Student Day- March 1

@ the Institute for Advanced Learning & Research in Danville, VA

   8:15-9:00am:  Check-in & Visit with Exhibitors (Atrium)

   8:50-9:00am:  Welcome 

   9:10-10:40am:  Exploratory Session 1

   10:50am-12:20pm:  Exploratory Session 2

   12:30-1:30pm: Keynote Luncheon- Rory Aronson

   1:30-2:00pm:  Networking Challenge with Exhibitors and Session Leaders

   2:00-2:15pm:  Closing Remarks (Door Prizes)


*Tentative schedule of events; the exact timing of the program elements may change slightly as Exploratory Sessions & other program elements are confirmed.


Read more to see the SIXTEEN Student Exploratory Sessions offered at this year's Summit!

Student Exploratory Sesssions

These 90 minutes sessions will be offered twice on March 1; once at 9:10am and again at 10:50am. Students attending the Summit with their schools pre-register for the sessions of their preference.

3D Printing & Computer Drafting

Students will learn how drafter's use the computer and how parts are made on a 3D printer.

Jacob Hayes & Andy Nordon

Pittsylvania County Public Schools

Child's Play- Chemistry, Biology, Red Rover, & Tag

Most first year college students do not know how to study.  They think that learning science must focus on memorization and homework problems.  However, some of the best ways of studying complex subjects stem from the art of play.  We learn best when we play with the material we are trying to learn.  This session focuses on using childhood games to learn complex materials and provides some strategies for making "hard science" much more accessible.

Christopher Pantazis

Danville Community College


Students will participate in hands-on activities involving fingerprint collection and analysis, DNA extraction and analysis, and pen chromatography.  An overview of a mock crime will be presented and students will attempt to solve the crime based on the evidence that was found at the crime scene and information about the suspects.

Jill Collins, Tommie Evans, & Jacob Taylor

STEM Academy, Pittsylvania County Public Schools

Feeding the Future- Precision Agriculture

From robotics to drones to data analysis, precision agriculture aims to simultaneously increase food production while decreasing the use of pesticides and fertilizers. During this workshop, students will explore various aspects of IALR’s Precision Ag research program, including the robotic SMART tables, the AgBot drone, and the newest addition, the Farmbot. Come see how technology is changing the way we feed the world.

Dr. Scott Lowman & Rory Aronson (Student Keynote)

the Institute for Advanced Learning & Research & Farmbot

Fly Tying into Biology

Students will be introduced to the concept of fly tying. Fly tying is an art that seeks to produce lures that simulate prey and stimulate the predatory instinct of fish. An understanding of the role of aquatic predator/prey relationships will give students an introduction to the discipline of wildlife biology.

Anthony Pasciuta, Jr.

Halifax County High School STEM Academy

Fuel Cell Challenge

Student teams design a toy car that uses a PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) fuel cell to power the electric motor.  Elements of electrical currents, Green Design, and transformations of energy are explored as the teams develop their product.

Helen Howell, Luis Ramero, Dustin Staples, Rayshaun Gravely, & Jullian Vaughn

National Society of Black Engineers

Grafting Fruit Trees, And Other Cool Science Stuff You Had No Idea is Part of Farming

This session is 1 part survey and 2 parts hands-on activity. The first part presents farming as a gateway to all the STEM-H disciplines by surveying innovative farm practices in the US, Australia, and Africa today. The second part teaches a valuable skill from the toolbox of every American child of 150 years ago but now a lost art—grafting. Participants will hand-graft an apple variety onto a compatible rootstock to take home for planting.

Ben Capozzi

Elmwood Farm

Hands on Floriculture & Tissue Culture

Students will perform a cut flower bulb planting in the IALR greenhouse while learning about plant physiology, cultivation, and greenhouse cut flowers. Students will also perform an in vitro tissue culture & regeneration on a begonia leaf.

Dr. Kedong Da & Samantha Smith-Herndon

the Institute for Advanced Learning & Research

Make the Connections- Internet Service Provider to Your Home Devices!

In this hands-on lesson, students will make the physical and wireless connections that represent connectivity between an internet service provider (ISP) and personal computing devices found in homes.  Students will also learn some cyber security best practices as they secure the “home” wireless router.   Students will work with real equipment, tools, and testers to wire up and test connections between the network hardware and personal computing devices.

Aaron Chandler, Kelly Shotwell, & Nelson Stevens

Southern Virginia Higher Education Center

Polymers and Plastics, what exactly are they?!

 Students will have a hands on experience with polymers and plastics.  They will learn about the properties of various polymers, how they are processed, and where they can find them in everyday life.

Jeremy Beach & Amy Turner

the Institute for Advanced Learning & Research

Portable Solar Power Generator

The project will include a solar panel, sealed gel cell battery, battery charge controller, and inverter to convert the 12v DC from the battery to AC for light use up to 4 amperes. The project will help students understand how photo-voltaic cells (solar panels) charge a battery, and how current is changed from DC to AC, and the use of charge controllers to prevent overcharging a battery. Students also use math concepts to understand how long a charged battery will last.

 Ricky Gordon, David Kenealy, & Alicia White

Southern Virginia Higher Education Center

Programming Your World

Technology is everywhere in our day to day life and at the heart of it all lies computer programming and electronics. In this session we'll use Arduino microcontrollers to explore how computer programming can be used to manipulate things around us, from lights and switches to sensors and motors.

Libby Sharp

Academy for Engineering & Technology

Re-purpose Tobacco- From Pharma to Biochemicals

This session will be focused on explaining the new applications of using tobacco outside of smoking. Will cover applications in pharmaceutical, chemical, and pulp and paper industry.

Iulian Bobe

Tyton BioSciences

Rovers on Mars

Students will build a rover out of legos. Use engineering skills to design and build a model rover that has a minimum and maximum mass range, fits in a NASA volume box, and is self propelled through rubber bands, balloons or ramps.  You pick the level of difficulty you want to engineer your way to success with.

Stephen Biedrycki & Danel Slaydon

Patrick County High School

Scratch Your Finch

This session will include a beginners session with Scratch programming with the use of Finch robots, ozobots, and the THS robotics team will also be presenting their robot.

Susan Franklin-Smith, Edward Sherlock, & Brenna Takata

Pittsylvania County Public Schools

Test Taking Tips for Students

Looking for ways to save time and avoid mistakes on exams? Check out our new videos and full ‘Tips and Tricks’ guide for the TI-84 Plus Family Graphing Calculators

Ellen Hook

Texas Instruments



Are you a K-12 STEM-H educator? Are you an employer with a need for a STEM-skilled workforce? Please consider joining us for the 5th Annual SOVA STEM-H Summit, March 2, 2017. We'll be recognizing exemplary partnerships and efforts being made in STEM-H education in our region and providing educators and community & industry members an opportunity to discuss possible collaborations. 

(Community and/or industry attendee registration helps subsidize the cost for teacher attendees!)



The Southern Virginia STEM-H Education & Industry Achievement Awards will be presented on March 2. We will recognize all award nominees and announce the award recipients in four categories:

  • Community Champion for STEM-H Education
  • STEM-H Educator of the Year
  • Innovative STEM-H Program of the Year
  • Elite STEM-H Education & Industry Partnership Award

Please consider submitting a nomination.

Sponsors & Exhibitors

This event would be impossible without the generosity & support of our sponsors. Sponsorship donations allow us to offer this wonderful program to our regional students completely free of charge. Please consider showing your support of STEM-H education by becoming a sponsor of the 2017 Summit.

If your organization supports students or educators in STEM-H we hope you'll consider participating in this year's event as an Exhibitor. Exhibitors are welcome to exhibit for one or both days of the Summit and are highly encouraged to present.