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May 27, 2016
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SVTC's Mini Grant for !nnovate LIVE MAKERS CAMP
SVTC's Mini Grant for "Building a Computer for Girls to Keep" Class at BRCC
Governor McAuliffe Announces New Private Sector Sponsorship for Mach37 Cyber Accelerator
Governor McAuliffe Announces Crowdsourcing Initiative to Map Broadband Access in Virginia
You're invited to a local Slack group, Rocktown Tech
SVTC's June Bits and Grits (6/21)
SVTC Welcomes Julianne Kime as New Administrative Assistant

SVTC gives a mini grant to fund Innovate LIVE MAKER CAMP

Recap of the June 6-8 camp that took place at the Staunton Makerspace

You may recall that we distributed several mini-grants to Valley non-profit organizations, teams and projects, earlier this year. Many of these efforts are now taking place. The Innovate LIVE Maker Camp was a middle-school camp where cadets built, operated, and graduated with their own remote control plane. This interactive hands-on multi-day workshop introduced shared workspaces where cadets were exposed to the tools, ideas, and skills necessary to build and foster innovative ideas.  The camp took place June 6 - 8  at the Staunton Makerspace. 

Middle School Cadets were exposed to the basics of aerospace engineering, art, technology and shared workspaces that will ultimately reshape their ideas of business, entrepreneurship and problem solving. Guest speakers included a graduate student from UVA's Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering program, and the curriculum also aligns with Staunton Public School's core STEAM competencies (referring to the areas of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics). Through a structured project and applied technologies, students were exposed to the nexus of vocation, technology and creativity. Adaptive learning and analytical thinking skills are increasingly recognized as capacities that prepare students for more complex life and work environments. A focus on creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration is essential to prepare students for the 21st Century Workforce.


Here are some pictures from their last day of camp which concluded at the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport with donuts and a terminal and hangar tour. According to Courtland Robinson, City of Staunton (aka one of the many folks who contributed time to plan and host the camp, which also included reps from the Staunton Creative Fund and the Staunton Maker Space) all signs point to having another one of these types of camps next year. This was only Maker Camp 1.0! 

(c) Shenandoah Valley Technology Council


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SVTC sponsors a mini grant to fund the "Building a Computer for Girls to Keep" class at Blue Ridge Community College
June 13-16, 2016 | BRCC Technology Building

In this second SVTC-supported summer camp, rising 6th grade through rising 9th grade girls met at Blue Ridge Community College  this week. They build a desktop computer from scratch and loaded it with a Windows based operating system. Professor Mark Fitzgerald from BRCC taught 9 young girls basic parts of a computer system and the concept of an operating system, incl. the CPU, motherboard, primary storage, the power supply, and how they all work together in the system. The students had the hands-on experience of testing the parts with a computer power supply. At the end of the week, the girls all gave presentation on what they have learned and THEN (!) were able to keep the computer they built.  
The class was taught by Mark Fitzgerald, BRCC instructor, and David McCarty, Elkton Middle School. 

As you might have guessed, developing the future workforce of the Shenandoah Valley and creating an interest in young minds for anything STEM related --and perhaps leading to a STEM-field career-- is where we like to add a bit of support! As of 2014, women in the United States hold less than 25% of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) jobs. Computing jobs are among the fastest growing and the highest paying, yet few women are benefiting from these occupations. Hence, we're all in when it comes to this kind of support. (Regardless of gender, btw!)      

The Daily News-Record also write about this, in case you're interested: DNR Online article, June 16, 2016 by Erin Flynn 




   


Governor McAuliffe Announces New Private Sector Sponsorship
 for MACH37 Cyber Accelerator

~ Amazon Web Services joins Virginia's MACH37 Cyber Accelerator network as a Platinum Sponsor ~

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) has agreed to participate as a Platinum Sponsor of the MACH37 Cyber Accelerator program. This significant public-private collaboration will help launch new cybersecurity product companies inside the Commonwealth, further establishing Virginia as the cybersecurity capital of the nation.

"MACH37's innovative approach demonstrates that government and the private sector can come together to leverage capital and intellectual assets to create new companies and jobs," Governor McAuliffe said. "MACH37 plays a vital role in helping expedite the development of cutting edge cybersecurity products and Amazon Web Services will be an excellent asset to the program. Developing the next generation of cybersecurity companies and products is critical in the effort stay ahead of looming cyber threats and to continue our success building the new Virginia economy."

Founded by the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) and initially funded by the Virginia General Assembly, MACH37 has launched 35 innovative cybersecurity product companies in Virginia since 2013. AWS' sponsorship demonstrates the company's belief that technology accelerators, like MACH37, have the ability to source and deliver high-quality security concepts to the market.  As a Platinum Sponsor, AWS has the opportunity to engage with and help guide the next generation of security product companies launching from the MACH37 Cyber Accelerator.

"The MACH37 Cyber Accelerator is a prime example of how we are fostering growth by building a strong public-private alliance that is attracting the best talent in the world to Virginia," said Secretary of Technology Karen R. Jackson. 

"We are pleased to support the MACH37 Cyber Accelerator with our AWS Activate program, and are excited to work closely with IT security startups to help them leverage the AWS platform to provide innovative and scalable security solutions to our customers," said Stephen Schmidt, Chief Information Security Officer, AWS, Inc. 
Ed Albrigo, CIT President and CEO said, "With a laser focus on creating partnerships and programs to fuel innovation and create startups, CIT and MACH37 Cyber Accelerator are planting the seeds for the Governor's New Virginia Economy." 

Initiated by CIT, the MACH37 Cyber Accelerator is an intense 90-day program in which competitively selected startups are coached in all aspects of creating a successful and sustainable business. Upon the completion of each session, the startups participate in a Demo Day where they pitch to a crowd of external mentors, investors and industry experts. The Spring 2016 Cohort session is currently taking place and will conclude on June 14th, 2016 at Demo Day. With the culmination of the Spring class, MACH37 will have successfully completed six classes.

To view the full press release, please visit: http://1.usa.gov/1ro0YHL



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Governor McAuliffe Announces Crowdsourcing Initiative to Map Broadband Access in Virginia
 
RUOnlineVA will engage citizens and businesses in identifying areas with no broadband connectivity 
 
BOYCE - Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today a new statewide initiative to better understand where Virginia has the largest gaps in broadband coverage.  The Governor announced the initiative at a ceremony to sign House Bill 912, which clarifies and improves the process for installing communications infrastructure, benefiting rural communities.  The new initiative, RUOnlineVA, provides a platform for Virginia residents and businesses to notify the Commonwealth whether or not they have access to broadband Internet connections.
 
RUOnlineVA is a key component of the Governor's overall strategy to increase connectivity throughout the Commonwealth.  House Bill 912 makes it easier to put telecommunications infrastructure in the rights-of-way for state-maintained roads.  In addition to these components, the Governor's budget includes $2.5 million for the Virginia Telecommunications Initiative, which provides funding for infrastructure expansion in unserved areas of the Commonwealth.  
 
Speaking at today's event, Governor McAuliffe said, "Broadband has become as essential as any utility for maintaining a high quality of life in our communities and meeting our economic and workforce development goals.  Yet too many Virginia communities lack access to reliable, fast and affordable Internet connections. RUOnlineVa is an important way for the Commonwealth to engage citizens and the private sector in fully understanding the problem and working to find solutions."
 
"This initiative gives citizens and businesses the opportunity to have a direct impact on the future of broadband in the Commonwealth," said Secretary of Technology Karen Jackson. "By identifying where the greatest demand is, RUOnlineVA will set a foundation for state-level broadband strategies and policies that will help get broadband to every part of Virginia."
 
"A 21 st Century economy requires high-quality broadband infrastructure," said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones.  "The initiatives that we are announcing today will help Virginia in its quest to ensure that every region is equipped with the broadband infrastructure necessary for businesses to operate and create jobs."
 
RUOnlineVA, which launches today and will run through early August, will leverage an online demand capture tool created by the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) and Virginia Tech's Center for Geospatial Information Technology (CGIT). Virginia residents in need of Internet service are asked to log onto RUOnline.virginia.govor call (877) 969-6685 and answer a few simple questions regarding where they live and what level of connectivity they have. Responses will be aggregated, mapped, and shared with policy makers and the public to stimulate broadband policy and funding discussions throughout the remainder of the administration.
 
RUOnlineVA is led by CIT in partnership with CGIT and is supported by Governor McAuliffe, Secretary Jackson, Secretary Jones, Virginia Association of Counties (VACO), Virginia Municipal League (VML), Virginia Economic Developers Association (VEDA), Virginia Association of Planning District Commissions (VAPDC), Virginia Rural Center, Virginia Telecommunications Industry Association (VTIA), Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), Department of Education (DOE), Library of Virginia, Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative (MBC), and Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC).
 
Beginning June 1, if you are in need of Internet service and would like to log your demand, visit RUOnline.virginia.gov. If you are unable to access the website at home, you can visit your local library or call toll free at (877) 969-6685. 


You're invited to a local Slack channel, Rocktown Tech

Currently there are 2 channels and 48 members. Please join in!
Sign-up link:  https://rocktowntech.herokuapp.com/

Please join in the tech talk!

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SVTC's Bits and Grits
June 21, 8-9am;  Mrs. Rowes, Staunton, VA

Come get together for great breakfast and to talk some tech. Dutch treat. No reservations required. 

 

This is where our technology users and creators get together to connect about various topics (while eating some good food!). This occurs on the 3rd Tuesday of every month. Look for Kurt Plowman.  

 

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SVTC Welcomes New Administrative Assistant:

Julianne Kime of Harrisonburg, VA 

Our warmest welcome to Julianne Kime! Jul is our new Administrative Assistant and started this week. She comes to us with a BA from High Point University in Human Relations with minors in entrepreneurship and marketing with a concentration in sales. She grew up in the Shenandoah Valley and has a passion for entrepreneurship, marketing, event planning and technology. Feel free to contact Jul to assist you with any comments, questions or concerns about SVTC or our upcoming events.

Julianne Kime |  Administrative Assistant | Shenandoah Valley Technology Council
admin@svtc-va.org | www.svtc-va.org | 540.568.7882

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