NVTC Launches Volunteer Challenge to Build the Region’s STEM Workforce

As Northern Virginia continues to face a gap in skilled STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) professionals, NVTC has launched an initiative to help build a tech savvy regional workforce. At an event on April 30, NVTC kicked off the NVTC STEM Challenge with a goal to have members log 10,000 volunteer hours during the 2014-2015 school year.

Hosted by Sprint, and sponsored by General Dynamics IT, Micron, Off Peak Training and NOVA’s SySTEMic Solutions, the kick-off event featured 20 speakers from education and business. The keynote speakers, Northern Virginia Community College President Dr. Robert Templin and Arlington Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy, spoke of the need for members of the business community to work closely with schools to bring their perspective and experience to students across K-16.

The program was designed to illustrate the range of STEM volunteer opportunities in collaborative STEM programs and competitions, including robotics and cybersecurity, that are available in elementary, middle and high schools across Northern Virginia and to show the importance of industry involvement in career exploration and teacher development.

NOVA’s SySTEMic Solutions and NVTC’s Equal Footing Foundation were featured at the event as organizations with need for volunteers. In addition, STEM Challenge coordinators emphasized that there is a role for anyone who is interested in working with the STEM Challenge – a specific technical area of expertise is not necessary to get involved.

NVTC will be tracking the hours that members volunteer toward the 10,000 hours target, and encourages those interested to go to 10K Volunteer Hour Challenge Sign Up to learn about volunteer activities near home, work or in the community. The next school year starts in September, but the challenge has already begun.

For more information or to get involved, please contact Rick Ferry.