TNCC Host Site to GAITE’s Fall Exploratory Saturday for Teens

Published: September 17, 2009

Seventy-five students in grades 10 and 11 from throughout the Greater Peninsula are invited to Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC) in November to participate in Fall Exploratory Saturday, a Governor’s Academy for Innovation, Technology and Engineering (GAITE) event designed to introduce high school students to engineering technology. For the second consecutive year, TNCC will be host site to the event which takes place Nov. 7 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on the Hampton campus.

This year marks the first time the event will reach high school students as last year’s Fall Exploratory Saturday activities catered to middle school students.

Free to participants, Fall Exploratory Saturday will expose students to interactive hands-on activities and demonstrations in areas such as modeling and simulation, smart materials, and Computer Aided Design and Drafting (CADD). Guest speakers and engineering professionals from TNCC, NASA Langley Research Center, Northrop Grumman and Canon Virginia, among others, will present workshops as part of the day’s activities.

The Department of Education selected the Greater Peninsula among its initial six Virginia sites to implement GAITE in 2008. The initiative is designed to provide programs focused on advanced academic and technical skills in school districts of Hampton City, Newport News City, Poquoson City, Williamsburg-James City County, York County and Gloucester County.

Coordinated by New Horizons Regional Education Centers, GAITE involves partners from education, business, postsecondary education, and non-profit organizations. Graduates of the Academy receive industry credentials and/or transferable college credits to TNCC, Old Dominion University and Northrop Grumman Apprentice School. Graduates will also receive employment consideration with NASA, Northrop Grumman, Canon, Alcoa Howmet and other local businesses upon completion of college training.

For more information about Fall Exploratory Saturday, please contact GAITE Director Vikki Wismer at 757-766-110, extension 313. Details about GAITE are available online at


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