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NOVA to host county STEM day

The Northern Virginia Community College Loudoun Campus will join a national effort to encourage student participation in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields with a STEM day Sept. 30.

The free event will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the community college's Sterling location. NOVA is offering exhibits and hands-on workshops taught by NOVA faculty and community educators.

The event's keynote speaker is Rachel Decoste of the Congressional App Challenge – a public effort to encourage kids to learn how to code through annual district-wide competitions hosted by members of Congress in their districts.

Decoste taught herself the GW-BASIC programming language back in 1989 and by 1997 was called a “pioneer for website creation” in Us Magazine. She has two decades of IT experience before joining the Congressional App Challenge.

NOVA will have activities for students all the way from kindergarten to high school and beyond. Though the event is open to everyone, children under the age of 14 should be accompanied by a parent or guardian, organizers said.

For safety purposes, participants should not wear shorts, tank tops or open toed shoes in the science labs.

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