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STEM Teacher Professional Development


NOVA SySTEMic is committed to providing professional development (PD) opportunities for STEM educators in Northern Virginia in the areas of Cybersecurity, Makerspace and Woodshop Design, Programming, Robotics, and Technology Integration. Professional development focuses on introductions to concepts, skills training, lesson planning, and application. Teachers can attend professional development training at NOVA or through their school division on an as-needed basis throughout the year. Year-long and shorter single and multi-day professional development opportunities are available.

During the 2019 – 2020 school year, NOVA SySTEMic provided 24 hours of professional development to more than 45 teachers from the region. Professional development was provided free-of-cost to all attending teachers, who took a 4-day course in either Cybersecurity, Programming, or Robotics. The instruction was provided by Northern Virginia Community College staff and outside consultants who serve as leaders in their areas of expertise. SySTEMic will once again provide professional development opportunities for the region’s STEM educators based on the success of our first year of programming. Programs will launch in September and continue on a quarterly basis throughout the school year for up to 30 hours of professional development activity for participants. See below for 2020-2021 school year professional development training sessions, schedules, and additional details.

You can register at http://teacherpd.novastem.us/InterestForm

2020 – 2021 STEM Teacher PD Offerings


This five-session course is geared towards elementary and middle school teachers. Teachers will explore and discuss applications and activities that are effective for student learning in a Makerspace setting. A variety of best practices will be covered including safety, organization, implementing project-based learning and the engineering design process, and incorporating subject matter content. Teachers will receive an overview of common Makerspace equipment and will participate in hands-on projects using 3D printers, laser engravers, and e-textiles. Teachers will learn how to use free design software, including TinkerCAD and Inkscape, and how to use those with students. 

Technology Integration

This five-session course is geared toward training elementary and middle school teachers in using the micro:bit microcontroller to incorporate technology and computer science into different classroom subjects, specifically science, mathematics, and the arts. Teachers will begin with an exploration of micro:bit capabilities using block and text-based coding and the internal features found within each micro:bit. Subsequent sessions will focus on a particular subject area and provide teachers with projects that utilize the micro:bit to provide instruction on coding and incorporating the micro:bit into their classrooms. Each teacher will receive their own micro:bit to take home.


This two-track, five-session course is geared towards training middle and high school teachers in how to utilize a VEX IQ or V5 Robotic system to teach the engineering design process. Instruction will focus on the management of equipment and basic best practices; use of driver and autonomous controls, CAD design build modifications, advanced sensor capabilities and programming, and electronics applications. Game challenges, strategies, and the importance of an engineering design notebook will also be discussed. Each session will provide teachers a lesson plan and guide for incorporating an engineering design challenge to engage their students in the engineering design process and forming engineering habits of mind. The Dobot Magician robotic arm will be demonstrated to connect classroom robotics education to real-world factory robot applications. 

Woodshop CNC

This five-session course is geared towards middle and high school educators who have little to no experience using a CNC wood router.  Participants will learn how to use a CNC wood router with an emphasis on building their design software skills and how to utilize a router in student projects. Teachers will work through two hands-on projects from initial design to the final product. In addition, best practices such as woodshop safety, organization, production, and tips-and-tricks will be covered. 


This five-session course is geared towards training high school teachers in the cybersecurity domains. The course will focus on five core topics: Human Weaknesses, Cyber Threat and Vulnerability Management, Operating System Security, and Understanding Networks. Special topics will be explored to highlight cutting-edge cyber concepts. Teachers will leave the course armed with a collection of resources to support them in their continued understanding of cybersecurity and ways in which to engage students in their classrooms. 

Based on interest, other multi-day professional development opportunities will be offered. Details and dates TBA.

  • Exploring Cloud Computing
  • CAD and Makerspaces for the High School Educator
  • Game-based Introduction to Python
  • Code with Python and Java
  • Arduino and Raspberry Pi Programming
Sessions Schedules and Cost

We originally planned to provide STEM Teacher PD this fall through in-person sessions. However, we are excited to announce that we will now be transitioning to virtual sessions instead and offering them for FREE. Virtual STEM Teacher PD sessions will provide opportunities for teachers to learn a new STEM topic each month from October to March in the areas of fabrication, technology, and coding. Please complete the survey below to let us know your interest in attending.

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

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Natasha Schuh-Nuhfer