NOVA SySTEMic Solutions introduces thousands of students to STEM through summer camps designed for elementary through high school students. The camps focus on hands-on project based learning that provides students an excellent opportunity to explore STEM fields.
At NOVA we are confident that early exposure to STEM fields will help your child find a lasting passion for STEM that begins in secondary school and can be realized at NOVA through one of many Certificate or Degree programs of study.
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Summer STEM Camp Schedule
Camps are one week, Monday through Friday except for the Skills Camps (CAD/3D Printing and Programming) which are Monday through Friday over two weeks. Click each box below to see the schedule of camps in each region. To compare the schedule of all three regions you can click the following link to download a PDF: 2017 Summer STEM Camp Schedule
- CAD/3D Printing
- STEM Elementary/Middle School
Most products we use today involve 3D printing during the design process. This camp explores how 3D graphics and 3D printing are revolutionizing how designers, artists and engineers create products and tools. Rising 9th through 12th grade students will gain the skills to bring their design ideas to life by using Computer Aided Design (CAD) software to create their own 3D printed objects. This is a cutting edge camp that will keep them inspired!
CAD coursework is available at NOVA for credit or through workforce development.
CAD/3D Printing Skills Course
This camp is for rising 9th through 12th grade students and explores how significant innovations in the areas of 3D computer graphics and 3D printing technologies are revolutionizing how designers, artists, and engineers create products and tools. Students will learn an overview of modern 3D design and modeling techniques and also explore the range of printing and prototyping technologies in use today. The mission of this 3D Printing and Engineering Design Course is intended to provide students with the tools to bring design ideas to life. Imagining a concept in your mind is just the beginning. A product may then be brought to life through the application of advanced engineering tools like Computer Aided Design (CAD) and 3D printing. By the end of the camp, students will have gained hands-on experience creating their own designs and shaping the creative process to final printed production. This course is taught for 2.5 hours in the evening for two days a week over the span of 4 weeks.
The four domains of national security are land, sea, air, and space. Now there's a fifth – Cyber! Cybersecurity is a critical and booming field for STEM students to aspire to and excel in. For rising 9th through 12th graders our camp provides students with hands-on Cybersecurity activities through networking, attack/defense strategies and competitions.
Governor McAuliffe has issued the challenge for VA to become the "capital for Cybersecurity." Engaging in this discipline early is the key to success. Cybersecurity students are helping protect the future!
This one week camp is for rising 9th through 12th graders and will introduce the students to the world of Cybersecurity. This camp is designed to provide students with knowledge and hands-on experience in cybersecurity and introduce them to the many career opportunities in the growing field. The camp will increase students’ knowledge of networking and computer security including attack and defense strategies, all through tutorials, hands-on activities and will culminate with a mock competition towards the end of the camp. Students must bring their own laptop with the minimum specifications: an i5 or comparable AMD processor (NO Macs/Apple based laptops), 6 GB of RAM and 20 GB free hard drive space available.
As our lives become more and more dependent on technology, programming is becoming the new literacy. Programmers are in high demand in the workforce and our programming camp provides rising 8th through 12th grade students a platform to begin and also enhance their programming skills. Students will work with Arduino boards to combine different components, like LEDs, motors and sensors, and program them to solve different tasks using visual programming platforms to build their own unique app and learn real-world entrepreneurship skills such as self-awareness, public speaking, and teamwork to simulate launching their own company. Students will come away with a basic understanding of programming and have the tools to pave their way to future success!
Computer Science at NOVA allows students to earn industry certifications and pursue courses for credit or through workforce development.
This course will provide students in rising 9th through 12th grade with new skills in programming and electronics engineering. The goal of this camp is to shift focus away from simply using electronics to understanding how they work by programming them! Students will learn to work with an Arduino Board to combine components like LEDs, motors, and sensors. Students will also learn how to program starting with the very basics, turning on and off an LED, to more sophisticated situations like maneuvering a car. We will use real life examples to help students understand the importance of the skills taught in camp. This course is taught for 2.5 hours in the evening for two days a week over the span of 4 weeks.
Tech Entrepreneur Camp
Smartphones, tablets, Facebook, Google Maps, computers, and robots all run on software applications, making coding and app development some of today's most sought-after skills. Combine this with the introduction of app marketplaces where anyone can post and sell their mobile application or game, and there is no doubt why tech start-ups are popping up all over our region. In this one-week camp, students in rising 8th through 12th grade will work in small groups using visual programming platforms to build their own unique app and learn real-world entrepreneurship skills such as self-awareness, public speaking, and teamwork to simulate launching their own company. At the end there will be a Shark Tank-style pitch session to determine which groups' product goes to market. There are no prerequisites for this camp, other than an active imagination and an interest in computers!
Robotics is inspiring and celebrated by STEM students like an athletic event! It also incorporates all 4 of the STEM disciplines. At our robotics camps students build, program and drive a robot on LEGO EV3, VEX IQ and VEX EDR platforms. In addition to developing skills in computer programming, engineering and science, students also collaborate as a team while using creativity and critical thinking to problem solve. LEGO EV3 is for rising 3rd to 5th graders, VEX IQ camps cover 4th to 8th graders and VEX EDR camps are for rising 6th to 12th graders. Cool robots and fun challenges make this a camp both exciting and educational!
Robotics introduces students to engineering, Computer Science and Project Management, which are available at NOVA.
LEGO EV3 Camp
This one week camp is planned for rising 3rd through 5th grade students. In pairs, they will build an autonomous robot to carry out pre-designed missions. Students will design, build, and program a LEGO EV3 robot that will operate autonomously to compete against other camp teams in competitions such as the SumoBot Challenge and the Maze Challenge. Additional activities such as science experiments may also be integrated throughout the week. Students will learn project management in a team setting, how to build with the LEGO EV3 platform, and basic programming of the EV3 system. The teams will compete in a final competition towards the end of the week.
VEX IQ Camp
This one week camp is for rising 4th through 8th graders. In pairs, students will build an autonomous robot to carry out pre-designed missions. Students will design, build, and program a VEX IQ robot that will operate autonomously and via remote control to compete against other camp teams in competitions such as the SumoBot Challenge and the Maze Challenge. In this camp the students will code in RobotC to integrate sensor feedback into their autonomous code. Students will learn project management in a team setting, how to build with the VEX IQ system, and basic programming of the robot. The teams will compete in a final competition towards the end of the week.
VEX 1 Camp
This one week camp introduces rising 6th through 12th grade students to competitive robotics through the VEX EDR robotics design system. This camp is ideal for students interested in coding and robotics. In pairs, students will build and program a robot to operate on a field by remote control and autonomously. Students will learn basic computer programming in RobotC by completing sensor integrated challenges throughout the week. The teams will compete in a final competition towards the end of the week.
VEX 1.5 Camp
In this camp rising 7th through 12th grade students will work in groups of 3 to 4 to build and program a robot using the VEX EDR platform. In this 2 week camp students will build a robot that incorporates a large drive-train with a lift system. These techniques will be combined with advanced programming topics that will allow the students to navigate autonomously with sensor input. Students will design a custom intake mechanism for their robot. This camp is ideal for students who have experience using the VEX Robotics System through a previous summer camp or through a competitive team during the school year. The camp teams will compete in a final competition towards the end of the week.
VEX 2 Camp
In this camp rising 8th through 12th grade students will work in groups of 3 to 4 to build and program a robot to be able to compete using the VEX EDR platform. In this 2 week camp students will design, build, and program a robot that could compete in the current VRC game. A variety of building techniques and options will be taught with advanced programming topics that will allow the students to navigate autonomously with sensor input. This camp is ideal for students who have 1-2 years of experience using the VEX EDR Robotics System on a competitive team and students will need a recommendation from the team coach. The camp teams will compete in a final competition towards the end of the week.
The thrill of watching a rocket you built launch 1000 feet in the air is awesome! We offer Rocketry Camps for rising 7th through 12th graders, who will learn the basics of rocketry and how they work. Students will utilize RockSim (a simulation for building and launching) and will have the opportunity to launch several rockets into the summer sky!
Rocketry includes mathematics and physics. Many high schoolers enroll at NOVA to take math in the summer or through dual enrollment.
This one week camp will introduce rising 7th through 12th grade students to rocketry. During the camp students will learn the basics of rocketry, the science behind how they work, rocketry safety as well as building and launching several rockets. Students will also learn how to use RockSim, a simulation tool that will help guide the building process and simulate launching rockets before they are even built. The students will have a field trip on the last day of camp to a launch site to safely launch their custom designed rockets.
STEM Elementary/Middle School
Young children are curious by nature and as they question everything around them they are looking for clues and answers to why the world is the way it is. The STEM camps we are offering for both upper elementary and middle school students will introduce them to various topics in STEM. Some of these topics are Computer Aided Design (CAD), Coding and Programming, Math and Logical Thinking Skills.
There are many STEM topics being offered at NOVA either as part of a certificate program or an associates degree.
STEM Elementary School Camp
This weeklong camp is for students in rising 4th and 5th grades and will broadly cover STEM through a variety of activities such as CAD, Coding, Math and problem based challenges. Students will learn about CAD and 3D printing utilizing TinkerCAD and coding using Scratch. Students will also solve some math activities as well as use their logical thinking skills to solve some problem-based activities.
STEM Middle School Camp
This weeklong camp is for students in rising 6th through 8th grades and will broadly cover STEM through a variety of activities. Computer aided design (CAD) will be explored, assembly using SnapCAD and coding using Robot Virtual World programming will allow students to solve challenges using a virtual robot and RobotC. Students will also make simple circuits and programming those using Arduino boards as well as get introduced to sketching. In addition, students will be able to use their logical thinking skills to solve some problem-based activities.