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XLR8 STEM Academy featured on Front Page of the News and Advance


The new XLR8: Lynchburg Regional Governor’s STEM Academy, which is now in full swing, was featured on the front page of the News and Advance this past Sunday. If you missed it you can see an article excerpt below and read the full article online:

“Ni, Floyd and Wood are three of 25 students in the inaugural class of the Governor’s Regional STEM Academy, housed at Central Virginia Community College in Lynchburg…

The two-year program is for students from public schools in Lynchburg and Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford and Campbell counties. Students spend mornings at the academy and then travel back to their regular high schools for afternoon classes. Some ride school buses, while others drive or carpool.

Besides College Chemistry for Engineers, students this year are taking Introduction to Engineering Design, Principles of Engineering, and Applied Technical Mathematics and Elementary Statistics.

During their senior year, they’ll move on to courses such as anatomy and physiology, engineering math, applied physics, computer integrated manufacturing and digital electronics.

Statewide, Virginia has 22 Governor’s STEM Academies. The hope is they will help build tech-savvy talent for Virginia industries.

The STEM academy in Lynchburg was created as a partnership between Region 2000 development organizations, area schools and businesses, such as AREVA, Babcock & Wilcox, Delta Star and Centra Health.

The partners teamed up to provide money or in-kind donations to fund the academy’s start up.

Now the school is funded through per-student tuition paid by the participating school divisions. Some divisions pass along part of those costs to parents.

CVCC provides dual-enrollment credits to students and space for the program. The Region 2000 Technology Council continues to fundraise in an attempt to find money for equipment.”

AREVA, CAER and WIN “Driving Home” the Importance of STEM Education to XLR8 Academy Students at CVCC on Wednesday, October 23

AREVA, CAER and WIN “Driving Home” the Importance of STEM Education to XLR8 Academy Students at CVCC on Wednesday, October 23


October 17, 2013

Lynchburg, VA – Local nuclear leaders will “drive home” the importance of NUCLEAR CLEAN AIR ENERGY AND STEM EDUCATION to the inaugural class of the region’s new STEM Academy on Wednesday, October 23 on the campus of Central Virginia Community College, beginning at 8:00 a.m.


The full morning of activities will include presentations by representatives of the local Women in Nuclear (WIN) organization; a “Fundamentals in Nuclear” overview by Bob Bailey, Executive Director of the Region 2000 Center for Advanced Engineering & Research (CAER); and a visit from all-star Nuclear Clean Air Energy IndyCar driver Simona De Silvestro.

“Linking STEM education to the technology behind racing and clean energy is an important part of the Nuclear Clean Air Energy campaign,” said De Silvestro. “It’s important that we support teachers in getting across the message to their students that science, technology, engineering and math are cool, and that there are great job opportunities in the nuclear energy industry.”

Participants in the event will be able to chat with De Silvestro, AREVA and CAER employees and WIN officers and take a close look at the No. 78 IZOD Nuclear Clean Air Energy race car.

Clean energy car







AREVA provides its customers with solutions for low-carbon power generation in North America and all over the world. As the leader in nuclear energy and a significant, growing player in the renewable energies sector, AREVA combines U.S. and Canadian leadership, access to worldwide expertise and a proven track record of performance. Sustainable development is a core component of AREVA’s strategy. Its more than 5,000 U.S. and Canadian employees work every day to make AREVA a responsible industrial player helping to supply ever cleaner, safer and more economical energy to the greatest number of people. AREVA Inc. is headquartered in Charlotte, NC. Visit us online at and follow us on Twitter: @AREVAinc.


About WIN

U.S. Women in Nuclear (U.S. WIN) is the premier network of over 5,000 women and men who work in nuclear- and radiation-related fields around the country. U.S. WIN members participate in networking, professional development and outreach activities through local chapters, regional organizations, and the national organization. Local chapters are organized based on company, university/college, or geographic region.In addition, U.S. WIN is an affiliate of the Women in Nuclear Global organization made up of more than 3,800 members in 94 countries. The Lynchburg Chapter of Women in Nuclear (WIN-LC) approved its charter in September 2005. Members participate in teacher and student workshops, competitive events, and public outreach activities in the community.  Additionally, our members participate in regional, national, and global WIN conferences.


About CAER

The Center for Advanced Engineering & Research (CAER) is a Region 2000 initiative to develop an industry-focused regional research and development center that drives the development of innovative products and processes by providing local access to university and federal research and inventions. It targets the growth industries specific to the region and puts university innovations into action through practical implementation in industry. The goal is to increase the competitiveness for core, high wage industries and improve the long-term prospects of existing industrial employers by creating a knowledge-based research hub for the region. For more information, go to

Contact: Catherine Mosley
Virginia’s Region 2000 Partnership
cmosley [at] region2000 [dot] org


Matching Grant Awarded for XLR8 STEM Academy Classroom Equipment


The Region 2000 Technology Council, with the assistance of the CVCC Educational Foundation, was successful in obtaining a $59,680 matching grant from the Virginia Tobacco Commission for classroom equipment to be used by XLR8 STEM Academy students.

The grant, when fulfilled, will allow for the purchase of such items as 3D printers, scanners, milling machine, laser engraver, robotic arm, large format and laser jet printers, and other educational equipment that will be used by students in hands on STEM-focused curriculum.

XLR8: Lynchburg Regional Governor’s STEM Academy – is the 16th regional Governor’s STEM Academy offering programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (subjects known collectively as “STEM”) for High School Juniors and Seniors in Virginia’s Region 2000/Lynchburg regional area. Located on the campus of Central Virginia Community College – XLR8 offers academic and technical training related to careers in engineering, technology and health science diagnostic services.

Donations are being sought from local business and industry to complete the match requirements of the awarded grant.

If you are interested in partnering with the XLR8 STEM Academy or learning more please contact: Susan Cash, XLR8 Director:


Wired Wednesday- Catch the XLR8 Spirit!


Catch the vision for our area’s newest innovative initiative that is preparing high school students for a fast track to careers in science, technology, engineering and math. Join us for a tour of the new regional XLR8 STEM Academy and a lunch presentation from XLR8′s Director, Susan Cash. Hosted by the Region 2000 Technology Council.


Susan Cash has spent the last twenty years in various educational positions, most recently with Lynchburg City Schools.  She has served as the division-wide career counselor and as a school counselor at Heritage High School. She holds an undergraduate degree in psychology with a minor in special education from James Madison University.  Cash graduated from Lynchburg College in 2001 with a master’s of education degree in school counseling and earned a master’s of education in education leadership from Lynchburg College in 2012.  She received the 2006 “Creating Excellence Award” from the Virginia Department of Education.


When: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 (Noon – 1:30pm) Where: Central Virginia Community College (CVCC), Merritt Hall (go here for directions) (Parking available in general student parking lots) Cost: $12 Tech Council members, $15 non-members. Boxed lunches will be provided.

Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting event a success!

For Additional Grand Opening Photos, Click Here

Photos from the Governor’s page on STEM Academy Grand Opening

Governor Bob McDonnell visited Central Virginia Community College today to watch a 2009 campaign promise come to fruition. The governor attended the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for XLR8 STEM Academy, Virginia’s 16th STEM academy. With the school’s opening, the number of STEM academies in the Commonwealth has now doubled from January 2010, fulfilling a promise made by then-candidate Bob McDonnell while on the trail four years ago.  XLR8 will launch this coming academic year on the campus of Central Virginia Community College in the AREVA Technology Center, which will provide students with access to lab equipment and classroom space.  XLR8 has been a joint effort by the Region 2000 Technology Council, Future Focus Foundation and Workforce Investment Board; Central Virginia Community College; the school divisions of Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford, Campbell and Lynchburg; and area business partners, including AMTI, AREVA, The Babcock and Wilcox Company, Centra, Delta Star and Wells Fargo.  XLR8 compliments current regional K-12 STEM activities and workforce development initiatives. The goal of this institution is to help close the gap between education and industry and further the economic vitality of this region.

The STEM Academy curriculum will offer students an opportunity to learn in an innovative, engaging classroom where students will develop critical thinking skills through hands-on, project-based learning.  STEM Academy students will receive dual enrollment credits for all courses; allowing them the option to work toward a college degree.  Additionally, the STEM Academy will offer transfer possibilities through articulation agreements with local colleges and universities for students wishing to continue their education.  STEM Academy students will also be able to earn industry certifications, allowing for job readiness upon program completion.

Speaking about today’s ribbon cutting, Governor McDonnell remarked, “Making sure Virginia’s students have access to the best education possible is the single most important thing we can do to ensure their success in the future.  In today’s highly technical global economy, careers in science, technology, engineering and math are on the rise.  In order for our students to be successful and fill rapidly expanding technical jobs, we must ensure mastery of the STEM subjects.  Over the last three years, we have seen a doubling of STEM academies in the Commonwealth.  Today, I am pleased to join XLR8, Central Virginia Community College and AREVA to cut the ribbon and officially open the Commonwealth’s 16th STEM academy.  STEM academies are partnerships created between K-12 schools and our colleges which provide our students with new opportunities through the use of state of the art labs, access to instructors at the college level, and the ability to earn dual course credit.”

During his campaign, Governor McDonnell made a promise to double the number of STEM academies in Virginia.  Today’s ribbon cutting marks the 16th STEM academy to open in the Commonwealth, with six additional academies subsequently approved by the Board of Education.

Additional Media coverage:

News and Advance




FOX 21/27

STEM Academy Teaching Positions Available



The XLR8 STEM Academy is in the process of finding three teachers for the STEM Academy which opens in August of 2013.  We are looking for qualified, energetic individuals looking to be a part of this unique opportunity available in the Region 2000 area.  The specific teaching areas are science(Chemistry), Math and our Project Lead the Way (Engineering) Instructors.  Please see the link for additional information and to complete an application.

For additional information at the CVCC website click here

XLR8 STEM Academy OPEN HOUSE on March 27th

The XLR8 STEM Academy will hold an OPEN HOUSE for all interested rising 11th grade students and their parents on Wedensday, March 27th, 2013 at 7:00 pm.  The Open House will be held at CVCC in Merritt Building in room 5146.

Download a copy of the Open House invitation here.

Download the PDF file .

XLR8 STEM Academy Website is LIVE!

The new XLR8 STEM Academy website is live!

The new XLR8 STEM Academy website is live!

I am pleased to announce that the XLR8 STEM Academy website is now LIVE!  Please visit to learn more about this amazing opportunity for rising juniors in the counties of Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford, Campbell and the city of Lynchburg.

Regional Collaboration Brings XLR8 STEM Academy Vision to Life


The Lynchburg regional area is well known in the commonwealth and nationally as an area of exceptional collaboration. The new XLR8 STEM Academy exemplifies this tradition reaching across school divisions, technical industry leaders, workforce and economic development entities, and higher education to bring together an innovative opportunity for area students.

Collaboration was always known to be the cornerstone of the STEM Academy from the inception of the concept over a year ago. The planning committee understood that beginning a new program under the current economic climate would be extremely challenging. School divisions and localities have been faced with some of the most difficult budget decisions in decades. The decision to push forward with the concept came from a great need vocalized from the private sector for a technically skilled workforce. Elizabeth Narehood, Managing Director of the Future Focus Foundation stated,

“Not only is there a present need for a technically skilled workers, but the forecasts show an even more ominous workforce picture for industry. ” Continue reading