NOVA’s STEM program

We do STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) through a combination of programs that promote STEM engagement through K-12 outreach, prepare college students with wraparound and support services for STEM programs, and propose grants to further develop programs to research and expand our STEM talent in Northern Virginia.

The overabundance of jobs in technology fields (such as engineering technology, cybersecurity, data center operations, and more) means more jobs are available than talent. Our mission is to build regional capacity for STEM talent by equipping students for in-demand technology careers. NOVA is a hub of technology programs, with resources that include our state-of-the-art Fab Lab, which prepares students with cutting-edge certifications and degrees for a high-demand, high-wage career.

NOVA Fab Lab

The NOVA Fab Lab is located at NOVA’s Manassas Trailside (MTS) campus, providing hands-on support to NOVA’s Engineering Technology degree and hands-on STEM opportunities for college students, staff, and community members. A world-class maker and education facility, the NOVA Fab Lab’s mission is to provide students a more holistic fabrication experience, including access to the most advanced fabrication processes, training in 3D Modeling and Design, and a foundation in the principles of Design Thinking and creative problem-solving to decrease the growing skills gap in the area of Digital Fabrication.





Who We Are

NOVA SySTEMic is Northern Virginia Community College’s STEM program with a mission to equip students for in-demand technology careers and expand regional capacity for producing STEM talent.

#WeDoSTEM through a combination of programs that:

  1. Promote STEM engagement through K-12 outreach.
  2. Prepare college students with wraparound and support services for STEM programs.
  3. Propose grants to further develop programs to research and expand our STEM talent in Northern Virginia.

NOVA is dedicated to ensuring every student succeeds, every program achieves, and every community prospers. These strategic goals are grounded in our college's commitment to equity, excellence, empathy, evidence, and economic and social mobility (NOVA's 5Es). We support the college's objectives to establish comprehensive, fully-integrated informed pathways and are actively stabilizing, growing, and sustaining resources to assist NOVA's primary mission and vision. We support the talent pipeline to elevate and empower NOVA as the region's leading workforce provider across essential and high demand STEM careers.

Peer reviewed literature about educational pathway development and support indicates that, to build awareness and interest, student engagement must begin in the formative elementary and middle school years. Filling the regional demand for talent requires that all students have an equitable opportunity to explore and engage in STEM programming. NOVA SySTEMic works with community and educational partners to expand this access to STEM at an early age through STEM EXPOs, STEM Summer Camps, and STEM-based competitions. In addition to direct student programming, we do STEM Teacher Professional Development to expand the region's capacity for engaging students in STEM programs in and beyond the classroom.

We engage NOVA students in STEM and Career and Technical Education (CTE) through grant funded and skills-based programs. Responsible for implementing the Carl D. Perkins grant (to improve, implement, expand, modernize, and evaluate CTE programs), NOVA SySTEMic collaborates with faculty and staff across the college to help students develop employable technical and soft skills. Through competitions and challenges, we promote 21st century technical skill acquisition (through the NOVA Fab Lab), and utilize our new Career and Leadership Readiness Institute (CLRI).

An essential component of NOVA SySTEMic's work is growing and sustaining resources to support NOVA's mission and vision. We do STEM grants by applying for private and public funding that will allow NOVA to support student engagement in, and development of pathways leading to in-demand STEM careers. We utilize peer-reviewed literature to develop and propose educational strategies that will establish and improve in-demand STEM programs as defined by regional economic data. NOVA is seeking to broaden participation in STEM by students who are underrepresented in the STEM workforce. Current strategies include funding for summer bridge programs, career preparation and placement, increased professional development and awareness, as well as mentoring and block scheduling.

We have fostered partnerships with school divisions, higher education institutions, employers, industry groups and community-based organizations throughout the region to create a sustainable workforce pipeline. These community partnerships are essential to the development and acquisition of additional resources to support the development of the regional capacity to produce STEM talent in Northern Virginia.

Learn More

Josh Labrie

Aleks Marthinussen
Program Manager

Rochel Bussell
Business Administrative Coordinator

Bryce Lenon
PR & Marketing

Valerie Bierhuizen
Graphic Designer

Mitchell Bisson
STEM Support Specialist

Kathleen McNamee
STEM Grants Manager

M. Andy Chaves
CTE Coordinator

Natasha Schuh-Nuhfer
STEM Coordinator

Richard Sewell
Fab Lab Coordinator

Mary Ratcliff
Fab Lab Coordinator