Full STEAM Ahead Event Banner Image

Whats the Scoop?

CodeVA’s Full STEAM Ahead conference is coming soon. All sessions will be given a time slot and participants will sign up for one-hour live video workshops throughout the week. We will also offer our Keynote opening and closing remarks, a technology orientation, and various additional asynchronous opportunities throughout the week. Stay tuned for more details!

Time Track 1 Track 2 Track 3 Track 4 Track 5 Track 6 Track 7
10:00 AM

Led By: Sharen Eddings

Sharen is the founder of CodeWithSharen LLC. She’s using code to write her fun, adventurous, and exciting future. Sharen developed her STEM E-Learning Software as a Service (SaaS) platform that teaches students how to code. Her mission is to get millions of kids off video games and to learn how to produce technology instead of consuming it.

10:45 -11am Organize Students/transit to workshops
11:00:00am -12pm

Telling a robot what to do is not an easy task. Even in industry, the programming languages available are usually hard to understand. In this workshop, we will discuss how we can make our communication with robots easy. We will travel through a sea of futuristic solutions, from block-based languages to mixed reality applications. Don’t skip the chance to learn how to talk with robots. Join us!

Led By: Felipe Fronchetti

Felipe Fronchetti Headshot

Brazilian. PhD Student in Computer Science at VCU. Studies the intersection between Software Engineering and Human-Robot Interaction.

Students will take a tour of VCU Makers Spaces that will educate and show students what its like to create as an engeineer in various VCU College of Engineerinng programs. Students will have hands on experience of what tools and materials are used to generate finished designs and products.

Led By: Charles Cartin

Charles Cartin HeadshotDirector of Makerspaces & Associate Professor of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering at Virginia Commonwealth University

Chemical engineering skill sets are applied to produce materials (from foods to chemicals) and innovate technology applied to solve a myriad of problems. Problems known as “wicked problems” present complex challenges beyond the capability of single benchtops or manufacturing facilities (Rittel and Webber 1973). Water use is considered to be a wicked problem. Water covers 71% of the Earth’s surface yet only 0.3% is available for use (most common as surface or ground waters, USGS 1984). This interactive session will first provide a broad view of chemical engineering and second provide for experiential activities with water separations as the focus. Participants will characterize samples and process them while learning about water processing challenges, water quality, fundamental water chemistry and language used in water resources, systems and management strategies.

Led By: Cory Jensen

Working as a Research Associate (Engineer) in a Chemical Life Science Engineering Department, developing laboratory capabilities while teaching and am involved with campus committees that include: Diversity & Inclusion, Computing capabilities. Focused on a career that builds prestigious research credentials, joint appointments and sponsorship for chaired titles.

Skills are like apps for Alexa. In Skill Blueprints, you can use templates to create your own personal Alexa skill in minutes. Using blueprints, you can create custom games, unique stories, or household lists. In this workshop we will learn the basics of how Alexa skills work in the cloud. We will create a fun skill so Alexa can help us count the days until our most important events like birthdays and family trips. We will be able to test the skill in the simulator and on real Amazon Echo devices.

Led By: Juan Gonzalez Ponce

 Juan Gonzalez Ponce Headshot

Today I’m helping the Alexa Voice Service team @Amazon in Spain assist third party companies integrate Alexa into their connected products as a Solutions Architect. We put the Alexa brains in your device! In the past I’ve been lucky to work with great people in many countries throughout the years. The first part of my professional journey included developing software, in the computer physics field, for the Institute of Astronomy (University of Cambridge, UK), l’Observatoire de Paris (Paris, France), and Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA (Greenbelt, USA).

A strong base understanding of finances (money) can help support various life goals, such as saving for your education, vacations, retirement, using debt responsibly, and running a business. The earlier you learn the basics of how money works, the more confident and successful you’ll be with your finances later in life! It’s never too late to start learning, but it pays to have a head start. In this session, we’ll explore the basics of finances… the first steps into the world of money start with education!

Led By: Danielle Doyle

Students will learn about Data Centers with the Meta Team, and then be prompted to create their own data center flow.

Led By: Meta Team

Participants will learn about Andrew’s artwork as well as make their own art using Scratch, a coding platform for children.

Led By: Andrew Bryant

Andrew Bryant Headshot

I’m a generative artist and software engineer from Virginia. My artwork explores the connections between digital and physical spaces, and the principles that undergird them.

12-12:45pm Lunch
1:00 PM

Led By: Anthony Nuñez

Anthony 'Mr Roboto' Nunez

Mr. Nuñez is the CEO of INF Robotics which currently does business under the name INF Care to help low income older adults stay connected to care and stay independent at home. He is a roboticist, entrepreneur, software developer, inventor and published author who shares a passion for educating children and helping older adults age in place. He has raised capital from investors, formed large partnerships with organizations like the Smithsonian, shaken hands with President Obama, holds multiple patents in robotics and he worked on the early versions of autonomous cars through DARPA. He has started two companies and learned unique lessons in robotics that he teaches to children through his previous company, Infamous Robotics. Mr. Nunez has worked on all types of robots, from those that crawl, fly, roll, walk, swim and other unique methods of moving, if it is a robot that moves, he has worked on it.

1:30 PM

Are you interested in space? Do you look at the stars and dream of going one day? Or are you simply curious? In this session, you will experience the importance of hands-on learning and experimentation while aiming for Mars. You will work in small teams to simulate a mission to Mars by experimenting with a mix of materials to build water rockets that must reach, and not overshoot, a specified altitude. Teams will calculate their rocket’s height using kinematic equations and trigonometry. After experimenting and keeping track of your rocket configurations and results in an engineering notebook, you will then present your findings at the end of the session. Be prepared to design, build, launch, miss, rebuild, and launch again to get closer and closer to Mars!

Led By: Eleanor Sigrest

Eleanor Sigrest is a freshman at Stanford University studying Aero/Astro Engineering and Computer Science. She is pursuing her goal of being the first person on Mars as a member of the Stanford Space Initiative and through her independent research on microgravity slosh and fluid management. Eleanor has a lifelong passion for space related research and has made many accomplishments at the international level in the subject. Eleanor is a budding microgravity researcher. She flew her slosh experiment aboard a zero-gravity flight and is preparing to send another experiment beyond the Kármán Line aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket. She graduated from the Governor’s School @ Innovation Park and Forest Park High School in Prince William County, Virginia. She also attended the Virginia NASA Residential Governor’s School and completed Private Pilot ground school. Eleanor advocates for women in STEM, loves the violin and the fiber arts including traditional loom weaving, and quilting. Eleanor cannot wait for her next weightless adventure!

People use logic every day to make decisions; we evaluate one or more inputs, consider the outcome, and decide on a path to follow. Computers use digital inputs to make logical decisions and produce digital output. Let’s experiment with the three basic logic functions, AND, OR and NOT to see how computers use logic to make decisions.

Led By: Debra Duke

Debra Duke Headshot

Debra Duke is a faculty member and the director of the Fundamentals of Computing Undergraduate Certificate Program in the Computer Science Department of the College of Engineering at Virginia Commonwealth University. Debra received her Master’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2006. She worked as a software developer at mDimension Technology making use of her experience in several programming languages, database design and development, software engineering, and web application development. She began teaching computer science at Reynolds Community College in Richmond, Virginia in 2009 and moved to VCU in August 2016 where she served as the Undergraduate Program Director for Computer Science from August 2017 through August 2021. Computer Science Education is the research area of interest for Ms. Duke. She has published and presented her work along with her collaborators at the national conferences for ASEE and SIGCSE. Debra has served on the advisory board for Lighthouse for Computer Science (LH4CS). The goal of the Lighthouse project is to improve computer science diversity through faculty professional development. In addition, she is a member of the Advisory Council for the Deep Run High School’s Center for Information Technology in Glen Allen, Virginia, where she provides program support and assists in curriculum development for their technology-based preparatory program for future computer scientists. With the support of the CS POGIL Project (https://cspogil.org/) Debra has mentored computer science faculty and led workshops in the use of Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) in computer science courses.

Have you ever thought about how you can be both a scientist and an artist? This is a beginner friendly introduction into the world of alternative process photography. The goal is to expose students to the exciting chemistry behind a few historic photographic processes and show how the art and science worlds intersect. But did you know you can also make your own photo prints with materials you have at home? We’ll end with a fun demonstration where I’ll show you step-by-step how you can make your own fine art prints using plant material and sunlight!

Led By: Caroline Fudala Friedersdorf

Caroline Fudala Friedersdorf Headshot

Hello! I’m Caroline Fudala Friedersdorf (she/her/hers). I’m a Chemistry PhD student at GMU who is passionate about combining science and art. In the chemistry lab I work in, I help design teeny tiny particles (called nanoparticles) that can be used to do anything from helping doctor’s treat cancer to helping forensic scientists detect explosives. I’m also a photographer who studies the chemistry of historic photographic processes. Whether as a career, or as a hobby, I believe chemistry and art can be fun for everyone!

Join Rosie Riveters’ Executive Director Brittany Greer, Hands On Harvests’ Board Chair Stacey Evers, and 38-year veteran educator Joyce Matthews as they discuss how computer science education programs can form innovative partnerships that benefit communities.

Programming for Progress is an activity designed to show students how technology Computer Science (coding) can Make A Difference in solving World Hunger issues. Students will use the Adafruit Circuit to monitor plant growth.

Led By: Joyce Matthews and Brittany Greer

Joyce Matthews Headshot

Joyce Matthews (she/her) known as the “exSTREAM Educator” is a retired Fairfax County PS Educator with thirty seven years of experience working with students in grades 2 to 12. Joyce has always utilized and integrated STEAM concepts through her curriculum instruction and loves inspiring children to EXPLORE ALL the possibilities with STEAM! Joyce is a VTEEA Teacher of the Year Recipient, ITEEA Program Excellence Recipient and Virginia Children’s Engineering Council award recipient.. Joyce is also the lead CS Coach of CodeVA CS Ready Pilot Program at Braddock Elementary School. Joyce is currently working, as a consultant, with several STEAM LLC organizations to continue to encourage and inspire children to explore and experience ALL the “eXSTREAM” possibilities.

Brittany Greer Headshot

Brittany Greer is the Executive Director and founder of Rosie Riveters, a non-profit that provides a fun space for girls ages 4­-14 to imagine, create and play while developing their skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Before entering the non-profit sector, Greer garnered international attention as an award-winning social and digital media campaigner with experience in commercial, non-profit, and political campaigning and communications. But it was her time with the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO), a not-for-profit organization tasked with promoting safety across the industry, where she found her passion for engaging women in STEM. One huge roadblock to female participation in STEM careers quickly became clear – the lack of STEM programming available for young women prior to middle school, when research shows most girls lose interest in these fields. Recognizing that the problem was much broader than just the energy industry, Greer knew she’d found her life’s mission. After having her daughter and returning to the US, Greer resolved to create an organization that would provide engaging STEM programs for girls aged 4-14. Rosie Riveters was born.

In this workshop, participants will learn about Coding BEATS. This program shows participants how to create music using coding. Participants are encouraged to create a Beat and submit to the META (formally FaceBook) showcase. Participants may earn a prize for their BEAT.

Led By: Charles Britt

Charles Britt Headshot

Our Mission:
To increase diversity in the tech industry by creating equitable access to career discovery, training, & mentorship opportunities for historically underrepresented communities.

Keep your mind sharp by creating and playing a video game specifically designed by you. You will learn skills to become knowledgeable about game design. Yes, it is possible to put your knowledge of math and science to the test while designing your very own video game. Grab your mental game controller and let’s get started.

Led By: Jewel Barber

Jewel Barber Headshot

Keep your mind sharp by creating and playing a video game specifically designed by you. You will learn skills to become knowledgeable about game design. Yes, it is possible to put your knowledge of math and science to the test while designing your very own video game. Grab your mental game controller and let’s get started.

Storytelling helps us feel connected to people and ideas. How can data tell a story? In this workshop, you’ll collect data on yourself and your peers. Together we’ll visualize the data, learn why visualizations are a powerful tool to identify data trends, and explore the stories we can create from those trends. The instructor will also share more about what it means to be a data scientist at CarMax and how we tell stories with our vast data on vehicles and used car shoppers.

Led By: Ashley Ford

Ashley Ford Headshot

As a Data Science leader at CarMax, my team delivers personalized experiences to help customers shop confidently on CarMax.com. We leverage data on millions of customers and millions of vehicles to make recommendations to customers and sort their results in Search. My team is innovating all the time by exploring new data, new algorithms, and new high-impact use cases for our work. Pronouns: she/her Fields of interest: Data Science, Statistics, Math, Digital Data, Click-Streaming Technology, Cloud Computing.

2:30:00 PM – 3:30pm

In this workshop, students will learn the structure, function and importance of what makes bones, joints and muscle tissue work together in this hands on interactive workshop dissecting a chicken wing!

Led By: Carrie Peterson

Carrie Peterson Headshot

Dr. Carrie Peterson (she/her) is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at VCU. She teaches courses related to the biomechanics of human movement and the design of rehabilitation, which also aligns with her research in improving rehabilitation for individuals with disabilities.

Students will learn the basic techniques of Screen print making with water-soluable inks and screen print designs. Students will take home one of their own finished prints

Led By: Studio 23

Studio 23 Logo

Studio Two Three is a community arts space that offers studios, classes and workshops, artist residency, and open doors. We provide 24/7 access to printing presses, darkroom, digital lab, communal workspace, and individual studios to support art making for personal and social change. We support the role of the arts in civic voice and engagement, partnering with activists and leaders to provide space for creative advocacy initiatives

In this workshop, students will be learning the science of DNA extraction using one of our favorite fruits – the strawberry! They will learn about bioscience and its application in the real world. Come join us for a hands-on experiment as a true scientist!

Led By: Brittany Martinez

Brittany Martinez Headshot

Hi! My name is Brittany Martínez. I am a senior scientist at PPD in Richmond, Virginia. I recently moved back to Richmond from Charlottesville where I completed my masters, PhD, and postdoc. My thesis work centered on innate immunity and metabolism in fruit flies to gain insight into human mechanisms that control our metabolic function during periods of inflammation. My postdoc work shifted gears and I worked at a small biotech doing bioinformatics work about inflammatory skin conditions, such as lupus and eczema. I’ve been involved in bench science and biomedical research since I was an undergrad at VCU in biomedical engineering. I participated in minority undergraduate research programs to fund my research during my undergrad tenure and it definitely led me to pursue my future in science. In my free time I am an avid plant mom and cat mom. I also enjoy being outside and hanging out with my friends and family, reading, and watching Marvel movies. I am a first generation doctor, and I am a proud Latina.

Let’s explore the inter-connection of architecture and engineering in the development of large scale art pieces. Shannon Dowling, AIA, and Donna Adams, PE will discuss how the two professions work together to make Art that Stands. And workshop attendees will work together to make a geodesic dome out of newspaper to explore the topic in depth.

Led By: Donna Adams and Shannon Dowling

Donna Adams Headshot

Donna Adams is a structural engineer located in Richmond, Virginia. She has had the pleasure of working on all projects types, from residential homes featured in Architectural Digest to collegiate football stadiums to the new Children’s Hospital of Richmond. When she isn’t working, she can be found painting and planning her family’s next travel adventure.

Join Rosie Riveters’ Executive Director Brittany Greer, Hands On Harvests’ Board Chair Stacey Evers, and 38-year veteran educator Joyce Matthews as they discuss how computer science education programs can form innovative partnerships that benefit communities.

Programming for Progress is an activity designed to show students how technology Computer Science (coding) can Make A Difference in solving World Hunger issues. Students will use the Adafruit Circuit to monitor plant growth.

Led By: Joyce Matthews and Brittany Greer

Joyce Matthews Headshot

Joyce Matthews (she/her) known as the “exSTREAM Educator” is a retired Fairfax County PS Educator with thirty seven years of experience working with students in grades 2 to 12. Joyce has always utilized and integrated STEAM concepts through her curriculum instruction and loves inspiring children to EXPLORE ALL the possibilities with STEAM! Joyce is a VTEEA Teacher of the Year Recipient, ITEEA Program Excellence Recipient and Virginia Children’s Engineering Council award recipient.. Joyce is also the lead CS Coach of CodeVA CS Ready Pilot Program at Braddock Elementary School. Joyce is currently working, as a consultant, with several STEAM LLC organizations to continue to encourage and inspire children to explore and experience ALL the “eXSTREAM” possibilities.

Brittany Greer Headshot

Brittany Greer is the Executive Director and founder of Rosie Riveters, a non-profit that provides a fun space for girls ages 4­-14 to imagine, create and play while developing their skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Before entering the non-profit sector, Greer garnered international attention as an award-winning social and digital media campaigner with experience in commercial, non-profit, and political campaigning and communications. But it was her time with the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO), a not-for-profit organization tasked with promoting safety across the industry, where she found her passion for engaging women in STEM. One huge roadblock to female participation in STEM careers quickly became clear – the lack of STEM programming available for young women prior to middle school, when research shows most girls lose interest in these fields. Recognizing that the problem was much broader than just the energy industry, Greer knew she’d found her life’s mission. After having her daughter and returning to the US, Greer resolved to create an organization that would provide engaging STEM programs for girls aged 4-14. Rosie Riveters was born.

The key to decision-making is knowing where you want to go and understanding the risks. Explore how the financial services industry uses coding to make decisions.

Led By: Ingrid Nelson

Ingrid Nelson Headshot

Ingrid Nelson is a data whisperer that has over 25 years’ experience in the financial services industry with formal training in network technologies and computer repair. She is currently a Data Mining/Warehouse Consultant at Bank of America. She is a member of the Richmond chapter of Women in Technology and Operations whose mission is to inspire K 12 students to explore STEM programs and pursue careers in technology and operations. In her spare time, you can find her on the soccer touchline or in the stands cheering for her daughter.

This interactive session gives students the chance to learn about the wonders of cyber security. They will be exposed to the importance and growing demand of cyber security best practices. Students will learn about the financially generous careers in the field and the 7 most common cyber security threats. Students will walk away with the understanding of the future within cyber security (metaverse, deep fakes, etc.), what they can do to protect themselves, and external programs on further developing their cyber security education. We will conclude the workshop engaging in a few cyber games to test their new cyber security knowledge!

Led By: Blaise Davenport

Blaise Davenport Headshot

Blaise Davenport is a top performing 4.0 STEAM major at Virginia State University. She is highly interested in the world of Information Technology and Cyber Security. Ms. Davenport has maintained the position as team captain for the National Cyber League which challenges students to enhance their hacker skills in solving security related challenges.

As a certified AWS (Amazon Web Services) Cloud Practitioner developing her skills in the Web 3.0 environment (Metaverse), she is highly motivated about discovering new cyber security measures to protect sensitive data such as in the cloud and web 3.0 environments.

Blaise is keen on emphasizing that she herself is a forever learner; However, she is especially passionate about sparking the youth’s interest in Cyber Security.

3:30:00 PM – 4:30pm

Led By: Dr. Jean Ryoo and Jane Margolis

Dr. Jean J. Ryoo (she/her) is Director of Research of the UCLA Computer Science Equity Project. She previously worked with the Tinkering Studio of the San Francisco Exploratorium. Her research focuses on uplifting students’ perspectives and voices with a focus on equity issues in STEM and computing education. The favorite part of her job is getting to work in partnerships with youth and educators in K-12 schools and out-of-school programs. Jean is the lead author of a new graphic novel, Power On! (MIT Press). She received a Ph.D. in Urban Schooling from the University of California, Los Angeles; a Masters of Education in Teaching from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa; and a Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University.

Jane Margolis (she/her) is a Senior Researcher at UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. She studies the underrepresentation of students of color and females in CS education as a window into segregation, systemic bias and inequality. She is the lead author of Unlocking the Clubhouse: Women in Computing (2002) and Stuck in the Shallow End: Education Race, and Computing (2008). In 2016 Margolis was awarded the Obama White House Champion of Change award for her work in CS education. She is the proud co-author of Power On! along with longtime colleague Jean Ryoo!”