Ready to be Inspired?
Student Registration will open for FSA 2019 in May! Check out our amazing workshops from 2018
Student Registration for Full STEAM Ahead is available to rising 6th-rising 9th-grade girls in the Greater Richmond Metro Area. Check out our Workshop Tracks, then go to our registration portal and select your favorite. Each student may only register for one track. Each track has limited space and will be scheduled on a first come, first serve basis. Scheduling may be subject to change. Early Bird pricing for student registration is $15 and will be available until May 20th. After May 20th, Student Registration is $20. Need-based scholarships are available, for more information please contact email@example.com.
Water is our life source! We use it every day for drinking, industry and recreation. We can no long rely on natural streams and wells for the majority of our clean drinking water supply and the process of water purification is now an standard practice. In this workshop, we will discuss the water cycle and how it is all connected (rainwater, stormwater, drinking water and wastewater). We will also build a drinking water column and experience with “cleaning” our water.
Laurissa Cubbage is an Environmental Engineer with 15 years of practical design and construction experience in her field. She focuses on water and wastewater infrastructure design to meet the needs of regional and Virginia based clients. She leads the HDR Water Business Group located in Glen Allen.
Can you light a bulb using just a computer simulation? This workshop “sheds light” on the basics of building an electric circuit using a web-based computer simulation program. The first challenge is to design a working light bulb circuit and to avoid setting the circuit on fire! The second challenge is to explore building electric circuits with a variety of materials. Engineers and the design process are key to making electrical devices that are used everyday in the world around us.
The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) is a not-for-profit educational and service organization that helps establish engineering as a highly desirable career aspiration for women. SWE’s Outreach mission is to create opportunities for young people to experiment with engineering activities and to spark discussion about engineering career fields. SWE RVA has members from a variety of engineering disciplines working in organizations throughout Central Virginia.
Let’s get crispy! We will be learning about CRISPR/ Cas9 gene editing technology and how it is being used in scientific research to model and study human diseases. In particular, we will be looking at how CRISPR is used in zebrafish research. Live zebrafish and embryos will be provided. We will discuss why we use model organisms like zebrafish and similarities and differences between humans and zebrafish. We will also discuss the ethics of gene editing technology.
My name is Ashley Purdy and I am a Ph.D. student in the Integrative Life Sciences program at VCU. In my research, I use zebrafish to model and study a kind of muscular dystrophy. In my spare time I enjoy hiking with my two dogs and urban gardening!
This workshop will challenge girls’ thinking about themselves, their peers, etc., and build their confidence when it comes to pursuing STEAM fields.
I am currently the Chief Learning Officer for Trilogy Mentors, an online academic mentoring company. I have helped transition this start-up from a start-up to a viable company. In the past I have held positions as a UX designer for iVillage.com; marketing operations – operating media for ABC News & Toys R US in Times Square, NYC; spec. & gen. ed. STEM instructor with NYC Dept. of Ed.; grad’ instructor – Instructional technologies, UVA; and Outreach Coordinator at SMV.
Innovation and engineering can be limited by our imaginations, but when we look to nature we may find answers all around us! As we journey through the world of biomimicry, we’ll explore inventions inspired by wildlife and utilize the scientific method and our own observations to take on a series of wild challenges.
April Harper is actively an Environmental Educator at Maymont Foundation and has spent many years as a field researcher for various threatened and endangered species. Her favorite subjects in the sciences have always been wildlife populations and advancing ways that monitoring wildlife movement can be achieved. April is an avid birdwatcher and participant of all things citizen science!
This workshop will be led by two speech-language pathologists: the workshop bridges the gap between speech therapy and technology. Giving students a hands-on workshop experience with various learning and medical treatment technologies. They will get a deeper look at the anatomy and physiology of the throat with an interactive strobe camera. Various other technologies will be available that are used for communication and rehabilitation.
Brittany Reed is a graduate of UVA and works for the VA Hospital with veterans who have survived brain injuries. Her clinical interests are brain injury rehab, swallowing disorders and assistive tech. Megan Vaughan is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach and works for the VA Hospital with 18 to 33 yr old active soldiers who have had a brain injury. Her clinical interests are brain injury, voice, and assistive tech.
This workshop is meant to describe how cells in our bodies divide, show the cell cycle, and relate all these events to cancer development. Different kinds of cancer-causing agents and tumor suppressors will be addressed. The complexity of the disease and therapeutic interventions will also be addressed.
Oluwatoyin Akande is a postdoctoral fellow at Virginia Commonwealth University, Massey Cancer Cancer.
User Experience (UX) design is a growing field in the technology industry. It’s all about creating things that people want to use. For UX designers, that means designing website and app experiences. In this workshop, we’ll learn what UX is and work in teams to solve a problem. We’ll brainstorm, draw, and test our ideas, all while learning how to make technology easier for people to use.
Ladies that UX (LTUX) is a global organization for women in technology. Our mission is to give women and girls the opportunity to collaborate, push boundaries, and promote skill development. Ladies that UX Richmond is led by Jenny Schmit and Lena Rankin, both UX professionals in Richmond, VA. Learn More: http://ladiesthatux.com/richmond/
Ever wonder how scientists get DNA from cells? Or how genetic differences between people are discovered? Come join us to learn about the basics of DNA and how it’s isolated from cells. We will also isolate DNA from friendly grocery store vegetables! Finally, we will talk about pathways to becoming a scientist.
Amy has a BS in Biology from Virginia Tech and a Ph.D. in Human Genetics from VCU. Sally has BA in both Psychology and Economics from Mount Holyoke College and a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Minnesota. We work with Spit for Science (spit4science.vcu.edu) and VCU’s College Behavioral and Emotional Health Institute (COBE; cobe.vcu.edu) to study what factors influence substance use in college students and to translate that information to the community.
Create your first Alexa skill! This workshop allows participants to get a first look into Cloud Computing by creating an Alexa skill. Attendees will also learn about Women Who Code, whose mission is to inspire women to excel in technology careers.
Cherie is an employee at CapTech, volunteers for Tech Em Studios, an after-school and homeschool technology enrichment program, and the AlexaRVA, a community of Amazon Alexa enthusiasts. Cherie’s Alexa Workshop will be facilitated by volunteers from Tech Em Studios and AlexaRVA. Tech Em Studios is an after-school and homeschool technology program started in 2013 that offers classes, camps and training focused on applied computer science and computer-aided design. With courses in coding, 3D printing, software design and device building, Tech Em teaches students at all levels the critical STEM-related skills, with an emphasis on the art in technology (STEAM).
In this workshop, we’ll define content-first design and explore a day in the life of a content strategist. Then, we’ll put on our content strategy hats and design an experience using a low-fidelity, words-only approach! We’ll work together to create content prototypes, critique them, and see how those concepts act as the building blocks for real-life websites and apps.
After earning a BA in English and a minor in Fashion Merchandising, Shannon dove headfirst into the world of tech and design. She’s now a content strategist and UX designer at Capital One, where she helps create digital experiences for Capital One’s credit card customers. Shannon is also the founder of RVA Content Strategy, a networking group that hosts workshops all about content strategy.
You may have heard of nonprofit or government organizations that provide services to people in need, for example, those who don’t have food to eat, a place to sleep, or a job to take care of themselves and their families. Believe it or not, math and science are a big part of managing these organizations and ensuring that people in need receive services that really make a difference. Attend this workshop to learn how research plays a big part in helping your community!
Trina Willard, Principal Consultant of Knowledge Advisory Group, loves working with data. She provides organizations with measurement, research and evaluation services that inform business planning and organizational effectiveness. Trina received her Masters of Science in Applied-Experimental Psychology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University in Blacksburg, VA. After working for the Commonwealth of Virginia for 10 years, Trina launched her career as a consultant in 2003.
Knot theory is the study twisted loops in 3-dimensional space that have no loose ends. Beyond being of interest to theoretical mathematicians, scientists employ knot theory to study the knotting of DNA and proteins in the body. In my workshop, we will construct knots using pipe cleaners to learn basic knot properties through hands-on experience. To finish off the session, the students will play an unknotting game in groups to tie together all that they have learned about knots.
I’m Rachel Morris, and I am a sophomore majoring in math and French at the University of Richmond. My interest in knot theory began spring of this year when I took an Introduction to Knot Theory course taught by Dr. Heather M. Russell. Building on what we studied in class, I am continuing to study knots this summer by doing research. Now, I’m excited to present the basics of what I have learned about knot theory over the past 6 months to young girls interested in STEAM!
Some superheroes have extraordinary abilities because of mutations in their DNA but not all mutations are good. They range from serious health problems to variations in personal appearance. You will get a chance to build your own model of DNA with the probability of getting a mutation. Join us for the opportunity to explore the chemical makeup of your DNA!
Anita recently received a Ph.D. in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology and has a B.S. and M.S. in Physics from Virginia Commonwealth University. She originally joined VCU for the arts and changed her major to physics when she arrived. She is currently involved in the multidisciplinary field of cancer research where she focuses on the detection of mutations in DNA.
Ever wonder how the cool applications like Instagram are made? In this workshop, you will learn how Modern Web Technology allows developers to build and share an application over the internet, and we’ll teach you how to build your own camera web application that can take pictures and use filters. You’ll walk out of this session with your own Instagram-like application on the web, and the tools to start creating! #createwithCarMax
Shradha Kaldate is a lead software developer at CarMax, the nation’s largest retailer of used cars and one of the FORTUNE “100 Best Companies to Work For” for fourteen consecutive years. Shradha is responsible for developing information systems by determining operational feasibility, evaluating analysis, and working towards solution development for enhanced customer experience.
Shradha has over 11 years of experience in helping organizations improve operations by designing informational systems. Prior to joining CarMax in 2015, Shradha held multiple senior roles in companies such as Allscripts, CapTech Ventures, and Progressive Insurance.
Shradha holds a master in computer science from the University of Georgia.
Participants will explore paper colors and textures and learn a bit more about creating visual journaling to explore their interests and goals.
I will talk about color theory, logo design, graphic design and illustration – and how I use that all the time in my job and in working toward my personal goals in life.
Jolinda Smithson is the Business Development Director for Red Orange Studio, a branding, graphic design and website firm in Shockoe Bottom. Trained as an illustrator at VCU, with experience in graphic and web design, she is an adjunct in Mass Communications at VCU. She is the host of the Richmond Chapter of CreativeMornings, an organization dedicated to inspiring, connecting and building our local creative community. She is obsessed with colors, Bullet Journaling and paper textures.
My workshop encompasses ideas about movement, exercise, and how physical therapists help those who are limited in motion. For example, pairing the girls up and giving them different scenarios or limitations, such as an inability to place weight through their right foot (let’s just say they broke their ankle), and they need to walk around the room with crutches. I would be the one to help them train their partners on how to safely walk and move.
Ashley Jenkins, PT, DPT, is a Physical Therapist at McGuire VA Medical Center. She graduated from Clemson University and obtained her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Hampton University. She has been a PT for 5 years, and truly loves her profession. Ashley’s first encounter with a PT was through sports-related injuries. After seeing how much of a positive and encouraging impact they had on her, she knew she wanted to help others. Not only does Ashley enjoy helping through therapy, but also giving back and impacting her community is her passion.
In this workshop, we will explore the human cardiovascular system’s organization, the route of blood flow throughout the body, and the structure of arteries. Additionally, we will talk about some anatomical differences in other species’ cardiovascular systems compared to humans, including giraffes! We will conclude with a group activity of constructing a pump to model how the heart is able to circulate blood.
Claire recently graduated from NC State University with Bachelors Degrees in Chemical Engineering and Biochemistry. She is a first year Pharmacology PhD graduate student at the University of Virginia in the Isakson lab, which is part of the Cardiovascular Research Center. She enjoys traveling and running in her free time.
We will learn, demonstrate and explore some of the fascinating properties of light. Including:
1) Measuring the width of your hair using light.
We will discuss the light as a wave and use light waves to measure the width of your hair
2) Some animals can see polarized light, can you?
After learning about polarized light, we will explore light polarization and determine if you can see polarized light.
Christine Helms, Mimi Tran and Emily Dowker currently conduct research on electrospun nanofibers at the University of Richmond. Christine Helms is an assistant professor of physics whose interest include undergraduate education and nanofiber research. Mimi Tran is an undergraduate student, ultimate frisbee player and researcher. She is a graduate of L.C. Byrd High School. Emily Dowker is a high school student at the Veritas School and researcher.
Science is all about asking questions, making predictions, and experimenting in cool new ways! These are the major parts of investigation. Using a colorful density experiment, this workshop is designed to teach participants about research methods (what it takes to be a good researcher!). Students will predict what will happen, perform an experiment, and observe their findings. Who knew rainbows could be so fun?!
Tenesha Lewis is a scientific manager and laboratory coordinator at Virginia Commonwealth University, as well as a Masters in Public Health student at George Washington University. Mrs. Lewis has always been interested in science, and decided to pursue a career that would allow her to reach out to the community and educate others about ways to become healthy. Currently, her focus areas include: diabetes awareness and education, alcohol use in college students, and academic achievement gaps.
Pursuing a career in medicine does not exclude the dream of being an artist. Dreams are made of dough, we shape them as we want to along our lives and become the person who we want to be. The students will see my field of medicine through images of the human body as seen by different imaging methods; they will see the creativity that one can add to any job; how art can help engaging others and enhances learning, and how through the combination of their own skills they can make reach their goals.
Juliana Bueno was born in the Amazon of Colombia, South America. Her journey to the US as a physician has been long and very rewarding. After finishing Medicine and Radiology in her home country, Juliana pursued a clinical fellowship in Cardiothoracic imaging at Duke University. She’s been working at the University of Virginia since 2012, practicing in an academic environment and finding her passion inthe education of students at many levels and in multiple settings, including international outreach programs in Uganda.
What do we really know about outer space? Stars, constellations, planets, moons, meteors, space travel, and space stations, there’s so much to discover! What would the world look like if we never explored space? Help us explore answers to these questions using imagination, ingenuity, and writing creatively!
Podium RVA is a local non-profit that provides writing, communication, and leadership programs for youth ages 10 – 19 in the Metro-Richmond region. Every summer, leaders from high school programs work with our staff to create workshops and mentor middle schoolers. This workshop will be hosted by Podium’s 2018 Writing Mentorship Project high school interns who hope to inspire scientific creativity and a love of personal expression! For more info, please visit: www.thepodiumfoundation.org
Being a scientist goes beyond performing test tube experiments in a laboratory or dissecting mouse models. This workshop focuses on the science of epidemiology, what epidemiology is and how vital epidemiologists are in the world we live in. It will involve several hands on exercises depicting how epidemiology has improved the health of populations for generations.
Ronke earned her MPH from Johns Hopkins University and her PhD in Epidemiology from UNC-Chapel Hill. Her research focuses on the intersection between oral diseases and systemic health. She is an Assistant Professor in the School of Dentistry at Virginia Commonwealth University.
We will explore how scientists use fossils and bones to learn about our closest relatives and our ancestors. What makes us human? What makes humans special? What makes humans such great apes?
Dr. Amy L. Rector is an assistant professor of anthropology at Virginia Commonwealth University. When she is not in the classroom at VCU, she is taking students to South Africa or discovering new fossils in Ethiopia. Dr. Rector is one of the few women leading research projects in paleoanthropology in East Africa, and loves sharing her experiences as a woman in science.
This interactive workshop will give the students an opportunity to understand how Recreation and Physical Therapist assist individuals, with different physical limitations, in developing and/or utilize assistive devices to engage in active activities. We will discuss the effects of Spinal Cord Injuries on body functions and limitations. Students will understand the use of the different roles of rehabilitative therapy in helping individuals with movement in activities they enjoy.
Krystal is a Recreation Therapist at Hunter Holmes McGuire VAMC in Richmond where she works with individuals with Spinal Cord Injuries for four years. She received her BS in Therapeutic Recreation with an emphasis in Physical Therapy from Hampton University. Krystal assists individuals in gaining independence and the ability to engage within activities they use to enjoy before their injury with the use of adaptive/assistive devices.
Quick! Zombies have taken over the Central Virginia region and we need your help to repair the James River Bridge to save locals in the area! Using your recently acquired transportation knowledge, you and your group will help locals safely escape the zombie apocalypse! In order to save Central Virginia, you must work together to solve puzzles to acquire your materials to escape. You must work quickly though because time is of the essence!
Savannah Kappeler works with the Central Virginia Chapter (CVC) of the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS). WTS focuses on supporting and recognizing women through their advancement in the transportation industry. Our Transportation YOU initiative provides hands-on mentoring programs that offer young women between the ages of 13-18 an introduction to a wide variety of careers in transportation. Learn more today – http://www.wtsinternational.org/centralvirginia/transportationyou/
In this workshop, we’ll create our own electronic games using a RaspberryPi kit called Piper. We’ll wire up buttons and lights and will write the code to create these games using PiperCode. PiperCode uses Google Blockly where students will build the code using blocks and can view the text-based Python code. No coding experience is necessary!
Hi! We are Amber Manry of bitcubs and Monica Bohanon of SHE Media, 2 female CEOs of 2 tech companies in the RVA area. Combined, we have over 3 decades of experience in the tech industry. We are hands-on technologists and intimately involved in all aspects of our businesses. We would love to share our experiences with you and emphasize the impact of supporting other women in IT.
To design a building, even a small one, requires the collaboration of a team of experts. The skills needed for success range from art and merchandising to architecture and mechanical engineering. We will explore the tools of the trade for architects, interior designers, and engineers: digital models, construction documents, sketching, even virtual reality. Then engage in a design thinking session where we “try on” each profession, to view a design problem from these varying perspectives.
A practical, creative architect inspired by contextual design, Sheena Mayfield is also a passionate mentor dedicated to championing the design profession. Since 2010, she’s led Explore Design, an experiential STEAM-focused program that introduces high-school students to the design industry. A believer in connective collaboration across the field, Sheena will be presenting alongside three colleagues: Cassie Sipos (interior designer), Rachel Bukoski (engineer), and Anna Allen (architect).
What if have an idea for a cool new medical device, phone app or scientific instrument? How do you know if its a good idea? What are your next steps? In this interactive exercise, developed at Stanford University, students will pair up and experience a full cycle of the design process. By interviewing each other, students will talk about likes and dislikes of a common medical product (the band-aid), use that information to ideate, prototype an improved design, and pitch their new product.
Nicky Monk is a director of the Innovation Economy at VCU. In that role, she’s helped inventors start new companies and bring their inventions to market. Nicky has 17 years of experience developing and commercializing medical technologies. She has held leadership roles in start-up medical device companies, as well as a private equity firm focused on investing in promising healthcare technologies. Nicky has 2 daughters and enjoys teaching them how to be calm, confident and totally disruptive!
How do you recognize the people around you? Our faces are important- not just for recognition, but also for eating, drinking, and speech.
In this workshop, students will learn how frogs are used in discovering how the face forms and what causes birth defects. Plus, what it means to be a scientist.
I’m Deborah Howton, Lab Manager for Amanda Dickinson at VCU in the Biology Department. Our lab is a Developmental Lab focusing on how the embryonic mouth forms in Xenopus laevis by molecular signals and morphological changes. By understanding these changes in a frog, it can help with understating birth defects in humans since vertebrates (humans and amphibians) have similar embryonic development.
Karibu is the Swahili Word meaning “Welcome” Karibu Africa means Welcome to Africa. This workshop is an introduction to Africa, specifically East Africa and will introduce the Swahili to the students against a beautiful backdrop of the diverse East and Central African culture. You will feel like you have been to Africa or you will want to plan a visit! The presenter was born, raised and educated in Kenya, East Africa.
Jackee was born and raised in Kenya. She graduated from Kenyatta University in Nairobi with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Planning and Management and has an MPA from Regent University. She is a mentor, businesswoman and public servant. She speaks 5 languages. She is married to Manuel and they have two beautiful daughters. They live in Chesterfield.
This workshop will teach you the basics of how to interview for radio/podcast shows. You will learn recording, sound editing and engineering, field recording (on the street interviews), and final production. Attendees will complete a short interview that will be aired on WRIR-LP 97.3 FM.
Carol Olson is a radio talk host and producer, art therapist, and nonprofit development consultant. She produces the radio shows: The V Word, Richmond Recovers, and Women and Politics. She serves as President of the Virginia Center for Public Press and it’s platform: WRIR-LP 97.3 FM, President of the Virginia Art Therapy Association, and provides clinical supervision at The James House. Through WRIR, Carol has launched the annual events: Local Voices Live and RVA Women in Audio.
It is often said that new science builds upon all the science that came before it, but how do we know if published science is moving the field forward? The Scientist Investigators at the Health and Human Services Office of Research Integrity use their scientific expertise along with image analysis tools to examine scientific reports for evidence of fabrication or falsification. In this workshop, students will learn how to use Adobe Photoshop to detect fabrication and/or falsification of images.
Christine is a graduate of the Chesterfield County Mathematics and Science High School at Clover Hill and received her B.S. in psychology and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from VCU. She is now a Presidential Management Fellow at the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Research Integrity.
A simple exercise to teach students how modern technology companies collect and use the data they share on social media. The implications to the individual when the power of their data is handed to these companies who can then use it to curate a personalized world view. Recommended readings to further understand the topic. Discussion on what could be done differently to get the most value out of personal data.The final section will encourage students to come up with a socially responsible data app idea.
Gargi is passionate about building a data-driven culture in organizations; enabling clients to optimize their own performance and transform the experience of the customer they serve. She is a pragmatic leader with 20 years of experience and a track record of envisioning and delivering innovative customer centricity solutions across diverse geographies and domains. Gargi studied at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and the National Institute of Technology.
Lung diseases such as COPD and pulmonary fibrosis have no cure. The only option in these cases is to transplant the lungs, but there is a shortage of donors. Biomedical Engineers are working toward tissue engineering lung replacements. In this workshop participants will learn the basics of lung function and explore ways to engineer lungs using hands-on activities.
Dr. Heise is an associate professor of biomedical engineering at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). She holds an affiliate appointment in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at VCU and is a member of the Massey Cancer Center and the Johnson Center for Critical Care and Pulmonary Research. She works in pulmonary regenerative medicine and lung injury.
Microorganisms are in and around us all the time. Have you ever wondered where they live, what they do or how they grow? During this session, you will test your knowledge of the vast world of microorganisms and answer some fundamental questions about these fascinating species. We will discuss how microorganisms are utilized for various purposes including making our own elephant toothpaste.
This workshop will be lead by co-presenters:
Karen Neal – Asst. Professor of Biology Reynolds Community College. Educational background includes a B.S. and M.S. in Biology from VCU with post-graduate work in the Molecular Genetics Department at OSU.
Janet Adams – Professor of Biology & Biology Program Head Reynolds Community College. Educational includes a B.A. in Biology from Virginia Wesleyan and a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from VCU.
How do the fantastic beast you see in the movies and video games go from sketch to the big screen? Together, participants will discover the world of creature design and try their hands at making their own!!
Currently a senior studying Communication Arts with a focus in Scientific and Preparatory Medical Illustration at VCU, Uri is just a few stepping stones ahead of the visiting students, with goals of heading off into concept design in the game industry. Always an animal lover, Uri has one underlying goal – using art to aid animal conservation.
Do you want to know how physics applies to roller coasters? This workshop introduces students to the basics of physics and allows them to see it in real life. After teaching the concepts of inertia, friction, forces, and types of energy, students will be able to apply these concepts to create a roller coaster out of pool noodles and duct tape.
Mia Lu is a rising junior at Deep Run High School. There, she is in the Center for Information Technology. Not only has she learned programming languages like Python and Java, but Mia has also learned Project Management and SCRUM. She has volunteered and supported countless programs that encourage girls to learn more about engineering and technology.
What is behind a light-switch in the wall? How does the switch actually turn on and off the light? This workshop will explore the inner working circuit of a light-switch and dive into the diverse field of electrical engineering! Each student will learn the basics of circuitry by making their own simple electrical circuit that will illuminate a light bulb by a flip of a switch!
Hi! My name is Brooke and I’m starting VCU’s Biomedical Engineering Ph.D. program in the fall. I am passionate about learning and believe an education, paired with an imagination, can take you anywhere in life…especially to engineering! Engineering stems from the Latin word for “cleverness” and I hope to introduce the girls to the field of problem-solving and creativity!