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The Shenandoah Valley Connectiontop 
August 15, 2014  
Quick Links to each article
SVTC seeks 3 Valley FIRST Lego League (FLL) teams to sponsor
Open Source Staunton: looking for presenters
Bits and Grits Networking Breakfast on Aug. 19
"Foundations for Everyone" giv2giv roundtable
Valley SBDC "Coordinating Online Media"
Recent JMU Grad awarded Rotary Scholarship
Highlighting Member: Serco, Inc.
Highlighting Member: JMU CISE
Highlighting Member: Premier Technical Services
Highlighting Member: Robert Harvill
SVTC seeking 3 Valley FIRST Lego League (FLL) teams to sponsor 
Funds available to offset cost of starting a FLL team

The Shenandoah Valley Technology Council is a supporter of FIRST Lego League's mission to engage kids in science and technology. The SVTC is once again this year offering sponsorship to help offset the costs of up to 3 new FLL teams forming in the Shenandoah Valley. Seeing that the U.S. future workforce will need to be strong in STEM fields, all of which can be found in the FLL activities, the SVTC is a supporter of FLL teams and tournaments in our region.   


FIRST LEGO League (FLL) - Get in the Game
FLL - Get in the Game
What is FLL?

"The best way to summarize FIRST LEGO League is to say that it is a robotics program for 9 to 16 year olds, which is designed to get children excited about science and technology -- and teach them valuable employment and life skills. FLL can be used in a classroom setting but is not solely designed for this purpose. Teams, composed of up to ten children with at least one adult coach, can also be associated with a pre-existing club or organization, homeschooled, or just be a group of friends who wish to do something awesome. Contrary to popular belief, our coaches DO NOT need any technical experience. In FLL, the children do the work! And the work is programming an autonomous robot (using the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® robot set) to score points on a thematic playing surface, creating an innovative solution to a problem as part of their project."  Try the  FIRST youtube channel  for more inspiration. 


FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology)was founded in 1989 to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology. FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) brings these visions to life through an exciting alliance between two world-class organizationsFor Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST®) and The LEGO Group. FIRST is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit public charity with over 20,000+ teams in over 70 countries.  VA-DC FLL is the largest FLL group in the world with over 600 teams and more than 20 regional qualifying tournaments and events in Virginia and Washington D.C. The SVTC also supports FLL by providing program support and volunteer hours at the regional and state competitions held each year on the JMU Campus.  


"What FLL teams accomplish is nothing short of amazing. It's fun. It's exciting. And the skills they learn will last a lifetime." With opportunities to compete nationally and internationally through high school, many colleges and universities, professional associations, and corporations offer college scholarships to high school students on FIRST teams. For 2014, there are over 180 confirmed scholarship providers that are making available over 900 individual scholarship opportunities with a total value of more than $20,000,000.


 The FLL website is a great resource for parents and prospective coaches to learn how FLL works and how to start a team. The VA-DCFLL website is also a great resource and includes a link to apply for the SVTC Sponsorship as does     

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Open Source Staunton is looking for presenters


Open Source Staunton (OSS), your local meetup group dedicated to promoting the use and understanding of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), is looking for presenters for upcoming meetup events! OSS is a group of technology enthusiasts from all walks of life who have an interest in FOSS, whether it's Linux, web frameworks, programming languages, Libre Office, GIMP or some other piece of software from this diverse community. We're interested in having users of Open Source present novel or interesting FOSS technologies and products for members to learn about. If you have something you think is worth presenting, please get in touch! You can contact Tamara at or Josh at .

Recent topics included:
  • Scalability: Sometimes You Have To Scale Down,
  • Mondrian/Saiku! --or-- How to win friends and influence people with data mining,
  • Who got arduino in my pi?,
  • Get your head in the clouds! (Amazon Web Services)

Learn more about the group at

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Bits & Grits: Monthly Networking Breakfast in Staunton
August 19th, 8am

On the third Tuesday of each month at 8am, Mrs. Rowes Restaurant, Staunton. There's no registration, no speaker, no topic. There's good techie discussion, sometimes questions and opinions, sometimes a good rant or two.  Discussion depends on who's there and what someone wants or needs to talk about or get input on.

Hosted by SVTC board member Kurt Plowman.   


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Member Newsgiv2giv hosts nonprofit roundtable 'Foundations for everyone'  

Wednesday August 28 at 6pm 

From member Micheal Blinn at People Places, "Trying to reach new donors? is a community of philanthropic investors who want to make change in their communities by creating their own foundations online. We're a new, online fundraising platform that helps organizations like yours establish a perpetual income stream while alleviating the burden of fundraising administration.  giv2giv allows donors to create an investment fund which makes quarterly, unrestricted grants to your organization.  Donors receive the same tax benefits and desired recognition as if donating straight to you, but with less hassle on your end.  Plus giv2giv will continue making grants forever - much longer than the average donor. Area nonprofits are gathering to discuss how to leverage this new funding stream. Join us August 28th at 6pm at the Staunton Creative Community Fund to contribute to the discussion. Contact with any questions."

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Member News:  Valley SBDC Business Smarts Series "Coordinating Online Media"
September 12th 7:30- 9am at ANU Harrisonburg Campus

Join the Valley Small business Development Center for business over breakfast! Each month we co-host a morning filled with business education and networking. The 2014 Business Smarts Series' focus is Telling Your Business Story. Every small business has a story to tell. This year will explore the methods and media you can use to tell your unique story.

The Business Smarts Breakfast sessions are held on the 2nd Friday of every month at American National University (SVTC member & formerly National College) with networking opportunities and guest presentations on a variety of topics.


September 12th: Chapter 8 ~ Coordinating Your Online Media presented by William Roy, web accounts manager of Immerge Technologies (SVTC member)


$10 HR Chamber Members, $10 non-members.

Register at 

 Also coming up:

Chapter 9: Using Websites 

October 10

Chapter 10: Using Paid Digital Advertising 

November 14

Chapter 11: Using Social Media 

December 12

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Member News:  Recent JMU Grad awarded Rotary International Scholarship

Gabriela Fleury, a 2014 graduate of JMU's Department of Integrated Science and Technology, has been selected to receive up to $30,000 from Rotary International to do graduate research in South Africa.  She will attend either the University of Cape Town, Witwatersrand University or the University of Pretoria and will likely begin her studies in January 2016. She will pursue a degree in either conservation biology or environmental science.  Ms. Fleury was awarded Skelton/Jones Scholarship from Rotary International District 7570, which covers western Virginia and northeastern Tennessee, can be used to fund one year of graduate study at a recognized university in a country other than the United States or Canada.  Scholarship applicants must be planning studies that lead to sustainable, high-impact outcomes in one of the following six areas of focus: peace and conflict prevention/resolution, disease prevention and treatment, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, basic education and literacy, economic and community development. 

  • Ms. Fleury, who concentrated in geographic science and minored in theater at JMU, completed an honors thesis on addressing ways to mitigate human-wildlife conflict in the Amboseli region of southwestern Kenya.  She plans to continue her research on general human and wildlife conflict with a focus on the hidden costs of such conflict as well as poverty alleviation. Her work fits the conflict prevention/resolution and economic and community development requirements for the scholarship.
  • More information on Ms. Fleury's research thesis

    Full article at 

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    Highlighting Renewing Level 3 Member: Serco, Inc. 
    Serco logo
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    Serco Inc. is the Americas division of Serco Group, plc, one of the world's leading and most admired service companies. We improve services by managing people, processes, technology and assets more effectively. Our broad array of real-time cost-effective service solutions ensure confidence and protection for our military, government and commercial customers. We work with our customers to understand exactly what they need and help to see their projects through the complete lifecycle. Whether the assignment is helping secure our borders, enhancing intelligence capabilities, helping federal agencies share critical data, or supporting personnel functions, Serco is there. We advise, design, integrate and deliver innovative service solutions to all branches of the U.S. military, federal civilian agencies and the intelligence community. Serco offers clients a trusted provider to deliver solutions that achieve meaningful outcomes. We have the industry know-how to understand the demanding challenges our customers face and we have the domain expertise to solve them-with a passion for excellence. Our presence in the Shenandoah Valley includes the PGPubs Classification Services contract with the USPTO as well as support and management services for numerous additional Serco Inc. contracts.
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    Highlighting Renewing Level 2 Member: JMU CISE
    James Madison University College of Integrated Science & Engineering
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    The College of Integrated Science and Engineering provides students the opportunity to apply science, math, technology and engineering concepts, along with a consideration of socio-technical issues, to solve challenging human problems. Our Computer Science, Engineering, and Integrated Science and Technology departments bring faculty with a wide-range of background and experience (incl. business and industrial experience) together to teach and to research cutting-edge applications. While the College was formed in 2012, our departments have decades of experience in interacting with partners in the Valley and beyond.
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    Highlighting Renewing Level 1 Member: Premier Technical Services  

    Premier provides a full spectrum of information processing and information technology products and professionals. Services include full-life-cycle programming, as well as network design and systems engineering.


    Premier Technical Services Corporation is dedicated to the delivery of Information Processing and Information Technology solutions. We are committed to Customer Satisfaction by providing Timely, Accurate and Within-Budget Results.

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    Highlighting Renewing Student Member: Robert Harvill 

    Robert is currently a Blue Ridge Community College student in Computer Science and IT Networking. He is currently working for AT&T in Waynesboro and consulting on the side.
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