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)

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

 

 

 

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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