You Be the Chemist (Grades 5-8)

JMU’s Professional and Continuing Education is teaming up with the Chemical Educational Foundation ® (CEF) to run the You Be The Chemist Challenge® in the Shenandoah Valley! You Be The Chemist Challenge is an interactive academic contest that uses the drama of competition to excite grade 5–8 students about science. The Challenge tests students’ knowledge of chemistry concepts, their real-world applications, and other topics that are included in standard science curriculum, such as:

  • the scientific method
  • properties of matter
  • chemical formulas & equations
  • chemistry in the human body

Participating schools and students have an opportunity to receive national recognition, prizes, and scholarships. The winner and one educator from each state even receive an expenses-paid trip to the national competition in Philadelphia in June! There is no cost to participate, and participation requires a minimal time commitment from schools. Study materials are provided free online to help students prepare for the competition. The local challenge for the Shenandoah Valley will be held on February 29, 2020 at James Madison University.

If you are interested in registering your school to participate in the Shenandoah Valley Challenge, please visit All participating schools must register by December 6, 2019.

The Challenge was created by the Chemical Educational Foundation, a national non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing science education for our youth. The competition involved 30 states and almost 25,000 students during the last school year and it continues to grow—we hope to get your school involved!

For more information about participating in future events, please contact Melissa Heatwole at or 540-568-4226 or visit

FIRST LEGO League Harrisonburg Regional Tournament

Volunteers needed for FIRST LEGO League Harrisonburg Regional Tournament!

The FIRST LEGO League Harrisonburg Regional Tournament is free to attend and open to the public! Come see what it’s all about. Prepare for excitement, robotics, and LEGOS. Better yet — volunteer! Just a few hours of your time can have a huge impact! To sign up as a volunteer, please complete the following form:

2019 Challenge: CITY SHAPER
What if you could build a better world? Where would you begin?

More than ever, we must come together to innovate and solve problems. In FIRST®, you are part of a thriving community brimming with inspiration, creativity, and hope for a stronger, more sustainable future-one that’s built better together. You have the power to help the cities, towns, and places you call home reach new heights. With the support of the FIRST community, this is your opportunity to lead our future forward-and up.
FIRST LEGO League challenges kids to think like scientists and engineers. During the CITY SHAPER season, teams will choose and solve a real-world problem in the Innovation Project. They will also build, test, and program an autonomous robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS technology to solve a set of missions in the Robot Game. Throughout their experience, teams will operate under the FIRST signature set of Core Values, celebrating discovery, teamwork, and Gracious Professionalism.

For more information about FLL, visit

Fall Tech Mixer – New Date in October

This event has been rescheduled from September 24 to OCTOBER 15. Anyone who previously registered for Sept. 24 has been contacted and is now registered for October 15. Please call (540) 568-5058 or email with any questions.

The new registration page can be found here:

Cancelled | Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) Briefing & Funding Information Sessions

The funding briefing scheduled for Wednesday, October 2 has been cancelled. 
We invite you to join us for a live webinar on Monday, October 7 where you will have an opportunity to submit questions and interact with CIT staff.  To view the webinar and register, please visit CIT Funding Briefing Webinar.

Come join us as Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) presents information about funding available through three key programs administered by the Center for Innovative Technology in support of research and commercialization in Virginia:

FY20 CRCF Solicitation
CIT staff will introduce the Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF), a multi-million dollar technology commercialization grant program that accelerates innovation and drives economic growth in Virginia. The team will discuss the FY20 round, which includes programs available to higher ed, federal labs and other nonprofit research organizations, and the private sector. Topics will include eligibility criteria and the solicitation timeline, the Letter of Intent (LOI) with a revised approach this year, the application process, and tips for creating strong submissions.

SBIR/STTR Tips & Support for Virginia Applicants
The federal SBIR and STTR programs award over $3B annually to small tech firms in order to develop early stage, high risk, high payoff technology. 11 agencies participate, with awards ranging from $100K to $1.5M. SBIR proposal tips will be provided, as well as a preview of the Oct. 16-17 NIH/NSF SBIR & Commercialization Conference in Roanoke, VA.

CIT GAP Funds & Virginia Founders Fund (VFF)
CIT GAP Funds provides equity investments to early stage, high growth potential companies. CIT GAP Funds invests up to $250K in seed stage tech, clean tech/energy, life science and techenabled services companies. A companion fund, VFF, focuses on investments in women-owned, veteran-owned or minority-owned start-ups, as well as start-ups located in traditionally underserved regions of Virginia.

Parking will be available outside of the JMU Ice House. Please park in the lower portion of the parking lot. Parking permits will be necessary to park for those who do not have a current JMU parking permit. Please pick up a free parking pass at the entrance of the building.

Register for October 2, 2019 funding information sessions at

Cyber Security Conference & Expo

2019 Cyber Security Conference & Expo Theme: Women Leaders in Cyber

Digital Government Institute is privileged to work with some of the best and brightest government leaders.  We are especially excited about the upcoming 12th annual Cyber Security Conference – scheduled for November 14 – an event to highlight women in Cybersecurity.  These Cyber Leaders will share their capabilities, experiences, lessons learned and accomplishments, to include how they are advancing both their agencys’ missions and their own careers.   DGI is finalizing the agenda and plans to have top-level cybersecurity leaders from organizations such as USPS, FBI, HHS, DHS, Montgomery County, WMATA and ZeroFox on the program.

The complete conference schedule will be announced soon. Plan to attend and get inspired! Learn more

Register for November 14, 2019 Cybersecurity Conference & Expo

Disruption: Challenging Leadership at Every Turn

Rapidly changing ideological differences, technological innovations, and social norms are disrupting the nation, established institutions, businesses, and cultures around the globe. Our conference will focus on critical thinking, creative problem solving and leading in a disruptive environment. We will offer a balance of top-notch speakers on key areas of disruption (cultural, individual, technological, and business) with hands-on, active learning sessions.

About the Annual VMI Leadership and Ethics Conference
Begun in 2010, the VMI Leadership and Ethics Conference is a hallmark of the Center for Leadership and Ethic’s programming. It is a top-tier conference that addresses a significant issue of ethical leadership development, including living an honorable lifestyle in contemporary America.

The conference is open to all interested adults and attracts the attention of faculty and students of a diverse array of military and civilian colleges, members of the public and private sectors, military leaders, and non-profit audiences. Through the participation of these attendees and our speakers, VMI leads national conversations on diverse themes of leadership and ethics in modern society.

Students and faculty of other colleges, the general public, VMI cadets, staff, faculty are encouraged to attend.

Dr. Crum is the Caroline Dawn Wortham ’12 Leadership Speaker
for this year’s Leadership and Ethics Conference

Poppy Crum works to bridge the gap between technology and insightful, effective human interaction. As a multi-dimensional advocate of empathetic technology, she builds technologies that best leverage human physiology to enhance our experiences and how we interact with the world.

Poppy serves as the chief scientist at Dolby Laboratories and as an adjunct professor at Stanford University in the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics and Program in Symbolic Systems.

Poppy is dedicated to the development of immersive technologies that leverage human physiology and perceptual realities to enhance our experiences and interactions in the world. She has advanced a mission to democratize the way people of all abilities benefit from sensory technologies – and how effectively technology communicates back to each of us. She believes the power of intelligent technologies is only realized with dynamic optimization and learning of as much of our personal and contextual data as possible.

At Dolby, Poppy directs the growth of internal science. She is responsible for integrating neuroscience and sensory data science into algorithm design, technological development, and technology strategy. At Stanford, her work focuses on the impact and feedback potential of new technologies including gaming and immersive environments such as augmented and virtual reality on neuroplasticity and learning.

Poppy is a U.S. representative and vice-chair to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and a member of the Stanford Research Institute Technical Council. Prior to joining Dolby Laboratories, Poppy was a research faculty member in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine where her neurophysiological research focused on understanding the neural correlates of how we hear in a complex acoustic environment and the functional circuitry of the auditory cortex.

Poppy is a Fellow of the Audio Engineering Society. She is a 2018 recipient of the Advanced Imaging Society’s Distinguished Leadership Award, a 2017 recipient of the Consumer Technology Association’s Technology and Standards Achievement Award for work towards the introduction of over-the-counter hearing-aid devices, and has been named to Billboard Magazine’s 100 most influential female executives in the music industry. Prior to academic study as a neuroscientist and work in industry, Poppy was a performing violinist.

She is a frequent speaker on topics related to the intersection of human experience, artificial intelligence, sensory data-science, and immersive technologies

Register for October 28 – 29, 2019 Leadership & Ethics Conference

Virginia Clean Energy Summit

Virginia Clean Energy Summit logo

The inaugural Virginia Clean Energy Summit will present the clean energy technologies, policies, and business practices that are transforming Virginia’s energy landscape – today.

The goal of the Summit is to highlight opportunities and encourage collaboration that speeds our use of more energy efficiency, solar, wind, storage, EVs, and other clean energy solutions. Conference attendees will include representatives from businesses, state and local governments, academia, and NGOs. An agenda is available for this event.

Register for September 17, 2019 Virginia Clean Energy Summit

Women in Innovation Conference


Women In Innovation Logo

Women in Innovation is an event to celebrate female leaders of today, inspire future women innovators and remember the groundbreaking women that paved the way. This event is a day to elevate and grow as a group of women, to spark conversations and to leave ready to make a difference through teaching, training and mentorship.

Attend, and you’ll discover the journeys of women leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Event speakers and panelists are guiding their communities with impactful leadership, uplifting their peers and investing in change.

The event offers significant networking. You’ll talk with other women who have bridged (or are fighting) the gender gap, have defined their purpose and who have made a commitment to impact their communities. See you there!

*Schedule and event speakers subject to change. 

Register for September 12, 2019 Women in Innovation Conference

JMU College of Integrated Science & Engineering / College of Science & Math Open House

JMU’s East Campus has recently completed 3 summers of renovation and they are having an Open House to show off the new facilities for Computer Science, Engineering, Geology and Environmental Science and the School of Integrated Sciences. Come see state-of-the-art classrooms and labs and interact with students and faculty.  The new spaces include Maker Spaces and Fabrications labs, the Madison Academic Brewery, collaborative spaces for Computer Science, Environmental Science and Geology labs and much more.

Please park in the D-2 lot — no parking passes needed.