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STEM Teacher Professional Development


NOVA SySTEMic is committed to providing ongoing STEM professional development opportunities for educators in the Northern Virginia region to support the growing demands of the workforce. We help educators increase their skills as technologies develop, providing formal and informal support in many STEM related topics.

Financial Support for STEM Teacher PD kindly provided by:

Micron logo

2021-2022 Program Offerings

FREE professional development opportunities are provided in the areas of Fabrication, Programming, and Information Technology. Professional development focuses on skills training, application, and discussion time. All participants receive a certicate of attendance for the number of sessions attended in each series. We have both in-person and virtual sessions available.


Dates: Wednesday - Feb 2, Feb 16, and March 2 | 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Location: NOVA Annandale Campus

This three-session course will introduce educators to the Arduino microcontroller. Starting from zero, participants will learn how to teach a 10-hour unit on the Arduino, which includes basic programming, building circuits, and general concepts on developing a nished product. Each session features a lecture followed by hands-on building of the various projects students will be doing in the classroom. Attendees will learn how to differentiate, troubleshoot, scope for time and budget, and utilize the exact phrases and diagrams that are proven for student mastery of the ideas. All participants will receive their very own SparkFun Inventor's Kit to keep for their classrooms and a certicate for up to 22 hours of professional development.

In return, each educator will be asked to create a short lesson or presentation that can be shared with others.

Courses are open to any NoVA region, middle and high school level STEM educators. Lunch provided!

Dates: Monday - Jan 10, Feb 7, Mar 14, & Mar 28 | 4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Location: Virtual via Zoom

This 4-part series focuses on emerging topics in cybersecurity and technology. NOVA faculty will present topics of interest, eld questions, and provide additional resources for educators to help understand important cybersecurity and technology concepts relevant to their classrooms. Additional resources for follow-up learning will be provided. Sessions open to any NoVA region STEM educators.

January 10 – Smart Factories

This session, the first in the four-part Cyber & Tech Innovations series, will look at the Smart Factory, an intersection of Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT). Dr. Babur Kohy, a NOVA cybersecurity professor, will discuss what it takes to run a smart factory and the secure deployment of IT and OT. Supply chain security will be discussed relating to factory operations.

February 7 – Machine Learning and Daily Life Impacts

From personal assistants and search engines like Google and Siri, to selfie-filters and self-driving cars, machine learning is everywhere. In this session, IET professor Ryan Ammons will take educators on a brief journey into the nuts and bolts of how machines ‘learn’ and how these systems make possible many of the conveniences in our modern world. Attendees will explore a Google web-based tool for machine learning modelling and ways to use the tool in classrooms.

March 14 – Session 3

This session will explore an emerging and hot topic (TBA) in the tech world. NOVA IET professor Zach Lawrence will discuss the eld, challenges, and classroom applications.

March 28 – Session 4

IET professor Zach Lawrence will continue the discussion on the third session topic (TBA) and current challenges. The session will close out with resources for further review and application to the classroom.

Dates: Wednesday - Dec 1, Dec 8, Jan 19, Feb 9, & Feb 23 | 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Location: Virtual via Zoom

This five-session course will introduce educators to version two of the BBC micro:bit and how to incorporate it into different STEM subjects.

Intro Series

The 2-part intro series will focus on getting to know the micro:bit using block and text-based coding. All intro session attendees will receive their very own V2 micro:bit to use in their classrooms. Intro series capped at 20 attendees.

December 1 – Intro to Micro:bit Part One
December 8 – Intro to Micro:bit Part Two

Application Series

3-part follow-up sessions will be offered for different subject areas. Attendance at the intro series or previous experience using the micro:bit is required for this series.

January 19 – Micro:bit Science Applications
This session will focus on the temperature, light, sound and moisture sensors available on and for the micro:bit. Using the Microsoft MakeCode simulator, educators will use block coding and conditional statements to create beginner level, science-focused projects for in-classroom use. Educators do not need to have a micro:bit in hand for the session. For those who do have their own micro:bit and are interested in following along, we will be using the Elecfreaks Smart Home Kit moisture sensor and additional accessories.
February 9 – Micro:bit Math and Health Applications
February 23 – Micro:bit Art and Music Applications

Course is open to any NoVA region STEM educators.

Dates: Monday - Dec 13, Jan 31, Feb 28, & Mar 21 | 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Location: Virtual via Zoom

This series focuses on “demystifying” fabrication equipment and essential software. Educators can choose which sessions to attend based on their needs. Each session consists of a short presentation, Q&A with expert technician, and lesson plan discussion. Registration includes access to an online lesson plan, an introductory video, and presentation documents. Sessions are open to any NoVA region STEM educators.

December 13th - Demystifying 3D Printing

It whirs and bings, and if you’re patient, it prints you a cool miniature Han Solo, but once the novelty is over, how do you make better prints? Understanding your 3D-printer, and how the print settings effect everything from strength, surface quality, print time, and supports is crucial for success. In this session, we walk you through how the printer works, common troubleshooting solutions, print settings, and post-processing techniques. Session is targeted to educators with beginner to middle-level knowledge of 3D printing. Topics discussed are broad and translatable to variety of manufacturers.

January 31st - Demystifying Laser Cutting

Yes, that acrylic keychain is cool, but the laser cutter is capable of being much more than a tchotchke maker. Considered in prototyping shops as indispensable due to its ease of use, range of materials, and unparalleled processing speeds the laser cutter can make fast work of production, encouraging prototype iterations in a small window of time. This class will provide gateway projects to share with students that encourage part making for complicated assemblies for fabrication on a laser cutter. Topics discussed are broad and translatable to a variety of manufacturers.

February 28th - Demystifying VCarve Pro

Your CNC router is up and running but you are still lost on how to toolpath for it. How is a pocket different to a prole pass, and when would I use Conventional vs. Climb cutting? How do I build a proper tool database, and how does nesting work? From creating ramps to adding tabs, this session will explain the tools and when best to use them. While the Fab Lab uses Version 11, educators running any version are welcome to attend.

March 21st - Demystifying CNC Routing

Is your CNC a large paper weight? It’s easy to become overwhelmed when confronted with feeds and speeds, chip load calculations, up-cuts and down-cuts, compression bits, spoil boards, and XYZ coordinates. This class will shed light on the typically opaque processes that can make CNC routing so intimidating. Topics discussed are broad and translatable to variety of CNC router manufacturers.

Design Thinking Fellowship - MBD Grant

The National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored program is open to middle and high school teachers, informal STEM learning professionals, and college faculty. Complex problems require innovative and creative solutions. Design thinking is the key to challenging assumptions and approaching problem solving in a collaborative, interdisciplinary and non-linear way.


MBD Grant

Training Request

NOVA SySTEMic provides on-site professional development on an as-needed basis throughout the school year and summer. Please complete the form below to request professional development. Training can be a few hours or all day depending on division needs. SySTEMic will provide the laptops and materials for participants.

Request Training for Your School Division


Contact Natasha Schuh-Nuhfer at nschuhnuhfer@nvcc.edu or 703.530.3053.