The Technology Council is passionate about helping our region’s youth explore educational pathways that lead to careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). That’s why we have created the Future Focus Foundation – our educational non-profit organization supporting regional workforce development youth programs.
We partner with local colleges, employers, and other non-profit organizations to offer STEM programs that engage our youth. Just a few of the programs we support through our Future Focus Foundation include:
- Jr. FIRST: Jr. FIRST Lego introduces kids ages 6 to 9 (grades K – 3) to the exciting worlds of science and technology. The Council is currently growing this program through partnership and financial support and looks to integrate Jr. FIRST into the 2010 FIRST Lego League regional tournament.
- FIRST Lego League: FIRST Lego League (FLL) is an exciting and fun global robotics program that ignites an enthusiasm for discovery, science, and technology in kids ages 9 to 14 (grades 4 to 8). The Council financially supports local teams and an annual regional competition in partnership with Central VA Community College (the largest in the state) each October.
- Vex Robotics: Vex Robotics is a robotics program for students ages 14 to 18 (grades 9 to 12). The Council hosts a competition between local high school teams at the annual Technology Fair at Central VA Community College and suports a regional tournament at Liberty University each May.
- Technology Fair: Held each May at Central VA Community College, the Council is a supporter of the region’s only technology fair for high school students. Students from area high schools compete in a variety of technology-focused competitions.
- Summer Career Academies: Central Virginia Community College, in alliance with the Region 2000 Technology Council, and the Region 2000 Career Pathways through Tech Prep Consortium will once again sponsor high technology career academies for middle school & high school students. These academies are high-quality career exploration events designed to educate and inspire students to explore career pathways in Central Virginia. Camps are available to public and private middle and high school students, offering a planned curriculum, skill-building activities, industry tours, guest speakers and more. Camps are limited to 15 students each.
- Get Set: The Council and Central VA Community College put out an annual magazine for the region’s 8th and 9th grade students that showcase the variety of technology-based job opportunities available to students and the educational pathways needed to enter these job fields. In addition, we host the Get Set website; an online portal for students, parents, educators and companies that match makes career interests and educational opportunities.
- Central VA Regional Science Fair: Hosted each May by the Central VA Governor’s School, the Council is a corporate sponsor of the region’s only area-wide science fair for 5th through 8th grade students. This event is affiliated with the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair.
- Future Focus Career EXPO: Held each October, the Council brings together industry and education in a trade-show format where students can explore career opportunities within Region 2000 and compete in a number of technology challenges. More than 1000 participants from area middle and high schools and 50 companies participate each year.
- Summer Internships: The Council is establishing a summer internship program for high school and college students looking for technology-focused career opportunities. Registering your company in our Internship Directory will help us get the program off the ground.
- Speakers Bureau: The Council is building a regional speaker’s bureau around technology topics as a service to area schools and community groups. Registering for the Speakers Bureau will give you an opportunity to share, first-hand, your career experiences with young people and to serve as a role model for STEM (science, technology, education, and math) careers.
We are always in need of volunteers, mentors, and sponsors to help us grow these programs. You can help us reach our youth a variety of ways. Check out the following video about our STEM program then contact us for more information about how you or your company can get involved.