Archive for March 2020

Spotlight – Girl Scout STEM Day

On November 16, 2019 Christopher Newport University hosted a STEM Day for local Girl Scouts. This event took place in several classrooms in Luter Hall. The girls attending were third and fourth grade Girl Scouts. The girls were split up into teams of about ten and led through various activities by CNU student volunteers. These activities included an algorithm making lego activity, a conductivity circuit activity, a balloon activity that demonstrated the thrust of rockets, and an army man launcher building activity. These hands-on activities were a fun way to teach young girls how fun learning about science and technology can be. 

The Society for Women Engineers (SWE) played a big part in the success of this event. Members volunteered to give back to the local community and spark interest in STEM for young women. Hannah Allen, member of the SWE executive board, was the overall organizer of the event. In addition, throughout the day she made sure everything was running smoothly, checking in on each group and station to make sure people were in the right places and had what they needed. 

Hannah said one of her favorite moments was lunch because they had a pizza and Bill Nye viewing party, and it was a peaceful part of a fast paced day. She also spoke highly of the volunteers, praising their skills in interacting with the kids. Hannah remarked that third and fourth graders are often smarter than we give them credit for, so maybe in the future the event will include more challenging activities. 

Hannah spoke warmly of this event and definitely recommends that more students should get involved. The event will be held at the same time again this year, and Hannah intends to plan it again so it is in good hands. If you’re interested in volunteering or otherwise getting involved in future events, keep an eye on your CNU email inbox or reach out to Hannah Allen at hannah.allen.17@cnu.edu closer to November.

Thank you to Hannah and all the volunteers who helped put on such an amazing event.

Pizza My Mind Presented by Kimley-Horn

Pizza My Mind was presented by Kimley-Horn on February 20th. Kimley-Horn is a multidisciplinary consulting firm with a wide range of services including aviation, water, parking, environmental engineering, forensics and many others. They have offices all over including offices in Newport News, Virginia Beach, Richmond, Reston, and Washington DC. Employees have opportunities to move to other offices based on what projects are available. 

Clients are the most important thing to Kimley-Horn. Clients include universities, city governments, businesses, companies like Verizon, Walmart, and the list goes on. The employees who work directly with the clients to keep them happy are prioritized to maximize client satisfaction. There are also support groups working around these teams to help them achieve their goal. 

Kimley-Horn offers lots of development opportunities for employees including both technical boot camps and non-technical workshops. They prioritize training throughout your job. Other perks to working with Kimley-Horn include bonuses, paid time off, retirement supplements. Kimley-Horn works to provide an environment for the employees to flourish. Not only that, but it is an employee owned company, so there are benefits that come with that as well. 

Go to www.kimley-horn.com/join-our-team to see what job opportunities they have today!

Thanks to our presenters from Kimley-Horn!

Pizza My Mind Presented by IDTech

On February 27th, the physics computer science and engineering department welcomed back IDTech to present at Pizza My Mind. IDTech hosts technology summer camps at universities all across the United States with locations in Virginia at the College of William and Mary, Norfolk State, University of Richmond, and University of Virginia. They offer a wide array of classes for children interested in technology. Employees have the opportunity to be camp counselors and teach classes to the kids. Class materials and the opportunity to indicate interests and choose what to teach are provided. 

Working as a camp counselor at IDTech is a good stepping stone to move toward a job in the tech field. Teaching others proves you have a solid grasp of a topic as well as enthusiasm for it and these are both desirable qualities to companies such as Bethesda, Google, Volvo, and General Motors. All the companies just listed hired former IDTech employees. The opportunities stemming from a job with IDTech are limitless. 

IDTech provides training in how to teach and interact with kids before the summer camps start, so you don’t have to worry if you’ve never done something like this before. They also offer competitive pay alongside provided housing and food. There are travel options among the numerous locations. Also provided are opportunities for professional development and other job opportunities beyond camp counselor within IDTech.

Additionally, IDTech was voted one of the top places to work for the majority of the past several years. They’re looking to hire many summer interns or camp counselors and also have some full time positions as well. Any interest in teaching or experience in school projects, gaming, or any cool tech projects you’ve worked on are all things that IDTech is looking for.

Apply at www.IDTech.com/jobs today.

Thank you to IDTech for presenting!

Spotlight – Spring Break Service

Christopher Newport University’s Spring Break lasted from February 29th to March 8th. This year, several students from the Physics Computer Science and Engineering department spent their spring breaks on a service trip volunteering for the community. Avery Logue, a junior pursuing an information science major and minors in both computer science and leadership, and Zayn Khurshid, a junior majoring in information science, traveled with REACH alternative breaks to different parts of Virginia to volunteer. The service trips began Sunday March 1st and ended Saturday March 7th, so these students gave almost their entire spring breaks volunteering. 

Avery was a trip lead on his trip to James River State Park. He spent the past two years volunteering on REACH trips to this Park alongside Logan Camp, another trip lead this year. At the park, Avery participated in miscellaneous jobs including clean up and maintenance work. The service trip happened to coincide with the opening of the park, so they were tasked with building gravel paths, repainting railings, blowing leaves off trails, reorganizing the visitor’s center, moving and splitting logs, and filling potholes around the park. Time not spent making the park presentable and accessible was spent playing games and bonding with other volunteers.

Zayn, who had served as a trip leader in the past, travelled to Lynchburg Grows in Lynchburg, VA. His service trip also featured a lot of physical work. He spent time digging, planting, composting, tearing down an old greenhouse, and participating in other odd jobs around the farm. 

On the Friday near the end of the trip, Avery’s group attended a barbeque lunch and participated in a table tennis tournament. There was much fun to be had in down time from the service work. Zayn admitted that his favorite part of the experience was being able to see the impact their work had on the community and people they were helping. Not everything was sunshine and rainbows. The outdoor work comes with the side effect of getting pretty dirty. On the way back to CNU, the van that Avery’s group was riding in blew a tire leaving them stranded on the side of the road. Luckily, a friendly police officer happened to drive by and stop to help.

Both students spoke very highly of this experience. They formed lasting friendships every year and created many fond memories to look back on. Not only that, but devoting your entire spring break to helping others can grant you a whole new perspective on life. Avery and Zayn both strongly recommend that other students take the opportunity to go on service trips and help local communities. These fun and rewarding experiences should not be passed by.

Thanks to Avery Logue and Zayn Khurshid for sharing about their spring break service trips!