Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Kids' Tech University Registration

Hi everyone,

Wow, last night was an exciting night! Kids are registered from three different states!

Please note that if you have registered your child you should have received a "KTU Registration Confirmation" email. Please verify that you have received that email.
Best,
Kristy

Monday, December 6, 2010

VT Kids' Tech University registration opens today!!

Hello!

Registration opens today at 6 pm for the VT Spring Kids' Tech University!

Here are a couple of hints to make the registration process even more easy than what it already is:

1. At 6 pm, refresh your website link. We change the page at 6 pm and make all buttons active at once. SO MAKE SURE YOU REFRESH YOUR WEBSITE LINK.

2. Add my (Kristy Collins) email address to your email contact/friends list- kdivitto@vbi.vt.edu . In about 2 days (Wednesday/Thursday) I will start sending registration confirmations. If you don't add me to your contact/friends list the email will get put in the spam box.

3. After you register make sure you send in your 25 dollar registration fee or email to Ms. Foley. The address on where to send the fee or email is on the exit page of the registration procedure. MAKE SURE YOU PRINT YOUR EXIT PAGE; it contains a lot of valuable information.

If you ever wonder what the behind the scenes actions are...Kris and I (Kristy Collins) order a large pizza at work and we are monitor the registrations until about midnight. Yes, we are that dedicated! And we drink a lot of coffee! I'll also be hanging around my work phone...I get a lot of phone calls right around 5:50 to about 6:30 pm (see number 1).


Friday, December 3, 2010

VSU KTU exhibitors

  • Dr. Christopher Catanzaro (from VSU) - Plants for the seasons.
  • Drs. Kristy Collins (from Virginia Bioinformatics Institute) and Dr. Kathleen Jamison (from Virginia 4-H) - will be working with teachers from the surrounding communities. We will have exhibits set up from ANDRILL's Flexhibit materials. Also come by to see the Extreme Cold Weather gear scientists wear down in Antarctica to keep from freezing!

Virginia is for Kids!

Kids' Tech University was recently mentioned on the virginiaisforkids.com website. We are honored for the mention!

Tina states "This blog is written by Tina in Virginia, a full-time working wife and mom who enjoys living in Virginia and exploring this beautiful Commonwealth with her family. Through her personal experiences, Tina shares thoughts and suggestions for traveling and sightseeing with children in Virginia and elsewhere."

Thank you, Tina!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

VT Kids' Tech University - News Release

As the nation's top government officials target efforts to help better prepare America's students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subject areas, a program at Virginia Tech that is the realization of these efforts is gearing up for a new semester of on-campus activities.

Kids' Tech University (KTU), a program developed at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) at Virginia Tech in partnership with the Virginia Cooperative Extension's 4-H Youth Development Program to spark children's interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines, will return to the Virginia Tech campus in January 2011. A groundbreaking program for kids between the ages of 9 and 12 (as of Sept. 30, 2010) living within a four-hour drive of the Virginia Tech campus, KTU is designed to introduce kids to STEM topics and life on a university campus at an early age. Held four Saturdays over the course of the spring semester, the events feature student-focused sessions with internationally recognized scientific researchers and hands-on activities developed by various Virginia Tech student clubs, Virginia 4-H extension agents, Virginia Tech professors, and community organizations to encourage further exploration of the lecture topics. The fun and excitement of KTU continues after the children leave campus through an online lab component featuring activities designed to cultivate continued interest. Online enrollmentfor the spring 2011 semester will begin on Dec. 6, 2010 at 6 p.m.

Kids' Tech University
Children participate in a workshop at KTU

In October, President Barack Obama hosted the White House Science Fair to recognize the winners of a broad range of STEM competitions for students, which is part of the President's Educate to Innovate campaign created to boost American students' achievements in science and math. President Obama has been a staunch supporter of strengthening relationships between the scientific community and the broader public and elementary and high school students and teachers, working closely with the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) to create new ways for science and math professionals to connect with students.

"One of the goals of the current administration is to get scientists, engineers, and mathematicians into the classroom to interact with students and teachers," explains Reinhard Laubenbacher, professor and director of education and outreach at VBI, who spearheaded the development of KTU based on a similar program in Germany. "KTU takes this one step further. We connect researchers with students, as well as the students’ parents and teachers, in a university environment. This not only helps cultivate student interest in these subject areas, but also introduces them to life on a college campus at an early age. Our afternoon hands-on activities give the children an opportunity to see how the concepts they learn about in the KTU lectures actually work."

The following is the schedule for the spring 2011 KTU semester:

  • January 29, 2011
    "Patterns are Everywhere! How and Why?" Reinhard Laubenbacher, professor, Virginia Bioinformatics Institute; professor of mathematics, Virginia Tech
  • February 26, 2011
    "Why are glaciers in Antarctica important to people who live in Virginia?" Ellen Cowan, professor of geology, Appalachian State University
  • March 26, 2011
    "Why do we care about frogs' health?" Tyrone Hayes, professor of integrative biology, University of California, Berkeley
  • April 9, 2011
    "Why do we want to touch everything with our fingertips? And more 'why' questions about how our bodies communicate with the world." Helena Carvalho, assistant professor of basic sciences, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute

Together, the Virginia 4-H STEM Initiative and VBI's education and outreach team provide a comprehensive program for students and teachers. Guest researchers and 4-H Youth Development Professor Kathleen Jamison offer teacher training sessions based on STEM content and learning pedagogy through experiential and inquiry-based learning strategies. The teachers apply what they have learned in the training workshops through hands-on/minds-on applications of the content during the activity stations offered for Kids’ Tech University participants. University departments and 4-H agents with relevant content expertise provide additional learning centers. Virginia 4-H will reach 50,000 new youth in a variety of STEM areas across the next three years.

"Kids' Tech University has continued to grow since it’s first semester in 2009," said Kristy Collins, a senior research associate in VBI's education and outreach group and KTU leader. "In addition to our semester of student-focused lectures, hands-on programs, and professional career development opportunities for teachers, we continue to work towards our goal of setting up KTU programs across the nation and launched our first off-site program at Virginia State University in September."

Registration

Registration will begin at 6 p.m. on Dec. 6, 2010 and the first 450 students registered will be accepted. To help offset the costs of the program, a $25 registration fee will be required for each student. Parents may apply for scholarships to cover the registration fee.

Written by Susan Bland

VSU Exhibitors Continued!

  • Dr. Nasser Ghariban
  • Dr. Ali Ansari
  • Ms. Liz Alford- Science Museum of Virginia
  • Ms. Mallory Foster- VSU Dietetic Department- Foods for different climates.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

More VSU KTU exhibitors!

  • Ms. Edwina Westbrook- Microscopic exploration with the smaller things in Life.
  • Mr. Bobby Motte & Eric Clover- Robotics – The return of the machine. “ I Will be Back”
  • Dr. Leonard Pearlman- Cook it with the Sun. Solar power and cooking.
  • Mr. Gary Speiran-U. S. Geological Survey (Richmond)- Internet computerized water temperatures.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

VSU KTU exhibitors

On Dec. 4th, the following exhibitors from Virginia State University will be coming out to the KTU at VSU program!
  • Dr. Asmare Atalay- Geological stratification model.
  • Mr. Andy Hankins- Alternative agriculture in a changing climate.
  • Mr. Chris Walker- Environs – cape model. Where does the water go?
  • Dr. Edward Sismour- Fish for all climates.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Busy week at Kids' Tech University

Hi everyone,

This week is a busy week for Kids' Tech University. The 2nd and final KTU event at Virginia State University is Saturday (along with teacher component) and we are gearing up for the opening of registration for the Kids' Tech University spring semester at Virginia Tech! Tomorrow we'll begin posting information about the VSU exhibitors for Saturday; so check back often. We won't be sending reminder emails every but I assure you there will be information on the site everyday!!

If you are interested in the Virginia Tech Kids' Tech University program please see here. We have an entire section set up with FAQ's for parents!

Remember to spread the word about Kids' Tech University! VT KTU spring semester registration is right around the corner!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Virginia State University Teacher Component

For Teachers - CEUs

We are excited to offer CEU's in conjunction with the KTU program. Teachers will learn it, teach it, and take it back to the classroom.

Interact with:
Scientists
Technology Experts
Engineers
Mathematicians

You will engage in an exciting, hands-on teaching experience, and then apply what you learned in a unique, first-hand teaching environment with 3rd-6th graders. You will also be able to participate in ongoing community blogs and network with other teachers and education specialists.

We are excited to offer CEU (Continuing Education Unit) credits for teachers interested in interactive learning of STEM content.

This program is ideal for elementary and middle school teachers, or others, interested in STEM teaching.

Registration
The registration deadline is 1 week before the Wednesday session listed. The class/workshops can be taken as a series or individually. **There is no cost to attend this workshop**

Workshops
Day 1 (Friday before the KTU Saturday program)
• interact with Scientists, Technology Experts, Engineers, and Mathematicians
• includes a 4-hour interactive hands-on training

Day 2 (day of KTU Saturday program)
• you interact with KTU students at learning stations to deploy what was learned in Day 1
• you watch a lecture given to kids on topics related to Day 1, led by a world renowned research scientist
• you will learn how to incorporate fundamentals and concepts from the lecture and training into your classrooms
________________________________________________________________________________
Teacher Workshop/Development Class Schedule
The workshop will be held on the Virginia State University campus in Petersburg, Virginia.

"Climate Change Workshop"
Workshop instructors: Dr. Kristy Collins, Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) at Virginia Tech and Dr. Kathleen Jamison, Virginia 4-H
December 3, 1:00-5:00pm & December 4, 9am-4:30pm
CEU credits will be offered

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

ANDRILL's Adopt a Penguin project

Hi everyone,

Want to adopt a penguin? See here- Penguins

Last week Louise Huffman from the ANDRILL (ANtarctic Geological DRILLing) came to Virginia Tech to lead a Climate Change Student Summit (C2S2) workshop 2. While she was visiting us she told us about this site. My family is "adopting" penguin family number 5. You can follow along with your own penguin family (numbers 1-8).

Best,
Kristy

Thursday, October 28, 2010

More VSU KTU exhibitors

This weekend the faculty, staff and students of VSU are pulling out all the exciting and educational activities for the VSU KTU students. Below is a list of more exhibitors from VSU:

Dr. Krishan Agrawal

Mr. Bobby Mote

Juanita Thompson

Dr. Gerald Burton

Dr. Karen Faison

Dr. Brian Nerrie

Dr. Grace Ndip

Mrs. Debra Jones

Ms. Rosezelia Roy

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Virginia Tech 2011 KTU program

Hello everyone,

I'm pleased to announce the launching of the 2011 KTU program! The program is open to 450 children (ages 9-12 on Sept. 30, 2010) from a 4 hour driving radius around VT. Please see the KTU website for more information about the storytelling sessions, dates of the program, registration fee and enrollment information!

January 29, 2011 -- “Patterns are Everywhere! How and Why?”
Storytelling session led by Dr. Reinhard Laubenbacher
Professor at Virginia Bioinformatics Institute and of the Department of Mathematics, Virginia Tech

Did you know that we are surrounded by patterns--everywhere? For example, farmers need to understand weather patterns to plan their harvests. Your parents need to understand traffic patterns to drive you to school safely. Music and dance excite us through patterns of sounds and movement. Some patterns are pretty easy to spot, like the pattern on seashell, or the pattern on a snowflake. However, other patterns around us aren’t so easy to see, like the patterns on a pine cone, or the patterns of ocean waves. I’ll bet you wouldn’t guess patterns exist in clouds! To discover some of these patterns, we need to be very, very observant. So join me and together we’ll hunt down some patterns in the world around us--and as we investigate how these patterns form and why they’re there, the answers may surprise you!

February 26, 2011 - “Why are glaciers in Antarctica important to people who
live in Virginia?”

Storytelling session led by Dr. Ellen Cowan
Professor of Geology, Appalachian State University


Geologists know that Virginia wasn’t covered by glaciers even at the peak of the last Ice Age in North America, approximately 20,000 years ago. Yet there are many reasons that we can appreciate glaciers and the work that they do on Earth. Glaciers sculpt beautiful and distinctive landscapes that we see around the world in mountains and in Polar Regions. Antarctica is a vast continent almost completely covered by ice. How has the Antarctic ice sheet responded to past changes in climate? We can use clues from rock layers, fossils and gas bubbles in ice to study the history of Antarctica’s glaciers. With this information we can estimate the affects of a warmer world on Antarctica’s ice and determine the affects far away in Virginia.

March 26, 2011 - “Why do we care about frogs’ health?”
Storytelling session led by Dr. Tyrone Hayes
Professor of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley


We live in a world full of chemicals. They’re used to preserve and flavor food, help plants grow, kill bugs and other pests, dye fabrics and clean our homes. Chemicals help us in many aspects of our everyday lives. While some chemicals are not harmful to us, our pets, or the Earth, some can actually hurt our environment if not used properly. Our program will explore the world of chemical pollution and the many ways chemicals can be both helpful and harmful. We will examine the impacts chemicals can have on people, animals. Where are these chemicals coming from? How have frog populations, other animals, and humans suffered? And what can be done to help the frogs and improve our own health?

April 9, 2011 - “Why do we want to touch everything with our fingertips? And more ‘why’ questions about how our bodies communicate with the world.”
Storytelling session led by Dr. Helena Carvalho
Assistant Professor of Basic Sciences, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute


Are you the type of person that needs to touch everything? Sometimes it feels like we must touch to see better...doesn’t it? It’s fascinating to learn about how our human bodies connect to the world. Do you think the world is what we see? The answer is, “NO!” There are many more “things” in the world than our senses could possibly detect! In this storytelling session we will be discussing and experiencing the Special Senses. Have you ever wondered: Why do we have two eyes on our faces? Or, why do we have two ears on our heads? And why do we stop feeling our clothes after a while? Or why can we not smell our perfume all day? Those and more questions will be answered in our interactive session. Let’s explore together how our human body connects to the outside environment and learn more about the intriguing world of Human Function.

Best,
Dr. Kristy (DiVittorio) Collins

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

VSU KTU teacher component

Kids' Tech University is not only a program for kids and their parents but its also a program for teachers!

We are excited to offer CEU's in conjunction with the KTU program. Teachers will learn it, teach it, and take it back to the classroom.

Interact with:
• Scientists
• Technology Experts
• Engineers
• Mathematicians

You will engage in an exciting, hands-on teaching experience, and then apply what you learned in a unique, first-hand teaching environment with 3rd-6th graders. You will also be able to participate in ongoing community blogs and network with other teachers and education specialists.

We are excited to offer CEU (Continuing Education Unit) credits for teachers interested in interactive learning of STEM content.
This program is ideal for elementary and middle school teachers, or others, interested in STEM teaching.

Registration
The registration deadline is 1 week before the Wednesday session listed.

Workshops
Day 1 (Friday before the KTU Saturday program; Dec. 3rd, 2010)
• interact with Scientists, Technology Experts, Engineers, and Mathematicians
• includes a 4-hour interactive hands-on training

Day 2 (day of KTU Saturday program; Dec. 4th, 2010)
• you interact with KTU students at learning stations to deploy what was learned in Day 1
• you watch a lecture given to kids on topics related to Day 1, led by a world renowned research scientist
• you will learn how to incorporate fundamentals and concepts from the lecture and training into your classrooms
________________________________________________________________________________
Teacher Workshop/Development Class Schedule
The workshops will be held on the Virginia State University campus in Petersburg, Virginia.

"Climate Change Workshop- ANDRILL"
Workshop instructors: Dr. Kristy Collins, Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) at Virginia Tech and Dr. Kathleen Jamison with Virginia 4-H
December 3, 1:00-5:00pm & December 4, 9am-4:30pm
CEU credits will be offered

To register for the program please see this.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

“Wasted: Not an Option”

VSU faculty exhibitor- Dr. Evelyn Whitehead
“Wasted: Not an Option”
This interactive exhibit is designed to demonstrate the effects of alcohol use on coordination, health and academics. Students will use simulated drinking goggles while taking a sobriety walk to show the effects of alcohol intoxication on perception and coordination.

Friday, October 22, 2010

“Everyday Objects using a Loupe and Microscope-A Private Eye Experience”

VSU Faculty exhibitor- Dr. Edwina Westbrook
“Everyday Objects using a Loupe and Microscope-A Private Eye Experience”
Kids will use a jeweler’s loupe and a hand held digital microscope to image everyday objects. They will be asked a series of questions to evoke thinking by analogy, the main tool of the scientist, artist, writer and more. Kids will have an opportunity to write and draw what they see. Images will be captured digitally and those who bring jump drives will be able to take their captured pictures with them.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

“Insects of Chesterfield County”

VSU Faculty Presenter- Dr. Mark Kraemer
Title of exhibit- “Insects of Chesterfield County”
Abstract- See what is hiding in the woods, streams and fields, from pretty butterflies to monsters that only come out at night.

“Colorful Foods and Antioxidants” “Eat the Rainbow” “How Much is TOO Much?”

VSU faculty presenter- Dr. Paula Inserra and her Dietetic Interns
They will have 3 exhibits at the Oct. 30th KTU day-
“Colorful Foods and Antioxidants”
Come learn about good nutrition and taste foods that contain powerful antioxidants!

“How Much is TOO Much?”
Using food models we will demonstrate the correct size of food portions.

“Eat the Rainbow”
We will be doing a taste test of three different fruits and vegetables to let kids be exposed to new produce. The message is that everyone needs to incorporate every color of the rainbow in your food.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

VSU KTU program opening date on Oct. 30, 2010

Hi everyone,

We are excited that Virginia State University will be hosting the first Kids' Tech University outside Virginia Tech. Many people may not know that Virginia State University is the sister university of Virginia Tech. Both are land grant institutions and we are proud to be sisters! Lanyards are being printed and everyone is gearing up for the event.

The first lecture will be on Oct. 30th, 2010 by Dr. Boris Kovatchev from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. He will answer the question - "Why do doctors need Math to treat diabetes?" -

Abstract: When we eat candy, chocolate, ice cream, or cereal, the sugar from these foods enters our bodies and is then “burned” with the help of a hormone called insulin to give us energy to move around. In fact, our brains eat mostly sugar, so without sugar we won’t be able to even think. This is called “metabolism” – the engine that makes us tick. Kids and adults who have diabetes don’t make enough insulin, so they need additional insulin injections to make their bodies work. How much, however, is very important – less insulin or more insulin can cause all kinds of trouble, and can be even deadly. So, doctors need Math to be able to precisely tell how much and when to inject insulin. And when it comes to computers that inject insulin, then the Math becomes even more important and more complicated.

In this talk we’ll learn how Math can help treat diabetes, and even make possible an amazing device – the artificial pancreas – which will one day take care of kids and adults with diabetes safely and automatically.

After the lecture the students will be escorted by their parents to have lunch and then to the hands-on portion of the event. There the students will enjoy the experience of interacting with various exhibits from the Virginia State University community. Over the next couple of days we will be posting information on the exciting exhibits that faculty and students from Virginia State University will be showcasing.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Press Release: Kids’ Tech University offers first off-site program at Virginia State University

BLACKSBURG, Va., September 29, 2010 - A popular program designed to cultivate children's interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines and strengthen ties between university research communities and the area residents is expanding its reach beyond the Virginia Tech campus. Kids' Tech University (KTU) will offer its first off-campus event, bringing its groundbreaking program to the Virginia State University (VSU) campus.

KTU leaders are working with Virginia Cooperative Extension at VSU to offer a fall 2010 program featuring two daylong events for kids between the ages of 9 and 12 living within a four-hour drive of the VSU campus. KTU, which was developed at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) at Virginia Tech in partnership with the Virginia Cooperative Extension's 4-H Youth Development Program, is designed to introduce kids to STEM topics, as well as life on a university campus, at an early age. The events feature lectures from internationally recognized scientific researchers and hands-on activities developed by various VSU professors, students, and community organizations to encourage further exploration of the lecture topics. The fun and excitement of KTU continues after the children leave campus through an online lab component featuring activities designed to cultivate continued interest and a forum area to promote discussion and teamwork.

“We are proud to be the first institution outside of Virginia Tech to premiere this highly-acclaimed scientific program for youth, Kids’ Tech University (KTU),” said VSU Extension Specialist Albert Reid, who is working with Kristy Collins, a senior research associate in education and outreach at VBI, to coordinate the activities at VSU. “This opportunity allows us to provide dynamic lectures by leading research scientists and engaging hands-on activities to the children in our community.”

Boris Kovatchev, associate professor of psychiatry and neurobehavioral sciences and systems and information engineering at the University of Virginia, will deliver the first lecture for the fall 2010 KTU program at VSU on Oct. 30, 2010, answering the question, “Why do doctors need math to treat diabetes?” Kovatchev will discuss the ways doctors use math to determine precisely how much insulin diabetic patients need at specific times, as well as how math is helping researchers develop of an artificial pancreas that will deliver the correct dosage of insulin to patients safely and automatically. The second KTU event at VSU for the fall 2010 semester will be held on Dec. 4, 2010, and will feature a lecture by David Harwood, a professor of earth and atmospheric sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and research director of the ANtarctic geological DRILLing (ANDRILL) program, which will answer the question, “What climate secrets are buried deep beneath the Antarctic ice sheet?”

“Following two successful semesters of KTU on the Virginia Tech campus, we are excited to have the opportunity to share our enthusiasm for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics with children from other areas of the Commonwealth,” said Reinhard Laubenbacher, professor and deputy director of education and outreach at VBI, who spearheaded the development of KTU based on a similar program in Germany. “This has been our goal from the beginning – to introduce the compelling world of scientific research to as many kids as possible.”

Online registration for the VSU program, which is free and open to the public but limited to 100 participants, will begin at 6:00 p.m. on Sept. 30, 2010.

Written by: Susan Bland, VBI Public Relations Practitioner

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Virginia State University Kids' Tech University program!

Hello everyone,

We are happy to announce that Virginia State University will be hosting a Kids' Tech University program in the fall this year. The specifics on the program are located at this website.

The program will consist of 2 lecture/hands-on dates:

Oct. 30, 2010 will highlight October 30, 2010 | "Why do doctors need Math to treat diabetes?" - Answered by Dr. Boris Kovatchev

December 4, 2010 | “What climate secrets are buried deep beneath the Antarctic ice sheet?” - Answered by Dr. David Harwood

Students enrolled are committing to coming to both.

Registration opens on Sept. 30th, at 6 pm.

Friday, July 30, 2010

VCOM “Mini” Medical School with Wizard Professors and Potions Lab!

Wizard Mini Med School
What: “Mini” Medical School with Wizard Professors and Potions Lab!
Where: Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg – the event will take place at “VCOM II”, the building directly across the street from the main VCOM Campus at 2265 Kraft Drive. Signs will be posted on Kraft Drive.
Who: Young adults ages 11-15
When: August 5th, 1:00 – 2:30 PM
How: Advance registration is required. To register your young adult, please contact Stephanie Gardner, sgardner@vcom.vt.edu, (540-231-3926) or Jessica Muller, jmuller@vcom.vt.edu, (540-231-4112) and provide your name, your participant’s name and age, and an emergency contact number.

This program provides fun and engaging instruction about important health topics for young adults, including the health dangers of drugs, alcohol and smoking as well as HIV and STDs, and will include “Potions Lab” chemistry experiments. The program will be led by “Wizard” instructors who are faculty members and students at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine. This program is part of the “Harry Potter’s World” summer programming series.

Space is limited, so register early!

VCOM coming event!

VCOM Library
HARRY POTTER PROGRAM EVENT

Morning Song Way

When: 1:00 pm on Saturday, July 31st, 2010

Where: Lyric Theatre, 135 College Avenue, Blacksburg

To augment his presentation as a Medicine in Virginia panelist, Charles Howard Thomas will be offering a special screening of his award-winning film, Morning Song Way, at The Lyric, a not-for-profit community theater in the heart of Blacksburg. Mr. Thomas is a member of the Ani-Stohini/Unami Nation, a small Indian tribe in the mountains of southern Appalachia primarily in the seven counties of Carroll, Grayson, Wythe, Washington, Smyth, Patrick, and Floyd in Virginia and Surry and Alleghany Counties in North Carolina. Mr. Thomas will lead a question and answer session for the film audience, discussing themes of cultural loss and preservation of heritage associated with his film.

Friday, June 11, 2010

WAVY appearance

Notice anyone you know on the WAVY Kid Talk program, 4/17/2010?

I had the opportunity to be a guest expert on WAVY Kid Talk program. The theme we talked about was Tech Safety. Its a crazy world out there and its important for children (and adults) to remain safe especially with technology.

PS- And to anyone who has asked the age old question, "Is the green room really green?"-- The green room wasn't all that green.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

SEEDS Blacksburg Price House Nature Center's public opening!

SEEDS Blacksburg Price House Nature Center's public opening is this coming Saturday, April 17th 11AM 4PM.

Find us at www.seedsguys.org & www.facebook.com/blacksburgnaturecenter

Become a fan!

We'll also be at the nature center on Friday, April 16th for VT Remembrance Day to honor Julia Pryde.

WE ARE TAKING VOLUNTEER APPLICATIONS NOW For our open public hours. Please inquire with us if you are interested.

Exhibits

Birds migration, bird feeders, bird watching

Insects social insects > VT Beekeeping club will be setting up a living observation hive.

Trees Wood, tree parts, trees and you
Seasons and trees

Skulls, bones, and shells

Regional Wildlife

Making Animal Tracks

Local waters: Freshwater Heritage of Blacksburg

Story telling area (kid-style nature books always welcome)

"What is it?" exhibit

Matching exhibit

Art in Nature: Kids interpret the environment through art

Cave life and karst geology (coming soon)

GLOBE monitoring site (coming soon)

Vision discovery (coming soon)

Feel free to stop by and check out our progress. The price house gardens are begining to bloom!

SEEDS Summer Field Camps 2010

SEEDS summer camp schedule is posted on our website. Open registration began on 1 April. You can print a registration form from our website and mail it in. Sorry no online registration. We must have a deposit and your signature on the registration form.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

InnovationSpace at Virginia Tech

At the Feb. 27th KTU the InnovationSpace at Virginia Tech came out to the afternoon hands-on activity time and some kids made videos using the technology they showcased! You can view the video's here- http://www.youtube.com/user/iSpaceKTU

Experiential Gallery for Creative Technologies

Experiential Gallery for Creative Technologies

The Experiential Gallery for Creative Technologies exists as a space where community, school, and university resources come together to allow visitors to experience learning through digital and technology-based arts. It is designed around creative research endeavors relating new media, digital and cyber arts, and experimental lab activities linked to all levels of education.
The Experiential Gallery is a product of digital arts projects designed and developed through collaboration among Virginia Tech faculty and students, education experts, and art organizations such as the Taubman Museum of Art.

At the Experiential Gallery, visitors of any age can explore multiple aspects of the exhibits. By entering with an open mind and willingness to play, ask questions, and learn, you can explore exhibits with all of your senses. You should come away with a sense of discovery and brains full of questions and ideas. After your visit, we encourage you to talk about your experiences with others, learn even more about the artists and their projects, and apply what you learned to their lives.
Visit the Experiential Gallery for Creative Technologies in Kent Square on Main St. in downtown Blacksburg. For more information about our exhibits: http://www.experientialgallery.vt.edu

Formula SAE will be at KTU!

The VT student team of Formula SAE will be at Kids’ Tech University on April 10th! Formula SAE is a project that challenges undergraduate mechanical engineers to design, manufacture, and test a Formula One style race car. It has been an exciting year of designing, building, and racing. VT Motorsports will go to competition in Michigan with a car which exemplifies our strive for perfection. The team is part of the WARE lab on the VT campus. Check out http://www.vtmotorsports.com/ for more information, pictures, and videos.

Marilyn Lanier will be exhibiting on April 10th!

“Paper Airplane Fly”
Aerodynamics of Paper Planes
Ever wondered what it takes for a plane to fly? Try designing your own paper airplane model. The skill of folding planes requires the ability to follow directions and attention to detail. Paper airplane folding is a great way to explore the fundamentals of flight through paper plane aerodynamics. The same forces that make a real airplane fly are involved with paper airplanes, just on a smaller scale. This activity requires teamwork. The objective is to design your best paper airplane within the set time and fly it. Making a paper airplane model that flies is easy, but the challenge is to make a plane that will fly further and preferably land in style.

Marilyn Lanier, B.S, M.Ed.
PhD Candidate, School of Education
Department of Teaching and Learning
Secondary Science Education
Virginia Tech

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team of Virginia Tech (HEVT) will be at the April 10th KTU!

The Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team of Virginia Tech (HEVT) designs, builds, and refines hybrid electric vehicles as part of the GM and Department of Energy Sponsored, Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition series. Our focus is reducing petroleum energy use and greenhouse gases emissions, while maintaining consumer acceptability. This year, we have a new cool feature. A 40 mile range, electric only engine that transitions to FlexFuel power, to complete longer trips.

Alpha Epsilon will be exhibiting with KTU!

Alpha Epsilon is an honor society for outstanding biological and agricultural engineers. Virginia Tech’s Eta chapter consists of graduate and undergraduate students who are in the top of their class in Biological Systems Engineering. Alpha Epsilon is leading an outreach initiative to work with nearby K-5 schools in promoting science in environmental education through a sustainability kit.

By following the life cycle of an apple from the farm, to the store, and to consumption, the sustainability kit seeks to make the concept of sustainability more understandable to young students. Through Albert the Apple’s life cycle, students will learn about sustainable agriculture, energy transportation, recycling, and composting. Alpha Epsilon is proud to pilot three different activities developed for the sustainability kit during Kids Tech University. Students will have the opportunity to learn about the energy from a potato, transportation of produce, and water resources and quality.

Alpha Pi Mu exhibit on April 10th

Gotta Love Legos!!!
Engineering is all about design and teamwork, and this event combines the fun of Lego building with teamwork excitement!! The goal of this activity is to build a small Lego structure with one builder and one communicator. The catch is that the builder can only build with the Legos without looking at the instructions, and the communicator can only look at the instructions without touching the Legos. The team must put together the Lego structure as quickly as possible, and the winner receives a prize!!!

Alpha Pi Mu is the Industrial and Systems Engineering Honor Society. It is our mission to unify and promote the ISE department, and benefit the Virginia Tech community as a whole. This exhibit serves to promote the engineering department in a fun way that the kids will love!!

Society of Environmentally Focused Students is exhibiting on April 10th!

Title: Features of Water Treatment

Program Info:
The Society of Environmentally Focused Students (SEFS) is a student-run group of the Civil and Environmental Engineering department. The group comprises graduate students from the Environmental and Water Resources Division, whose focus areas span the range of Environmental Engineering.

Abstract:
Our display will be based on drinking water treatment, demonstrating the importance of three environmental characteristics in producing clean drinking water. Three interesting water treatment features will be shown:

(1) A simulation of the coagulation/flocculation process of water treatment:
This test simulates one step in the treatment of water to produce clean drinking water. It is a simple demonstration of the process by which solids are removed from water in drinking water treatment. The test is based on visual comparison, and therefore can be quite interactive through asking children to choose which water they would want to drink.

(2) Bacterial cultures from water samples before and after treatment:
Bacterial cultures originating from different water sources will be displayed. Water sources ranging from very dirty (wastewater) to very clean (drinking water) were chosen for this experiment as a way to visually detect differences in bacterial quantities and water quality.

(3) The role of pH:
pH is a measure of how acidic or basic a solution is. This is measured on a scale that ranges from 1-14, with 1 being the most acidic, 14 being the most basic and 7 being neutral. Pure water is said to be neutral, with a pH close to 7.0. The pH of human blood is usually slightly basic with a value of pH 7.4. To demonstrate the pH ranges we will use graphic displays and examples of various liquids that span the pH range, as well as pH indicators that can show what the pH of something is.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Autonomous Underwater Vehicle team will be at the April 10th KTU!

AUVT builds an AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle; Submarine Robot) every year for the purpose of competing in AUVSI's annual AUV competition in San Diego, CA. They work out of Virginia Tech's Ware Lab as an undergraduate engineering design team.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Dr. Wu Feng will be exhibiting at the April 10th KTU!

Dr. Feng from the VT Department of Computer Science will be exhibiting at the April 10th KTU program! He will have 2 exhibits detailed below:

1. What is Computer Science and Engineering?
This exhibit will be a rolling presentation of "What is Computer Science and Engineering?" and will serve to debunk many of the myths perpetuated by Hollywood. The exhibit will show how computer science and engineering seeks to leverage computers to solve problems across a gamut of disciplines - from the arts and humanities to medicine and health to other sciences and engineering. Thought-provoking question: Is the iPhone or Droid a computer? Trivia: Which discipline has consistently been in the top-10 paying jobs of this decade? Which discipline is expected to have 71% of all the job openings in science engineering by 2014, according to the U.S. Bureau Labor & Statistics?

2. MyVICE: My Virtual Instances of Computing Environments
This exhibit will present our computer science curriculum for teaching 3rd-7th graders how to "program with pictures" (or more metaphorically, storyboarding or "moving making"). This curriculum, when coupled with the notion of "virtual computing," will transform the way that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are taught in K-12.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Lunar Outpost to Settlement Senior Design Team will be exhibiting at KTU on April 10th!

Lunar Outpost to Settlement Senior Design Team

Students- Jamal Gibson, Sadnima Khan, Jason Smith, Colton Sizemore, Matt Wilson, Zachary Hannis, Andrew Plumb
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University: Department of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering

This will be a hands-on activity where the students participate in a Lego Mindstorm competition and take their excavate regolith on the “lunar surface”. The Lego Mindstorm kits will be borrowed from Virginia Tech’s Student Engineering Council.

There will be four demonstrations each lasting 30 minutes where a group of students will come to the booth and will be given a brief introduction to the project. The students will then have five minutes to brainstorm ideas on collecting the regolith by choosing different Lego Mindstorm robots. They will have three chances to collect as much regolith as possible and the student who has collected the most will win a prize. After the competition there will be a lecture on why regolith needs to be harvested. These lectures and activities will then be posted on youtube.com.

The VT NASTT (North American Society for Trenchless Technology) Student Chapter Presents Deteriorating Water & Wastewater Infrastructure Exhibit

North American Society for Trenchless Technology
*The Virginia Tech NASTT (North American Society for Trenchless Technology) Student Chapter Presents Deteriorating Water & Wastewater Infrastructure Exhibit*

There has been a steady decline in the state of our water and wastewater infrastructure over the past two decades and a growing concern is that these services may currently be inadequate. Funding for these needs is limited, and a deferred maintenance, out-of-sight, out-of-mind philosophy still prevails in many regions. This exhibit will demonstrate some of the technologies currently being utilized to evaluate our water and waste water infrastructure.

Specifically, the hands-on activity will consist of engaging students to evaluate CCTV (Closed-Circuited Television) clips of wastewater pipes and completing a standard NASSCO Inspection Sheet.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) will be exhibiting on April 10th!

Exhibit Title: “What are your human factors?

Kids will learn how vital our senses really are. They will participate in activities, but they will be wearing gloves, blindfolded, or performing mental and physical tasks concurrently. We hope these activities are enjoyable as well as instructive as to how we depend on our eyes, sense of touch, as well as how difficult it is to perform tasks that stress different parts of our bodies (i.e. mind versus muscle strength).

A bit about our organization:
Our mission is to promote discovery and exchange of knowledge concerning the characteristics of human beings that are applicable to the design of systems and devices of all kinds. The purpose of our society is to promote and advance the understanding of human factors involved in the design, manufacture, and use of machines, systems, and devices of all kinds through the exchange of knowledge and methodology in the behavioral, biological, and physical sciences. We are planning to have lab visits, community outreach, social events, and a speaker series to promote our organization.

VT Synthetic Biology Group will be exhibiting at KTU on April 10th!

Seeing Inside Living Cells by Making Them Glow

VT Synthetic Biology Group

We know a lot about what goes on inside of cells, but it is very hard to see inside without killing the cells. Most of what we know comes from either trying different experiments and looking for big changes (like cells dying) or by killing the cells and then looking at the parts inside. What would be much better is to be able to look at all the parts inside while they are still alive and living their normal lives. One way to do this is to use fluorescent proteins, which glow different colors and can be seen under a microscope. What we do is modify the cells' DNA so that these fluorescent proteins are attached to other proteins that we want to study. Then we can put them under a microscope and make videos of what those proteins are doing.

The synthetic biology group at Virginia Tech is interested in working with DNA so that we can engineer organisms to do new and exciting things. For example, we are making bacteria that glow when there are dangerous chemicals present. These could be chemicals that terrorists want to use or things that are dangerous to the environment. In the future, synthetic biologists hope to create more and more complicated things: bacteria that find and kill cancer cells, organisms that produce biofuels and bioplastics, and more.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Engineer's Without Borders - Local and Community Outreach (EWB-LACO) will be exhibiting on April 10th!

Engineer's Without Borders - Local and Community Outreach (EWB-LACO)

See and Say Dissection- Sometimes the best way to understand how something works is to take it apart. That is exactly what this activity is for. We will learn about how a typical children's toy works.

Engineer's Without Border's participates in 4 oversees projects and numerous local and community projects. Internationally we focus on building projects and creating long lasting improvements to communities. Locally we focus on building projects and K-12 activities that are aimed at encouraging and inspiring students to be inventive and think about the world around them.

Alpha Omega Epsilon is exhibiting on April 10th!

Construction Kids!

You know how parents are always telling their kids not to play with their food? Well today, that rule goes out the window! By using marshmallows and toothpicks, visitors to this booth will learn the art of dome construction. During this hands on activity, kids will get to learn some of the basics of construction while having a blast!

Alpha Omega Epsilon is a sorority for women in engineering and technical science majors. One of the ideals of the sorority is to promote engineering activities while being active members of our community. With this activity, the sisters of A.O.E. look forward to promoting the profession of engineering by getting kids involved and having fun!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

WAVY; 10:30 am on Saturday, April 3rd!

Hi everyone,

This has been an eventful KTU week! We, here at KTU central, are gearing up for the final spring KTU event on April 10th!

This past week I, Kristy DiVittorio, taped a show that will air on the WAVY TV program called Kid Talk on Saturday morning! The theme of the show was "Tech Safety" and I was the guest expert! I also got to talk about KTU and I hope the show will bring a lot of positive press to the program.

So, at 10:30 am on Saturday morning, April 3rd, tune in to Kid Talk on WAVY! We don't get WAVY here in Blacksburg so they said that the show would be available on the internet at 11 am on the link above.

Best,
Kristy

PS- I have to admit that the green room isn't all that green! Its more brown!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Mudbass Fishing Tournament on April 17th!

Hi everyone,

At the last KTU event, Don Orth from the VT Department of Fisheries and Wildlife exhibited. A lot of people were asking him/talking to him about the Mudbass Fishing Tournament (held on the campus of VT) so he asked if we could publicize the event. See the flyer below!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Geology Club will be exhibiting at Kids' Tech University on March 20th!

Geology Club at Kids' Tech University
The Geology Club at Virginia Tech is a group of students devoted to promoting and studying the geosciences by visiting parks, museums, and quarries. We also work with children to promote their interest in earth science. At our exhibit, we will have a hands-on fossil dig for children to explore geological history and learn about rocks and prehistoric animals. We will also have a model of a shield volcano to illustrate lava flow and eruption. Geology Club is excited to teach you about dinosaurs, geological history, and rock formation!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Evironmental Student Organization will be exhibiting at the March 20th KTU!

Exhibit title: "Salt Marsh Player"

Kids will learn how organisms adapt to life in a salt marsh. They will act out the lifestyles of various organisms found in the marine habitat, and how the organisms respond to tidal changes. This activity is taken from the Project WET Curriculum and Activity guide.

A bit about our organization:
The Environmental Student Organization (ESO) at Virginia Tech is prominent in promoting the importance of environmental stewardship and awareness. Our club is for students with a environmental interest and provides a comfortable outlet for students to share activities, projects, and ideas. Our goal is to further explore the intricacies of the environment and its issues to both its group within and the campus as a whole. We’re looking to create an outlet for environmentally-related majors to make alumni connections and explore career possibilities, as well as simply enjoy the outdoors!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dairy Science will be at Kids' Tech on March 20th!

Why do cows dine on donuts?

Presenters:
Mr. Dave Winston, Extension Dairy Scientist, Youth
Ms. Jennifer Stamey, Graduate Student, Department of Dairy Science

Representing: Department of Dairy Science

The dairy cow is an amazing creature. She produces fresh, wholesome milk that is made into many different dairy products. She is a ruminant, meaning that she has a four-compartment stomach. Her four stomach compartments allow her to eat feeds that humans cannot eat like grass and hay. She is also able to make milk from by-product feeds, materials leftover after making other products. For example, whole cottonseeds are left over after removing cotton to make cloth. Whole cottonseed is a great feed for the cow because it is high in fiber, energy, and protein. Bakery waste (bread, pastries, donuts), citrus pulp (orange juice), corn hominy feed (flour) are a few examples of other by-product feeds that cows like to eat. Participants will have the opportunity to identify and handle many of the feeds that the dairy cow eats. They will also be able to learn more about the cow’s rumen by interacting with a cow with a “window” in her side.

Virginia Cooperative Extension and Master Gardeners will be at Kids' Tech on March 20th!

The Virginia Cooperative Extension and Master Gardeners will have a hands-on activity on Flower Anatomy and tie it w/ Pollination and Honey Bees.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Food Animal Practitioners Club will be at KTU on March 20th!

Ultrasound is one of the most recent advances in technology that is commonly used in veterinary medicine. This machine can be used to diagnose pregnancy, as we will be doing today in ewes. It can also be used to examine internal organs and for finding disease within the body. Today we will use the ultrasound to find lambs within the uterus to confirm pregnancy in sheep.

About our club: The Food Animal Practitioners Club is a close-knit group of students with an interest in cattle, swine, sheep, goat, camelid and poultry medicine. The club holds meetings in which various veterinary cases and farm management issues are explored. We also host outside speakers who discuss topics such as practicing veterinary medicine in other countries, new medical products, and field experts. The club goes on several field trips throughout the year to places such as dairy farms, beef farms, and sheep farms. Overall, this club provides students with great opportunities to learn more about livestock medicine while making new friends and having a lot of fun.

About VMRCVM: Founded by the Virginia General Assembly in 1978, the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine is a regional professional school built upon the strong foundations of two of the nation's leading land-grant universities: Virginia Tech in Blacksburg and the University of Maryland at College Park. Veterinary medicine remains a vital part of animal agriculture, and that role is magnified by the growing demands of a global population explosion. Modern veterinary medicine is also very concerned with the health and welfare of companion animals. Today, the health or illness of a beloved pet is a critical family concern. Here at VMRCVM, we are preparing our students to enter the veterinary profession and maintain the well-being of the pets and livestock they encounter.

"Every day, anxious animal owners arrive at one of our two Veterinary Teaching Hospitals seeking the advanced diagnostic and therapeutic support that tertiary care centers are uniquely qualified to provide. And thanks to the skill and compassion of our board-certified clinical faculty-members, house officers and fourth-year students, our medical records detail many heart-warming success stories. The VMRCVM has treated more than a million animals since it opened." Dr. Gerhardt G. Schurig, Dean

Engineers Without Borders will be at the March 20th KTU!

Engineers Without Borders - How it Works

Engineers Without Borders (EWB) at Virginia Tech is an organization thats works with EWB-USA to apply engineering solutions to various problems internationally. It is a student run organization that has four international project in progress.

Ever wonder how those toys that you loved so much as a kid work, or what magic lies behind the screws? Well as engineers, we are always interested in how something works and is built, thats is why we will be presenting the engineering behind See and Says. Through this exhibit everyone will learn what it takes to make a simple process like pulling a lever and sound coming out work. They will see various phases of construction and see the ins and outs of a perfectly designed machine. The goal of this exhibit is to take home an appreciation of the designing it takes to create a working toy and to inspire interest to figure out how other stuff works!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Virginia Career VIEW exhibiting at KTU on March 20th!

Virginia Career VIEW, funded by the Virginia State Department of Education Career and Technical Education department, has been
providing education and career exploration resources to Virginians of all ages for 30 years. Our premier resource, Career Town, is an interactive web based activity providing online games for grades K-5 to promote career development and educational planning through career exploration and academic skills building. Levels 1-3 provide a total of 23 online activities relating to the 16 federal career clusters while assisting students in developing academic standards of learning as well as career development skills. Students can visit Career Town to explore careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math; also included are printed manuals with additional activities for students, parents, teachers, and counselors to promote hands-on career development experiences focusing on the STEM area as well as the 16 federal career clusters.

http://www.vacareerview.org

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Dr. Jianhua Xing will be exhibiting at the March 20th KTU!

"Curriculum Vitae of a bacterium”

Abstract: We will use the words of a personalized E Coli bacterium to show that bacteria master physics and engineering principles, so they can design machines (called bacterial flagellar motors) with amazing performance. We hope to encourage kids to learn science and engineering to outsmart the bacteria. A student will play with kids to show how one can design a multi-engine motor.

Dr. Jianhua Xing's lab is interested in using theoretical and computational analysis to understand the simple physical and chemical laws underlying complex biological processes, and using the knowledge to outsmart disease-causing objects from microorganisms to cancer cells.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Ms. Marilyn Lanier will be an exhibitor at the March 20th KTU!

“Tower Power”- Engineering Fun

Take an open and creative approach to problem solving. Sharpen your communication skills as you discover the science in tower building. Learn that a successful outcome is not always based on personal opinion but on scientific fact. The specific objectives of this activity is that each team (1) apply the stages of engineering design process to build a stable tower with a roof as tall as possible that will stand on its own from the materials provided with limited amount of time and communication, and (2) recognize the connections between science and other disciplines such as math, technology, art, and engineering. Join in a fun activity that promotes an innovative move toward teaching integrated science. This activity aims to provide participants with several learning goals, both cognitive and affective, such as the ability to identify appropriate problems for technological design, designing a solution and product, and evaluating the completed design. Moreover, it helps develop a comprehensive understanding of the application of science and technology.

By:
Marilyn Lanier
PhD Candidate, School of Education
Department of Teaching and Learning
Secondary Science Education
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24060

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library to exhibit at KTU on March 20th!

To strengthen our community, the Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library provides individuals with access to information, experiences and ideas. The Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library offers a variety of programs for children and teens of all ages. The library has four branches in Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Shawsville and Floyd.

The Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library will have an exhibit at KTU on March 20th. They will be showcasing upcoming programs and books that go along with the lecture program!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Richlands High School T2H (Trees to Hug) group will be at KTU on March 20th!

Title: Planting Greener Tomorrow

Exhibit Abstract:
At the Kids’ Tech University Exhibit, T2H would like to focus on recycling and gardening techniques that can help make a brighter and more sustainable future for all. Prior to the event T2H members will prepare homemade recycled seed pots by using old newspapers. The seed pots are prepared before hand due to a long drying period. We will have an exhibit showing how the pots are made along with “ Going Green” educational flyers with the exact instructions. As a parting gift, our T2H members will assist participants in the project about recycling and sustainable gardening, by having them fill the premade recycled pots with organic potting soils and seeds. This will allow students to take home a gift that will keep giving for a long time to come. Our pots are fully biodegradable and after Spring comes can be planted out side - pot and all - for everyone to enjoy.

Club Information:
T2H (Trees to Hug) was start in Fall 2008 by Mrs. Melissa Addison and Mrs. Tiffany Stillwell, teachers at Richlands High School. Our members come from a variety of social and economic backgrounds that have banded together to promote conservation and sustainable living. The purpose of the club was to bring green ideas and practices into the school setting. Richlands High School now has a recycling program, participates in the science fair, sponsors school run activities, and promotes green living practices by being examples for the rest of the student body. During Earth Week we sponsor week long activities, including fundraisers, presentations, and school and town improvement projects. We work with the surrounding middle and elementary schools to teach younger students ways they can make a difference in their schools and homes by recycling, conserving water and electricity, and working together to make a better tomorrow. Our T2H members realize that small differences now can mean a better future for us all.

Monday, March 8, 2010

VT Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences will be at the hands-on events at KTU on March 20th!

Exhibit title: "Fun with Fishes"

The mission of the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences is to be a center of academic excellence in aquaculture, conservation ecology, fisheries and wildlife sciences by providing quality programs in teaching research, and outreach in that will enhance fisheries and wildlife resource management at state, national, and international levels.

We conduct teaching, research, and outreach on fish and wildlife species ranging from the rare and endangered, to the economically valuable recreational and commercial animals, to the common and invasive nuisance animals. We explore critical issues concerning the conservation, development and wise use of fish and wildlife in habitats ranging from forested mountains, agricultural and urban landscapes, barrier islands and beaches, springs, rivers, estuaries, and oceans. Students and faculty are actively engaged in service activities through chapters of the American Fisheries Society and the Wildlife Society.

We in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences are passionate about natural resource conservation and management and about making a difference in how our society values sustainable natural resources. To achieve our vision, we are committed to serve as role models for excellent research, teaching, and outreach. We intend our program to be the best place to attract and nurture outstanding people who will lead in making legacy decisions. We are a self-organized, adaptive unit, and we recognize that our effectiveness is best achieved by sharing our time, talents, wisdom, and enthusiasm to enable others to act and to excel. We will continue to improve the status quo and celebrate our successes in changing the world, one person at a time.

We are recognized widely as a premier program in North America that addresses fisheries and wildlife issues of national and global concern, and our faculty are leaders in their respective disciplines.

Friday, March 5, 2010

The VT Poultry Club will be at the March 20th KTU!

The VT Poultry club will have an incubator, chicks that are available to handle, and eggs to candle!

The club consists of a group of students who are interested in poultry science!

The VT Entomology Department will be at the March 20th KTU!

Arthropod Encounters
W.B. Alwood Society, Virginia Tech Entomology Department

Hosted by the W.B. Alwood Society, Arthropod Encounters introduces visitors to the wonders of insects and other arthropods. Interact with live specimens such as Madascar hissing cockroaches and giant millipedes; view an array of preserved insects collected from the U.S. and other parts of the world; and use microscopes to see insect structures up close and personal!

The W.B. Alwood Society is the Virginia Tech Entomology Department's student organization.
One of the primary objectives of the Society is to stimulate interest in and increase knowledge of entomology and its related disciplines. Society members lead tours of the Virginia Tech Entomology Department and participate in community education fairs such as this one. Though the Society is comprised mainly of Entomology Department graduate students, membership is open to any Virginia Tech student with an interest in entomology and who desires to participate in the Society and its outreach programs.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Soil and Water Conservation Society will be exhibiting at March 20th!

Exhibit title: "H20 Olympics"

Water is our lifeline on Earth. Not only is it important to learn about what makes it special to our planet, but it is fun as well! Through a friendly "Olympic" style competition, students will learn the nature of the water molecule. In each of four events, participants will demonstrate water's unique cohesive and adhesive properties. See how many drops of water you can you can put on a penny, or how many paperclips you can suspend on the surface of the water!

The Virginia Tech Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) is a student chapter of the National Soil and Water Conservation Society. SWCS is a nonprofit organization that advocates the protection, enhancement, and wise use of soil, water, and related natural resources. Our student chapter engages in a variety of service and social activities throughout the year, including biomonitoring at local streams, environmental education workshops, stream clean-ups, community outreach, and other conservation projects. This KTU activity is taken from the Project WET curriculum & activity guide.

The Horticulture Club will be exhibiting at the March 20th KTU!

Bugs Beware!!
Can carnivorous plants eat more than bugs? Why do they eat bugs? Should you worry about being eaten by a carnivorous plant? Come let the Horticulture club enlighten you on where these plants are found and what the largest mammal is that needs to fear carnivorous plants. There will be several carnivorous plants to observe and a small craft.

The Horticulture Club foster good relations with the faculty, students, alumni and industry leaders. We are very community oriented; we participate in Adopt-A-Highway, The Harding Avenue Elementary School's Green Club, Big Event and other events. Each spring we host a plant sale that generates funds for scholarships, student trips, donations to the Horticulture department and other service projects.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

On to March 20th!

Hi everyone,

The Feb. 27th KTU program is complete and we here at KTU headquarters are getting everything reorganized and ready for the March 20th program. For this month's program we will be in a new hands-on venue! Sorry parents and kids, you'll have to wait until next Friday to find out where in your overview of day document!

The program on March 20th is centered on the discipline of science! Dr. Guillette will be giving the lecture and VT clubs and departments will be exhibiting science orientated hands-on activities. We will start posting the exhibitor abstracts tomorrow!

Below is title and abstract for the lecture on March 20, 2010-

“Why do we need alligators in the swamp?” - Answered by Dr. Lou Guillette

Lecture abstract: We live in a modern world and wonder, “why do we still have dangerous animals?” Why do we need animals – like the alligator – living in our swamps? We will explore the world of the alligator and why these animals are not only important to the swamp, but what they can tell us about the world we live in. We will discuss the concept of a “keystone species” and a “sentinel species.” A keystone species is one that other animals depend on and, if lost from our world, would lead to major changes in the environment. A sentinel species can be used to inform us about the health of a population or environment. We will learn just how the alligator is helping make a safer and cleaner environment for all of us.

Dr. Lou Guillette is a Distinguished Professor of Biology at the University of Florida (UF), Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Professor, and director of the HHMI UF G.A.T.O.R. Program. His research is concentrated in three main areas: 1. Influence of contaminants on the developmental and reproductive biology of wildlife and humans, 2. Endangered species reproduction, and 3. Evolution of maternal-fetal chemical communication.

Monday, February 22, 2010

L2Ork--World's First Linux Laptop Orchestra will be at Kids' Tech on Feb. 27th!

Exhibit Title: Introducing L2Ork -- World's First Linux Laptop Orchestra

http://l2ork.music.vt.edu

Abstract:
Imagine an orchestra where performers instead of playing traditional instruments perform using networked laptops, wiimotes, nunchuks, and hemispherical speakers fashioned out of IKEA wooden salad bowls. While this may sound like a truly odd combination, laptop's ability to fulfill many different roles has enabled us to design an entirely new kind of an ensemble as well as to explore novel ways on how to combine Arts, Sciences, and Education at an unbeatable price.

Visitors will have an opportunity to have a hands-on experience playing several L2Ork instruments, learn why we use hemispherical speakers and wiimotes, listen to compositions specifically written for the ensemble, as well as find out more about unique opportunities offered by the laptop-based ensemble.

Bio:
Dr. Ivica Ico Bukvic is an assistant professor in music composition & technology at Virginia Tech. He is the founder and director of the Digital Interactive Sound and Intermedia Studio (DISIS) and World's first Linux Laptop Orchestra (L2Ork), assistant co-director for the Collaborative for Creative Technologies in the Arts and Design (CCTAD) interdisciplinary program, a member of the Center for Human-Computer Interaction (CHCI), and as a faculty (by courtesy) in departments of Computer Science and Art & Art History.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Dr. Williams' lab will be exhibiting on Feb. 27th at KTU!

Exhibit title- How can you print your ideas in 3D?

Abstract-
Why settle for printing pictures of your new ideas, when you can print them physically in 3D? At this booth, participants will get a chance to interact with 3D Printing technology.

Starting from a three-dimensional computer drawing, a 3D Printer creates objects by depositing material for the part one cross-sectional layer at a time. The technology is primarily used to help engineers to quickly create prototypes of new products that they are designing. In addition on improving these machines to enable them to make end-use parts from metal, researchers are trying to create smaller scale 3Dprinters that could fit on your desk at home!

Visitors will be able to see this technology in action! A desktop 3D Printer will be on display (a Fab@Home machine, video avialable here and will be creating objects out of fun materials like cake frosting, cheez whiz, and clay. Examples of parts made by other types of 3D printers will also be on display for visitors to interact with.
________________________________________________
Dr. Williams is an Assistant Professor at Virginia Tech with a joint appointment in the Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Education departments. The construction of the Fab@Home machine on display at KTU has been funded by a grant sponsored by the Virginia Tech Arts Initiative. Through this project, the team is integrating the Fab@Home system into schools to provide a context for teaching students basic math, science, and engineering principles. When not at KTU, the Fab@Home machine is on display at the Kent Square Experiential Gallery. To learn more
about this project, and some of Dr. Williams's other research projects, please visit: http://www.me.vt.edu/dreams/

Garner lab will be exhibiting on Feb. 27th at KTU!

The Garner lab is known for its innovative biomedical and computational research – Dr. Harold “Skip” Garner holds several patents and continues to advance the field of optics and microscopy by finding new ways to diagnose and treat common illnesses, such as cancer. The Garner lab exhibit will show off its newest microscope – the Evos XL (manufactured by AMG), which is the first of its kind. This microscope is unique, because the interface is entirely by monitor – so no binoculars to look through! Using this microscope, children will view the many tiny, bizarre animals that are found in pond water. While the Evos XL is an example of the incredible advancements in microscopy and increasingly cool and complex devices that are now available, the basic concept of microscopy is still simple – in fact, you can make your very own microscope using a matchbox, clear plastic, and petroleum jelly. Children will make their own microscopes at this Garner exhibit – view a variety of things using both the new Garner lab microscope and their own custom microscopes. They can take their little microscopes home to look at other things – and with a little imagination, they can transform common, boring household items into cool, alien worlds not easily visible by the naked eye.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Assistive Technologies Depart. at VT, SW Virginia Assistive Technology Systems, the Training & Technical Assistance Center will exhibit on Feb. 27th!

Abstract: Assistive Technologies are any device or service that can give access or independence to individuals with disabilities. There are assistive technology (AT) solutions for learning, communicating, working, and recreating. Many of these devices and programs are readily available or built into items we use every day. Come see our exhibit and experience AT tools that can benefit everyone. Items demonstrated will be pens that can record lectures, programs that read text aloud, screen magnifiers that enlarge objects on the computer screen, modified keyboards and mice, and one device that uses mind control to move a ball.

Represented at this exhibit will be the Assistive Technologies Department at Virginia Tech, Southwest Virginia Assistive Technology Systems (SWVATS), the Training and Technical Assistance Center (T/TAC).

The Department of Biochemistry will be exhibiting on Feb. 27th!

Exhibitor title- DNA is the Recipe of Life

Abstract- In this hands-on activity, students will extract DNA from strawberries. DNA is often called the recipe of life as it provides instructions for cells in most living things. DNA can easily be extracted from strawberries which contain 6 copies of their genome. Faculty and Biochemistry students will help with the DNA extraction, and participants can take home the DNA on a stick.
________________
Dr. Glenda Gillaspy is leading this exhibit. In the Gillaspy lab, we are interested in how plants sense and respond to their environment. Specifically, the lab is focusing on enzymes that can break down the second messenger inositol triphosphate (IP3), which many organisms use to respond to various signals. For example, plants may respond to the presence of light or a change in gravity by initiating the rapid synthesis of IP3 which then triggers the release of intracellular calcium in the cell. To stop this signaling process, IP3 must be made inactive by sequential removal of its three phosphate groups. We have cloned the genes encoding 15 inositol phosphatases from the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana for our studies. This is a small, cruciferous plant which has a short life cycle, completely sequenced genome, and is amenable to both genetics and genetic transformation. To gain a better understanding of how plants use IP3 in signaling, we have constructed transgenic plants which have altered levels of the inositol phosphatases and IP3 levels. Based on their growth and development, we know that these plants are altered in their signaling responses which could help us design future strategies to combat drought and low nutrient soils.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Techsupport Community at Virginia Tech will be at the Feb. 27th hands-on event!

"Computing and Gaming through the Ages"

Abstract: An exhibit of computing through the ages. Come see what gaming looked like in the 70's and 80's! Ever wonder what a "punch card" or a "slide rule" looked like? What did kids in the 70's use to listen to their favorite music? (Hint: There were no MP3 players!) Find out what year the Internet was born. Kids will have a chance to take a sneak peek into Computers Through the Ages: The Evolution of Computing. We will have several dinosaur computers and gaming units on display as well as a PowerPoint presentation highlighting their evolution.

The Techsupport Community at Virginia Tech is a collaborative discussion group, facilitated by a listserv, of Central and Departmental Information Technology faculty and staff. "

Physics department will be exhibiting on Feb. 27th!

Exhibitor title- Why Physics is Fun

Abstract- Electricity, Magnetism, Mechanics, Optics and Pressure Demos
____________________________________
About the Physics program
Our program consists of undergraduate students in physics who have a passion for teaching physics to kids of all ages. They present hands on experiments in mechanics, electricity and magnetism, optics, and pressure.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

EngineerGirl! – Survival Design Challenge

Hi everyone,

I just got this link from Rick Barrow in the Office of Ed Research & Outreach (VA Assistive Technology System) and I thought you all may be interested. Its a contest for EngineerGirl.

Best,
Kristy

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Feb. 27th exhibit- The Fun Side of Computing

Abstract:

First and foremost, this exhibit shows some of the coolest things that can be done with freely available software today. It showcases some incredibly engaging flash games as well as complex programs that are enjoyable as well as educational. Kids will get a chance to learn important, fundamental computer skills in a fun, hands-on environment. Activities include using Google Earth to locate landmarks and other places of interest, playing Light Bot to see the fun side of programming, and Fantastic Contraption to hone problem-solving abilities in a fun and easy-going atmosphere. The exhibit also features a curriculum designed to teach kids basic programming concepts. The curriculum is based on Storytelling Alice, a drag-and-drop programming education tool.

CS^2 (Computer Science Community Service) is a student-run organization at Virginia Tech, whose mission is to reach the community by encouraging technology education. Efforts include weekly visits by volunteers to various sites in the community to teach basic computing concepts to the young, the elderly, and those that generally “fall through the cracks” in technology education.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Feb. 27th hands-on exhibit- Delivering Your Message for the 21st Century

Abstract:
Create a fun and easy video for posting to Youtube or to send to your family and friends. Choose your message, choose your background, and start recording. Learn to communicate in ways your parents could only imagine! We'll help you get it posted and you'll leave with information on how to share the video with your friends and family.

The InnovationSpace at Virginia Tech is a multimedia lab open to students, faculty, staff and the community. It offers equipment for video editing, audio recording, and other multimedia software. The InnovationSpace is located in 1140 Torgersen Hall. The InnovationSpace partners with faculty to create active and engaged learning for today's students.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Feb. 27th hands-on exhibit- Looking Down is Looking Up! How aerial photography and Satellite Imagery are Used in Natural Resource Management

Geospatial tools, which include geographic information systems (GIS), global positioning systems (GPS), and remote sensing provide us with an understanding of the earth. In this activity, participants will be able to identify changes on the earth's surface. We will examine two different time periods, and participants will explore, estimate, and measure general changes in land use and land cover during these two time periods.

Dr. McGee is a faculty member in the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation in the College of Natural Resources. He serves as the Virginia Geospatial Extension Specialist through Virginia Cooperative Extension. Additional information about the Virginia Geospatial Extension Program can be found here: http://www.cnr.vt.edu/gep

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Jan. 30th KTU Cancelled

Due to inclement weather and very hazardous driving conditions, KTU will be cancelled for today January 30, 2010.

We based this decision on information from the National Weather Service in Blacksburg, Blacksburg Transit--which has shut down for the day--and also from the Virginia Tech Police. All have confirmed snow covered roads and hazardous driving conditions. Parking lots as well have not been cleared.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library to exhibit at KTU on Saturday

To strengthen our community, the Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library provides individuals with access to information, experiences and ideas. The Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library offers a variety of programs for children and teens of all ages. The library has four branches in Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Shawsville and Floyd.

The Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library will have an exhibit at KTU on Saturday. They will be showcasing upcoming programs and books that go along with the lecture program!

KTU Inclement Weather Procedure

In the unlikely event that we will have to cancel a KTU event here is our action plan for getting the word out:
1. Email the participates
2. It will be posted on the KTU homepage (http://kidstechuniversity.vbi.vt.edu)
3. There will be a message on the phone number 540-231-1389
4. We will post it on the KTU blog (http://kidstechuniversity.blogspot.com)
5. A message will be on 710 AM, 100.7 FM, Z104 FM, 95.7 FM, 94.9 FM and 2WD.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Virginia Career VIEW exhibiting at KTU this weekend!

Virginia Career VIEW, funded by the Virginia State Department of Education Career and Technical Education department, has been
providing education and career exploration resources to Virginians of all ages for 30 years. Our premier resource, Career Town, is an interactive web based activity providing online games for grades K-5 to promote career development and educational planning through career exploration and academic skills building. Levels 1-3 provide a total of 23 online activities relating to the 16 federal career clusters while assisting students in developing academic standards of learning as well as career development skills. Students can visit Career Town to explore careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math; also included are printed manuals with additional activities for students, parents, teachers, and counselors to promote hands-on career development experiences focusing on the STEM area as well as the 16 federal career clusters.

http://www.vacareerview.org