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STEM Camps

Summer STEM Camps and Paid Summer Internships

At NOVA SySTEMic, we have the most exciting and educational summer STEM camps in Northern Virginia! Led by STEM teachers and college students enrolled in STEM programs, our STEM Camp program introduces Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math to thousands of grade-school students.

We are excited to bring back in-person camps this year alongside a limited selection of virtual camp options. Camps are focused on hands-on, project-based learning that provides students with excellent opportunities to begin exploring STEM fields and to chart a course for future STEM education and workforce opportunities.

Camps will run June through August, but registration is open starting February 2022 throughout the summer

NOVA is also recruiting high school and college students for paid summer STEM internships in support of our camps. See below for more info.

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Camp Registration

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Existing Accounts

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Camp Highlights

  • One-week camps are only $315, virtual cybersecurity half-day camps are only $98
  • Camps are offered at many of our NOVA campuses, as well as at some schools in Northern Virginia
  • Camps run from 9am to 4pm. Virtual half-day cybersecurity camps run from 9:30am to 11:00am OR 1:30pm to 3:00pm
  • We offer the following discounts:
    • Multi-child (15%) for each additional child in same registration
    • Multi-camp (10%) for each additional camp in same registration
    • NOVA/Micron/Verizon employees have a $25.00 discount

Summer STEM Camp Descriptions

Week to week camp schedules are available on the registration site.

STEM ES (rising 4th to 5th grade)

In this week-long camp students will learn about design-based thinking and apply that to activities planned for the week. They will use the VEX GO robotics system to apply design-based learning and learn about the micro:bit microcontroller. There are breaks each day for extensions and practice time.

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Sample Activities:

  • Learn about design thinking
  • Build and program VEX GO kit as a heat shield (like the one used by the James Webb telescope)
  • Make a thermometer using the micro:bit

Format: Primarily Individual with some group interactions

Sign up at camp.novastem.us/register

In this one-week camp participants will work with technology to engage in a variety of coding projects that include using the VEX IQ robotics platform. Each day students will participate in challenges. There are breaks each day for extensions and practice time.

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Sample Activities:

  • Build and program VEX IQ Robot
  • Challenges: Maze, Sumobot, and Catapult
  • Real World Application: MARS Rover

Format: Pairs

Sign up at camp.novastem.us/register

In this one-week camp participants will explore various ways to design and make objects. This introduction to fabrication involves using design software, solving design problems, and learning about fabrication tools such as 3D printers, laser cutters, and CNC routers.  These concepts will be applied in a hands-on format in the form of design challenges throughout the week.

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Sample Activities:     

  • Design a product that converts a common household item into a toy or game
  • Design or revise a product that makes your school life easier

Format: Individual

Sign up at camp.novastem.us/register

In this week-long camp students will learn how to code, create circuits and projects using an Arduino and Raspberry Pi. Participants will make simple circuits using Arduino or Raspberry Pi boards to create a Smart Home. In addition, students will be able to use their logical thinking skills to solve problem-based activities.

Sample Activities:

  • Build and code an alarm with LEDs and sound
  • Build a small computer with a Raspberry Pi

Format: Individual

Sign up at camp.novastem.us/register

This one-week camp introduces students to the VEX Robotics Design System where students will build and program a VEX V5 robot to solve a challenge on a 12’ x 12’ field. The challenge includes solving a maze autonomously and integrates part of the game from the yearly VEX Robotics Competition. We pair older students together.

Sample Activities:

  • Build and Code a VEX V5 robot
  • Solve a Maze: Integrate sensor feedback into your code
  • Team competition at end of camp

Format: Pairs, competing against other camp teams.

Sign up at camp.novastem.us/register

In this one-week camp students will work with electronics to create projects using software engineering and the Arduino microcontroller. Participants will learn how to integrate and control electronics such as LED’s, motors and sensors to complete projects and challenges. A variety of coding structure will be taught to control and refine the function of each project. No previous experience required.

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Sample Activities:

  • Build and program a custom display with a custom message
  • Wire and control LED’s to turn on and off in a pattern.
  • Wire and control a motor/servo with a sensor

Format: Students work in groups of 2-4 students, complete challenges and compete against other teams.

Sign up at camp.novastem.us/register

This one-week camp introduces students to rocketry. Where students will build rockets to complete challenges and simulate flight. These activities teach the basics of rocketry, the science behind how they work, and rocketry safety. The students will have a field trip on the last day of camp to a launch site to safely launch their custom designed rockets.

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Sample Activities:

  • Build a 2-foot rocket to complete a flight altitude challenge
  • Use Rocket Simulation software to model flight
  • Field trip to launch site

Format: Individual Challenges.

Sign up at camp.novastem.us/register

High school students interested in exploring the Cybersecurity domains and furthering their knowledge of human security, computer hacking, digital safeguarding of applications, and secure communication will find much to learn through this track. Five camps will be offered, providing students the opportunity to select the topic(s) that meet their interests. Each camp will feature activities and labs to engage students, including labs offered by the Virginia Cyber Range.

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PC or laptop computer required (no tablets or iPads).
Webcam is helpful but not required. Students will need to sign up for a Virginia Cyber Range account prior to camp. A Google, Microsoft, or Facebook account will be needed to authenticate the student account. Information on the sign-up process will be sent closer to the start of camp.

Format: Virtual participation half-day morning or afternoon sessions are available. Full day in-person only available for the Capture the Flag camp.

Requirements: PC or laptop computer (no tablets or iPads) for virtual camps. Webcam helpful but not required.

*Please check here https://www.openstego.com and https://www.virginiacyberrange.org to verify your device is compatible with the software that will be used during camps.

**Students will be required to sign up for a free Virginia Cyber Range account prior to camp. A Google, Microsoft, or Facebook account will be needed to authenticate the student account. Information on the sign-up process will be sent the week before each camp begins.

CAMPS OFFERED:

Introduction to Cybersecurity

This camp will introduce students to the foundations of cybersecurity, including but not limited to personal and home security, network security, cyber law, and encryption. Students will be introduced to virtual machines and the Linux command line. Online activities and labs will engage students throughout the week. Students with prior cyber and Linux experience will be better served through our Deeper Dive camps.

**NOTE** This camp WILL NOT provide the requisite knowledge and practice time with Linux that students need for the more advanced camp offerings. It is designed to pique student interest in cyber-related high school courses and extracurricular activities. Students with prior cyber camp or classroom experience will be better served through our other cyber camp

A Deeper Dive: Hacking & Forensics
This camp will explore penetration testing and digital forensics to conduct examinations of computer systems. A variety of online labs and resources will provide students hands-on experience exploring these important cyber controls to ensure secure environments. Previous experience with cyber concepts and the Linux command line is required.

A Deeper Dive: Encryption & Cryptography
This camp will explore the world of cyber defense and cryptography using puzzles and labs to learn about cipher techniques and what makes for strong encryption. Previous experience with cyber concepts and the Linux command line is required.

A Deeper Dive: Network Security
This camp will explore the fundamentals of networks and network security. Online labs and activities will provide students hands-on experience in examining network traffic and using network security tools. Previous experience with cyber concepts and the Linux command line is required.

Dare to be Challenged: Capture the Flag
This camp will explore the world of Capture the Flag. Students will be challenged during the week with CTF competitions and assessments. Laptops will be provided for this camp. Experience using the Linux command line is required of all students. Familiarity with CTF is recommended though not required.

Sign up at camp.novastem.us/register

Summer NOVA Makers Program

Rising 9th - 12th graders can participate in NOVA Makers which takes place in the NOVA Fab Lab on the Manassas Campus. This program allows participants to utilize the machines in the Makerspace portion of the Fab Lab to create and work on personal projects. NOVA Makers procides a more self-guided learning experience throughout the summer along with instructor led safety and machine specific trainings.

For more information click here


Paid Summer STEM Internships

Already a STEM master? Bring your skills back to the community as a NOVA SySTEMic Intern. NOVA is recruiting high school and college students interested in STEM education for paid summer STEM internships in support of our summer STEM camps. During these two-week programs, interns will support camp instruction, contribute to curriculum development, and learn to teach technical skills in a low stress, fun environment. For more details and to apply, go to intern.novastem.us/apply.


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