FIRST LEGO League Robotics Competition

Josh Revels in an intern in the IV&V Program’s Educator Resource Center (ERC). He played an active role in the executing of the FIRST LEGO League Robotics Competition. 

On December 8th, 2012, Fairmont State University echoed with the cheers of the 54 West Virginia FIRST LEGO League (FLL) teams. I was fortunate enough, as an ERC intern, to experience the event from working volunteer aspect. It was easy to spot the teams because members either wore colorful shirts with team designs or had on a fun costume. In the pit area, teams operated on their robots so that they could perform various tasks during the table competition such as scoring a strike in a bowling challenge. One team even managed to program their robot to climb an incline then balance it on a tilt table! It was hard to hide from the excitement of the event. Located next to the pit area, I saw teams dancing and building LEGO communities. Although the event was entertaining, I can’t help but to remember how great it felt when I witnessed a team graciously sharing a lap top charger with another team.

In the end, it became clear that the best aspect of being a part of FLL is the difference it makes in our lives. Whether it is the advancement of technology for society or working as a member of a team to accomplish a difficult test, FLL is clearly all about collaborative innovation.

Josh Revels
ERC Intern
NASA’s Independent Verification & Validation Program

2012 Careers in the Corridor Event

Jess White is the STEM Initiatives Lead at NASA’s IV&V Program. He is the current coordinator for the Careers in the Corridor event. 

NASA’s IV&V Program STEM Initiatives Office held the fourth annual Careers in the Corridor (CIC) exhibition on Friday November 30, 2012. The event showcased the variety of high tech careers available in West Virginia and featured a presentation by a former space shuttle astronaut and West Virginia native, Capt. Jon McBride.

The objective of CIC is to help sophomores, juniors and seniors imagine the future they can realize by studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Astronaut McBride spoke about his journey to become what is now West Virginia’s only astronaut. Afterwards, he joined the students on a tour of job fair exhibits staffed by NASA and other corporate and academic recruiters. 

Among the exhibitors there were West Virginia University’s Dr. Powsiri Klinkhachorn and a few members of his WVU Robotics Team. Along with them they brought the WVU Mars Rover, which was built by the WVU Robotics Team and competed in the MARS RASC-AL RoboOps Challenge. Although the robotics held the students’ interest, many of the other vendors had the opportunity to interact with the students one-on-one, which was something they felt was very important. 

“Careers in the Corridor is one of the best communication platforms I have seem for the promotion of NASA’s STEM initiatives and inspiring the next generation of West Virginians,” vendor and TASC Office Manager Bree Layton said. 

The vendors certainly weren’t the only ones who saw the benefit of this annual event. Cynthia Howell of Heritage Christian School stated that this event was very good for her students and that she hoped that their school can participate in future IV&V educational outreach opportunities. 

A big thanks to all of those who helped make this event happen. It was a great success and one that we hope to continue for many years to come. If you are interested in becoming a vendor for next year’s event, please contact STEM Initiatives Lead Jess White at or Bailee Morris at

Jess White
STEM Initiatives Lead
NASA’s Independent Verification & Validation Program