Student Schedule- March 14

   8:30-9:10am:  Check-in & Visit with Exhibitors (Atrium)

   9:10-9:20am:  Welcome  (Atrium)

   9:30-11:00am:  Exploratory Session 1

   11:00-11:30am:  Networking Challenge with Exhibitors (Atrium)

   11:30am-12:30pm: Keynote Luncheon(Great Hall)

   12:45-2:15pm:  Exploratory Session 2

   *Students complete & turn in surveys/door prize entries*

    2:30pm:  Closing Remarks (Door Prizes) (Atrium)

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

Student Exploratory Sesssions


Participants will perform a DNA electrophoresis lab. We’ll also investigate and discuss advances in molecular biology and genetics and discuss their social and ethical implications.

Jessie Vernon

the Institute for Advanced Learning & Research


Participants will be given a chance to learn some basic coding skills and have hands-on experience coding!

Amanda Bowen & TEALS Students

Bluestone High School TEALS Program

Concept  to Creation

In this workshop students will have the opportunity to be actively engaged in the entire manufacturing process. The workshop will begin with the initial design and modeling of a precision component. Students will be guided, as a team, through interrogating the model for potential manufacturing difficulties. Upon completion of the model interrogation, the students will be exposed to the computer aided manufacturing software necessary to generate the CNC code to produce the component. Students will then have hands on time with state of the art CNC machine tools and metrology equipment while manufacturing the component. During this time, students will be exposed to the importance of in-process inspections, component documentation and precision manufacturing.

Timothy Robertson, Jeremiah Williams, & Dylan Hardy

Danville Community College

Electromechanical Drawing Machine

Participants will build and model an electromechanical drawing machine which creates line art of repetitive geometric patterns (similar to a Spirograph).  This session is taught by faculty from Sweet Briar College.  As one of two U.S. women’s colleges with an ABET-accredited engineering program, Sweet Briar prepares women to change the world through challenging coursework and project-based learning.

Bethany Brinkman & Michelle Gervasio

Sweet Briar College

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

Fuel Cell Car

A fuel cell vehicle is a vehicle which uses a fuel cell, instead of a battery or a fuel cell and a battery to power the vehicle.  Using a Proton-Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell as the primary power source, participants will design, build, and test prototype vehicles.

Helen Howell, Symphanie Collins, Savannah Brown, & Andre Hairston

Martinsville/Henry County, National Society of Black Engineers

Global Center for Automotive Performance Simulation

Exact session content TBD.


Global Center for Automotive Performance Simulation


Grow Your "Math" Mind

Participants will learn about growth mindset and how to increase their confidence and success in mathematics.  They will participate in hands-on activities that make connections between math and the workplace as well as use an online tool that will allow them to explore various careers.

Sandy Wilborn & Angie Abdi

Virginia Advanced Study Strategies & Halifax County High School

Liquid Density Creations

Density is all around us! In the atmosphere, below our earth and even within the human body. Create your own density model using common household supplies. Creations will include lava lamps, layers of the atmosphere, layers of the earth, or see if you can create your own rainbow density layers.

 Lillie Small

D.E.E.P Project Director

S.T.E.A.M Mentor

Polymerization Extravaganza

In a chain reaction, a gigantic polymer molecule is made when many small monomer molecules all bond together, one after another to form a long chain of repeating units. We will use model sets to see what polymers look like at the molecular level and make several polymers in real life, including superabsorbent, “invisible” slime, and “gummy worm” polymers. We will see condensation polymerizations and copolymers, and see the importance of cross linkages between polymer strands, especially in rubber. Along the way we will also be introduced to fluorescence and refraction.

Mark Huntress

Patrick Henry Community College

Scratch with Finches

An introduction to basic computer programming using Scratch. Participants will also experience an extension of Scratch using the finch robot.

Brenna Takata & Susan Franklin-Smith

Pittsylvania County Public Schools

Technology in Agriculture

Delving into the uses for technology in crop health analysis and how the technology works.

Daniel Caccavelli

the Institute for Advanced Learning & Research

Students participating in this year's Summit can use the linked FORM to make their Exploratory Session selections.















































Lead an Exploratory Session

Are you a teacher, informal educator, or a STEM-H professional passionate about sharing your field with young people?

Consider leading an exploratory session!

These ninety minute sessions are offered twice and present a hands-on challenge, problem, or activity that provides an overview of a STEM-H field. Attending high school students select two sessions to attend during the event.


The 2018 SOVA STEM-H Education & Industry Achievement awards recognized nominees 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

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 2019 Summit.

If your organization supports students in STEM-H we hope you'll consider participating in this year's event as an Exhibitor. Exhibitors are welcome and highly encouraged to present.