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Life Science Forum – March 28

Join us for the 11th annual Life Science Forum of Southwest Virginia on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 at VTCRI in Roanoke.

Come present your poster, meet other innovators from the region, or simply network and learn what area researchers are up to. There will be appetizers and refreshments along with a poster session featuring representatives of academic, industry, and nonprofit technology organizations.

Poster topics will include, but are not limited to:

  • Bio/Life sciences
  • Chemistry
  • Engineering
  • Materials sciences
  • Nanotechnology

Interested in presenting a poster? Space is limited, register early.

Join us at 4:30 pm for a Speed Networking Workshop “Small Talk to Big Conversations”

Networking is an essential skill to have in the professional world. The challenge for many is how to initiate the conversation. During this brief session we will:

  • Share common conversation starters
  • Discuss what the elevator pitch is and how to introduce yourself
  • Identify quick tips to use for future networking events
Prepare to perfect your technique and practice before the start of the event, by registering for this quick and interactive 45 minute session.

WHERE: 
VTCRI – 2 Riverside Drive, Roanoke, VA 

WHEN: 
Wednesday, March 28, 2018

FORUM SCHEDULE: 
4:30 – 5:15 PM – Speed Networking Workshop
5:30 – 8:30 PM – Life Science Forum
This event is free but registration is required.

Click on the image below to download a PDF of the flyer

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PCHS Robotics Attract Notice, Seed Money

An emergent robotics program continues to take shape at Pulaski County High School, and now others beyond the county are beginning to take notice. Two weeks ago, Gov. Terry McAuliffe visited a cyber security class at PCHS to watch students maneuver their robots through obstacles using computer code.

Last week, Roanoke Blacksburg Technology Council (RBTC) presented a $500 check to the high school’s robotics program that was provided by Pulaski’s MOVA Technologies. RBTC Director Robert McAden called it “seed money” to help get the high school’s robotics team going. “As a graduate of Pulaski County Schools and a recent graduate of the University of Virginia, I understand the importance of innovation. In modern America, if you are not innovating and fostering new ideas and growth, you are moving backwards,” says Tyler Clontz, public information officer for MOVA Technologies in downtown Pulaski.McAden says RBTC’s “footprint” has always included both the Roanoke and New River valleys: “We are recognized as the premier organization bringing the two regions together.”

He says RBTC’s desire to cover the NRV isn’t new but the organization is “being more intentional in reaching out to areas in both the New River and Roanoke valleys beyond the major metropolitan areas. We have recently hosted events in Pulaski, Salem, and Botetourt and plan to continue to look for ways to reach other areas within our footprint.”

RBTC was founded in 1998 as the New Century Technology Council at the same time similar bodies were formed
across the state. It was eventually renamed the Roanoke Blacksburg Technology Council.

“I hope this seed money will be the start of a great new program in Pulaski County schools,” said Steve Critchfield, president of MOVA. As Clontz explains, “Our company MOVA is centered on an innovative technology that would not exist if it weren’t for the opportunities to learn and grow that have been given to many people. For
this reason, we are glad to contribute and help create more opportunities for our future innovators by supporting the Robotics Club for Pulaski County schools.”

(Source: The Southwest Times – Sept. 2017 – PDF)

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FIRST Lego League Coaches Workshop – July 30 & August 5

FIRST Lego League is a worldwide robotics competition for 3rd-9th graders using Lego EV3 robots. Kids solve programming and building challenges, present research to a panel of judges in a creative format regarding this year’s hydrodynamic theme, perform a team-based impromptu challenge, and share their design process while celebrating science, technology, engineering, math and healthcare!

The RBTC hosts a tournament the 2nd week of November for our region. If you think you might like to help start a team or join a team, and want to find out more, the Tuxedo Pandas and the Science Museum of Western Virginia will host two free information and hands-on clinics. We even have some equipment and funds available to get new teams going!

Questions about the event? Contact Krystian Jones.

WHEN:

Sunday, July 30, 2017
Saturday, August 5, 2017

TIME:
2:00pm-5:00pm

WHERE:Science Museum of Western Virginia (One Market Square SE, Roanoke, VA 24011-1429

 

 

 

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FIRST Robotics Chesapeake District Southwest Virginia Event – March 4 and 5

Free and open to the public! Forty of the best and brightest high school robotics teams will be competing in this two day event. Come out and cheer on your favorite team or learn more about bringing FIRST Robotics programs to your community.

FIRST Robotics Competition is recognized as the premier high school engineering challenge. Teams of students, working closely with teachers and volunteer mentors, have six weeks to conceptualize, design, build, program, modify and test a robot to participate in a competition that changes each year. Every January, FIRST unveils the challenge or “game” at an annual kick-off event that is simulcast to locations around the world.

Teams receive a kit of common parts that are used to build the core systems of their robots, but they won’t find an instruction manual. No two robots will be built or operated in exactly the same way! Students work with hundreds of components, including engineering mainstays such as programmable radio controllers, motors, electrical circuitry, pneumatic components and mechanical parts. Each team has to decide its own game strategy, and has to design and fabricate a machine within tight specifications on size, weight and materials.

Following the six-week design and build phase, teams enter two of seven District competitions in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. Teams compete for scores that will earn them a place at the FIRST Chesapeake District Championship in Richmond, Virginia. (Winners from FIRST Chesapeake will compete at the FIRST World Championship in St. Louis.)

Saturday, March 4th through Sunday, March 5th (8:30 am until 5:00 pm)
Blacksburg High School | 3401 Bruin Lane, Blacksburg, VA 24060

For more info visit: FirstChesapeake.org

Also, be sure to check out the Virginia-DC FIRST LEGO League Jr. Expo on Saturday, March 4th from 10am to 1pm.


VOLUNTEERS STILL NEEDED!

Many volunteers are needed to make this event a success. Please consider volunteering this weekend. Four more judges are still needed. Qualifications to be a judge include: that you enjoy STEM and do not have a conflict of interest for the last 3 years with any of the First Robotics teams. To volunteer see the instructions below:

  • Sign up here for the tournament as soon as you can.  If you are 18, some positions may take longer (apply anyway).
  • Choose the FIRST Chesapeake District Southwest Qualifier, March 3-5 for the Blacksburg tournament.
  • Parents and other adults we really need volunteers for Field Disassembly on Sunday 3/5/17 night. Just show up.
  • Email Dee Tomczak and let her know you’re volunteering to be a judge. Include your contact info and a few sentences for a bio.

Recent Posts

RBTC Launches Resources to Connect STEM Community

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The Roanoke Blacksburg Technology Council is pleased to launch two new email lists to continue to build awareness and support STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activities in the Roanoke-Blacksburg and SW VA Region.  These two important new mail lists are related, but different in their purpose:

  • [STEM-Discuss] – The RBTC STEM Forum open discussion list (to connect and ask questions).
  • [STEM-Announce]  – The RBTC STEM Forum announcements (read only) email list.

The [STEM-Discuss] mail list is a simple, free, open mail list that anyone can join to connect with regional STEM experts, ask questions and get help.    Simple and quick way that STEM educators, experts and parents can all connect and share.  Sign up here:  lists.rbtc.tech/mailman/listinfo/stem-discuss

The [STEM-Announce] is a little more than just a mail list.  It is a STEM event announcement submission system, a calendar of STEM events, and a email list all in one.   You can think of [STEM-Announce] as an announcements (read only) mail list, but it takes community STEM event submissions from the community event webapp NextThreeDays.com and mirrors these events in a SWVA STEM Events google calendar that you can also subscribe to.  Here’s a birds eye view of how you submit, and use events listed on [STEM-Announce]:

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If this seems too complicated, just sign-up on the [STEM-Announce] mail list and you’re good.  However, if you’re a gadget geek and prefer calendar events to remind you of what’s going on, you may want to only subscribe to the google calendar view.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to join or add anything to your deives, you can always just pop in and view all upcoming and previous STEM events by clicking on the either the google calendar link or the email list’s “Archives” link to see what’s going on around town.

If you have any questions, feel free to email: stem-announce-owners@lists.rbtc.tech for more info.

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Recent Posts

In the Community: VWCC Women in STEM Mentoring Program

At a national level, economic projections indicate that by 2018 the U.S. will be saturated with millions of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) jobs – many of them left unfilled. Even now, the percentage of women in STEM careers is dramatically less then men in these fields. Virginia Western Community College (VWCC) in Roanoke is a forerunner in a national movement seeking to reverse this trend and help more young women get a firm footing on a path to a successful STEM career.

The VWCC Women in STEM initiative includes the Mentoring Program, a campus club, a speaker series, a campus workgroup with faculty and staff, and relationships with business partners. The initiative is focused on:

  • Providing a supportive environment for women’s STEM education
  • Assisting women in educational resources
  • Helping facilitate career networking opportunities for women

The mentors that are paired up with students through the Women in STEM Mentoring Program are local women involved in STEM related fields.  We are proud to say many of these mentors are RBTC members. Keep up the great work ladies!

Check out the videos below to learn more about this excellent initiative and view or download this resource (PDF):

 

Recent Posts

Volunteers Needed for FIRST Robotics Competition in Blacksburg – March 12-13

Volunteers – especially referees – are needed for assistance with one of the Premier STEM programs in Virginia! FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) is recognized as the premier high school engineering challenge. Teams of students, working closely with teachers and volunteer mentors, have six weeks to conceptualize, design, build, program, modify and test a robot to participate in a competition that changes each year.

This year’s big FIRST Robotics tournament will be held for Blacksburg the weekend of March 12-13.  Come volunteer for this great STEM event and enjoy seeing what 36 different high schools have created!

To Volunteer:
Register online as a volunteer here: https://my.firstinspires.org/FIRSTPortal/Login/VIMS_Login.aspx
Then FIRST does a background check for some of the positions, not all.
You’ll apply for an event:

  • Select FRC – FIRST Robotics Competition
  • Select USA
  • Specify Zip code of 24060

You should find the event “FRC | CHS District – Southwest Virginia Event | Blacksburg  VA | Mar 11, 2016 – Mar 13, 2016”

Select that event, then you’ll see a questionnaire about preferred positions.  Some positions require online training, and they’ll send you links for that once they’ve sorted out who will actually fill what position. Thank you for volunteering your time to help promote the technology base in our Roanoke Blacksburg Technology Council!

Questions? Email: Gordie Zeigler, gzeigler@sycomtech.com


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