Hoskins to find out more about CiviCRM.
by Eric DuerFounder, STEMSkills
As science and technology continue to expand into every facet of our lives, careers in STEM fields represent a rapidly increasing percentage of US employment. One of the fastest growing segments of the economy, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts there will be more than 9 million STEM-related jobs by 2022; the 20 occupations with the highest growth between 2016 and 2026 will all be in STEMrelated fields. Despite these trends, career preparation for high school students with disabilities remains centered largely in low-wage fields such as hospitality, retail, foodservice, and janitorial positions. It is well documented that young people with disabilities benefit from project-based, hands-on training and employment exploration. STEMSkills has developed a program that is designed to give young people both tangible 21st century skills and career exploration opportunities with innovative STEM based companies. The STEMSkills model is designed to build strategic partnerships with tech companies, schools, service providers, universities, and Vocational Rehabilitation agencies in order to help transition-aged youth explore these exciting fields through hands-on skills development, career exposure activities, and employment social skills. STEMSkills also addresses and builds upon the desire of modern tech companies to incorporate inclusive hiring practices and non-traditional talent acquisition. The first STEMSkills Summer Camp took place in Washington, D.C. over three weeks in the summer of 2018 and continued with two programs in July and August of 2019. Lessons on tech skills include 3D printing, circuit boards, electronics, virtual reality, soldering, laser cutting, and metal design. Nova Labs makerspace serves as both education partner and community hub. Social skills, workplace culture training, resume preparation, job interviewing, and travel training are also part of the program. Our future plans are to develop a work-based curriculum for schools and service providers.
Omar is an autistic student who began his freshman high school year with many discipline problems. Although he had more advanced skills with technology, he frequently abused his privileges by sabotaging the computers in the classroom so that only he could use them. Omar’s parents registered him for the STEMSkills summer camp with a behavior plan that was signed by him, his parents, and myself. There was not one situation where the behavior interventions needed to take place, though, he simply needed to do something that he loved. He thrived in all areas: travel, hands-on STEM activities at Nova Labs, and career exploration with the numerous businesses. This past school year, Omar worked two days a week with the IT specialist setting up, breaking down, and imaging his school’s computers. He truly shines having a set routine and a checklist that he can follow. Together, we have customized his work tasks to use his skills to become proficient in many technical areas. Omar is absolutely thriving and gaining valuable skills for future employment in the STEM industries.