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The Shenandoah Valley Connectiontop

December 6, 2013 

Quick Links to each article
Last call to register for this Monday's Luncheon-STEM education & techie gadgets
Anyone can visit the FIRST Lego League state tourney Sat and Sun in Harrisonburg
JMU Dept. of Computer Science Celebrates Computer Science Education Week with "Hour of Code" events
Attorneys from Lenhart Obenshain in "Legal Elite"
Save the Date for Startup Weekend February 7-9
"Saturday Morning Physics" for high school students
Register now for SVTC's December luncheon:  
STEM Activities and Techie Gadgets 
Monday, December 9, 2013; 11:45 am-1:30 pm 
Wood Grill Buffet
Our December luncheon will center on STEM activities and the exploring of nifty whiz-bang gadgets (hands-on)--And maybe we'll even manage to squeeze in lunch.
Yes, this luncheon could run later than 1pm. 
People and their tools and topics:
  • Bryce Inouye will talk about Raspberry PI , a credit card sized computer designed to get kids programming. 
  •  Kevin Giovanetti, professor of physics at JMU will present on Arduino ,
    an open source microcontroller board for building interactive components.   
  • Amy Sabarre, a local FIRST Lego League (FLL) coach and STEM coordinator for Harrisonburg City Public Schools, will present  on FIRST Lego League, a hands on activity to show kids how exciting STEM can be (with robots).
  • Dan Funk will talk about Kahn Academy, a free of charge education site with thousands of bite-sized videos, step-by-step problems and instant data for an engaging learning experience.  He will also talk about Maker Space.
  • Nick Swayne, SVTC board member and with the JMU College of Education, will bring his box of "techie" toys for grown-ups:  LEGO® MINDSTORMS® EV3 (the next step in interactive building systems), the KUBI (which turns a tablet into a desktop teleconferencing robot),   The Beam  and The Double (which are mobile teleconferencing robots). 
  • Robert Thompson is a technology investment broker partnering with local companies in the development of training and educational assisted devices. Google Glass is a wearable computer with an optical head-mounted display (OHMD) that is being developed by Google in the Project Glass research and development project, with a mission of producing a mass-market ubiquitous computer. Google Glass displays information in a smartphone-like hands-free format, that can communicate with the Internet via natural language voice commands.
  • For even more information about our presenters, topics or gadgets visit      
Click robot to register
 sponsored by
Serco logo 
Anyone can check out the FIRST Lego League (FLL) state tourney in Harrisonburg (12/7 & 12/8)

By the way, 3 judges and 3 referees would be much appreciated. So, if you have SUNDAY open, please use this form to let us know (7am - 4pm at Harrisonburg High School). No prior experience needed. are in rooms with one team at a time and fill out an evaluation sheet with what they hear and see, and the judges are on the competition floor around a table while the robot competition takes place and fill out sheet with what the robot was able to accomplish on the table.

The FLL 
Virginia / DC FIRST Lego League competition which is held at JMU's Memorial Hall and Harrisonburg High.  It's a massive event: it pits 100 teams of 9-14 year olds from across the state against each other in 3 competitions.  They come with team 3-9 members, plus coaches, mentors, parents, siblings  and assorted supporters.  They stay the  night; dine and shop; and compete for 2 frantic days of non-stop action. 

FIRST Lego League (FLL) is a fun STEM activity that celebrates science and technology with children aged 9 through 14. Using LEGO MINDSTORMS Robotics Invention System technology, young participants can build a robot using LEGO bricks and other elements such as sensors, motors, and gears. Teams gain hands-on experience in engineering and computer programming principles as they construct and program their unique robot inventions. The SVTC supports FLL by helping local teams offset startup costs and by providing volunteers to competitions held in Harrisonburg.


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Honor Computer Science Education Week (Dec. 9-15) by attending an event at JMU.


JMU's Department of Computer Science ( is celebrating Computer Science Education Week with

an "Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify "code" and show that anyone can learn the basics to be a maker, a creator, or an innovator." (from the website). Community members are invited to join faculty, staff and students on Monday-Wednesday 12/9-12/11 evenings from 7pm-9pm in the JMU ISAT/CS Building classrooms 236,243, 248,250. Experience a variety of self-guided tutorials for browser, tablet or smartphone. Snacks will be provided.

Computer Science Education week is a sponsored by which advocates for computer science learning to be available to every student in every school.  Did you know that computer science doesn't count toward high school graduation credit for math or science in 36 of 50 states?  Surprising since demand for computer programing jobs is growing at 2x the national average. also provides online tutorials geared to a variety of age-groups and materials for educators and parents. Including videos about the importance of computer science literacy from folks like Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates,, and Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat.


Member News:  Seven from Lenhart Obenshain named as "Legal Elite"

Lenhart Obenshain announces that seven of its attorneys have been recognized in the 2013 "Legal Elite" survey conducted annually by Virginia Business magazine.  Statewide, only 858 lawyers of the 30,481 active Virginia State Bar members were named this year. 
"We appreciate this recognition which would not be possible without the contributions of our entire team of exceptional staff and lawyers," said Cathy Welsh, managing partner of Lenhart Obenshain.

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Startup Weekend--entrepreneurs, designers, programers & makers wanted
February 7-9, 2014, JMU's Showker Hall

  At Shenandoah Valley Startup Weekend entrepreneurs, designers, programmers, makers or anyone with an entrepreneurial spark can pitch their idea to peers for feedback.  Teams form around the top ideas and then it's a 54 hour frenzy of creation, design, coding and market validation.  Culminating in presentations and feedback.
Curious?  Watch this video to find out more.
Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active & empowered entrepreneurs having hosted over 400 events in 100 countries around the world. Startup Weekend is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization with funding and support provided by groups such as The Kauffman Foundation and Google for entrepreneurs.  Shenandoah Valley Startup Weekend is presented by the Shenandoah Valley Innovation Coalition (SVIC) as part of their mission to work across business, local government and academia to accelerate growth in the valley. 

Go to
for more information about the event including a schedule and registration.Early bird pricing is available until Jan. 15.
JMU Outreach & Engagement Schedules "Saturday Morning Physics" for 2014 
 JMU Physics and Astronomy presents an educational event series designed specially for high school students and teachers but one parents will enjoy, too: Saturday Morning Physics. For the fourth year running, the Physics and Astronomy Department in collaboration with the Office of Outreach and Engagement at JMU cordially invite high-school students and science teachers to take part in an engaging enrichment program developed in a sequence of 6 easy-to-follow scientific exploration events. 
From the subatomic to galactic scales! Explore fascinating science and cutting-edge research topics in physics and astronomy.  This popular program will be held on  
six consecutive Saturdays Jan. 25- Mar. 1 at JMU's Miller Hall.  The fee is only $45 per student with scholarships available.  Possible college credit available for high school juniors and seniors.  Registration is now open.

Schedule, Activities and More Information Here

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