Friday, February 25, 2011
We're all about exploring . . . careers! Want to learn more about science and technology careers? Drop by our table to visit Career Town, our interactive game, pick up some "to-go" activities for kids, and get helpful information for parents.
Funded by the Virginia State Department of Education's Career and Technical Education office, all Virginia Career VIEW resources are supportive of Standards of Learning and Virginia Counseling Standards. Visit our site at: http://www.vacareerview.org/ for more information.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
The balloon rocket illustrates Newton’s Third Law of Motion: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. When a rocket blows out air at high speed in one direction (action), the rocket is pushed in the opposite direction (reaction). The air pushes against the rocket and the rocket pushes back just as hard against the air. Although we will illustrate the law with balloon rockets, the same principles apply to fuel powered rockets. A horizontal track will be set up to race the balloon rockets horizontally. The youth will explore which balloon shape is most advantageous for racing. A rocket simulation program will be displayed on the laptop computer for the youth to simulate different rocket types and flight trajectories.
Sally Farrell, 4-H Extension Agent
Craig County VCE
24838 Craigs Creek Road
New Castle, VA 24127
For more than 50 years, NASA has explored our moon, solar system and beyond — as well as our own home planet. In fact, NASA’s uses its unique vantage point of space to make critical measurements of Earth, from weather, air quality, ice and land surface to observations of Earth’s changing climate.
At the NASA tables, you will test your knowledge of the difference between weather and climate, make accurate measurements like a climate scientist, and see what our astronauts have to do to bring the comforts of Earth with them to space. We will have climate change resource information, including information on NASA’s Global Climate Change Education program.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
How do animals survive in a land where the average winter temperature can be less than -30°F? Animals in Polar Regions have special adaptations that help them to endure temperature that can plunge to below -100°F. An interactive demonstration will show how a covering of blubber helps to insulate marine mammals and penguins. Other adaptations such as coloration and special fur or feathers will also be explored. The exercise came from the C2S2 Education Program, Andril Project. Catherine Short, 4-H Extension Agent, King William and King & Queen Counties.
places that can't get it easily. We feed wastewater from a sewer to the
germs we put in the fuel cell and they give off enough electricity to power
small items like a fan or a light. People have been using these for a long
time, but right now they don't make enough electricity to make them really
useful. We are trying different things to make the fuel cells smaller and
put out more electricity.
Engineering) laboratory. The MicroN BASE lab conducts research in a number
of different areas at the intersection of biological and nanoscale sciences.
The principal investigator for this work is Dr. Bahareh Behkam, with Dr.
Michael Ellis co-advising.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
•Computers and special-purpose video magnifiers for visual magnification, color filtering, and contrast enhancements for people with visual difficulties,
•Assistive reading and literacy tools that use text-to-speech capabilities for people with learning, visual, or print disabilities,
•Voice recognition, touch screen, tablet pc, and/or adaptive input devices to assist people with difficulties in writing due to physical or learning disabilities, and
•Note taking aides and organizational tools for anyone in the classroom.
Besides looking at specialized AT applications, the AT department will be demonstrating existing accessibility options already built-in to computer operating systems and available to everyone.
Monday, February 21, 2011
Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville, Va will be exhibiting its STEM Mobile Learning Lab!
Feb. 26- “Why are glaciers in Antarctica important to people who live in Virginia?” A storytelling session led by Dr. Ellen Cowan
Dr. Ellen Cowan is a Professor of Geology at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. Her research involves the study of the sedimentary record of glaciers that reach the sea. She participated in two Antarctic research expeditions as part of the ANDRILL Project (ANarctic geological DRILLing) and the Ocean Drilling Program and has conducted research on glaciers in the bays and fjords of Alaska.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Wood materials are composed of small cells. The properties of these cells affect the use of wood materials throughout history and to today. One of the biggest differences in red oak and white oak are small crystals called tyloses that prevent material from flowing through white oak. Red oak has open pores from one end to the other that we can demonstrate. The holes in wood can be seen under a microscope and are important to creating all of the wood materials and objects that we use today. Other plant based materials like bamboo and palm are also filled with holes!
Dr. Daniel Hindman is Associate Professor in Wood Science and Forest Products. The Wood Science and Forest Products Department explores every scientific aspect of wood and fiber-based materials; from structure to chemistry to manufacturing and marketing. The Department strives to improve the use of sustainable, biological, renewable resources.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Dr. Sultan has spent a significant amount of time in industry, working among others for United Technologies Research Center primarily on helicopter control. He has also been affiliated with Harvard University where he worked on mathematical modeling of biological systems.
At Virginia Tech he is a Faculty in the AOE Department and his research is focused on tensegrity and membrane structures, helicopters and coordinated flight. He is also working on bio-inspired engineering designs such as energy harvesting systems and novel structural systems.
Friday, February 18, 2011
"The Techsupport Community at Virginia Tech is a collaborative discussion group, facilitated by a listserv, of Central and Departmental Information Technology faculty and staff. “
The Formula SAE team is a senior design project that challenges students to design, build, and race an open-wheel formula style race car. The vehicle is judged in static categories such as engineering design, presentation, and cost analysis and dynamic events such as autocross, acceleration, and endurance. Competitions are held annually in several locations around the world such as Brasil, Italy, and Germany. The competition that VT motorsports attends each year is held in Michigan where we compete against over 120 teams from across the United States and around the world. The students on the team are not only responsible for designing and building the car, but also raising money from corporate sponsors and keeping track of the finances.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
For the EWB exhibit, we will have a See-and-Say dissection. Basically, we will illustrate step-by-step how to take apart the common household toy and the importance of the different parts. Kids will get the opportunity to take apart and reconstruct the toy with tools, while learning how the toy itself works. With this hands on experience, the kids will receive insight on the process that goes behind designing these types of products. During the activity, we will touch upon the steps involved in engineering design and planning, as well as basic concepts covered in product competition and analysis. Our overall goal with this exhibit is to promote the interest of engineering in young students.
Furthermore, our exhibit will contain further information about what EWB itself is about, both locally and internationally. Should people like to get involved with EWB in some form, relative information will be available.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
The topic of our exhibit is “The Crumbling of America’s Infrastructure.” The condition of our infrastructure is in terrible shape and is in need of repair. The American Society of Civil Engineers publishes a report card for our infrastructure every few years. The most recent grades from 2009 are out and they are embarrassing. The overall grade is a ‘D.’ We need to make it a priority of ours to improve and fix our crumbling infrastructure. Young kids can help by becoming interested in studying fields of either science or engineering. The exhibit will feature video clips of examples of our deteriorating infrastructure that kids can select to watch. We hope this will be an eye-opener for students to see what is going on in the world of engineering.
Human Factors is a specialization of engineering and branch of applied psychology in which systems such as computers, medical devices and airplanes are designed, built and assessed upon how safe it is for people to use them. During the sessions kids will learn how humans process information and how to design products and systems incorporating human's strength and compensate for their weaknesses.
Kids also will learn about: memory, learning, sensation, perception, feedback, thinking, assumptions and interpretation.
About the Group: Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
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.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
"Hot Topics in Cool Science"
Through the compelling story of ANDRILL's (*AN*tarctic geological *DRILL*ing) research in the extremes of Antarctica, participants will be introduced to cutting-edge climate change science and *Antarctica’s Climate Secrets*. ANDRILL has developed hands-on materials for educators to use in formal and informal settings. ANDRILL is offering a teacher workshop in conjunction with KTU. The following day, educators from this workshop will lead the hands-on activities they learned about the day prior with the kids of Kids’ Tech University.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Students will discover concepts related to how buildings respond during earthquakes in this hands on activity. Students are encouraged to build a multistory scale building using K’nex ‘The world’s most creative construction and building toys’. The structures will then be placed on a shake table that will reproduce the ground motion that occurred during the magnitude 6.7 earthquake at Northridge California in 1994. Through this hands-on demonstration students will discover how the stiffness and mass of a structure affect its earthquake response, investigate natural frequency of a structure, and learn concepts related to designing structures to survive earthquakes.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Students will use LEGO® MINDSTORMS® to build and program their own robots with the assistance of Virginia Tech graduate students who will guide through the different steps. Robots will be capable of gathering information about the surrounding environment using acoustic, touch, infrared and ultrasound sensors. Different behaviors can be programmed to let the robots react to stimuli, such as start moving when clapping, stop at the edge of a table or follow a line. The students will be exposed to all aspect of design and programming of the robot.
The Virginia Center for Autonomous Systems (VaCAS) facilitates interdisciplinary research in autonomous systems technology. VaCAS hosts research activities spanning every application domain: water, land, air, and space. VaCAS member research activities range from fundamental control theory to vehicle development to applications for science, security, and commerce.
Sigma Alpha is a professional agricultural sorority and is focused on scholarship, leadership and service. One of our biggest goals is to educate the public about agriculture and it's importance in society.
We are having the kids make a soil profile with different types of cereal. This will teach them the different textures and particle sizes of each horizon in the soil. We will be modeling the soil that is found in this area.
Friday, February 11, 2011
Hands-on activity using magnification to sort samples and figure out clues to sea level change. Geologists use sediments to locate past sea levels. A National Science Foundation funded project at Virginia Tech is now adding fossil information to more precisely determine the depth of sea level as it changed in the Mediterranean Sea. Undergraduate interns developed this activity for kids, based on an activity from ANDRILL.
Museum of Geosciences
Llyn Sharp, Ceseley Haynes, New Intern Person
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Geospatial tools, which include geographic information systems (GIS), global positioning systems (GPS) and remote sensing, provide us with an understanding of the earth. Through this activity, participants will use GIS tools to identify changes on the earth’s surface. We will examine aerial photography from several different time periods. Based on these data, students will explore, estimate, and measure general changes in land use during these time periods, and will explore impacts to the environment and communities that are associated with these changes.
Dr. John McGee is an associate professor in the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation at Virginia Tech through the Virginia Geospatial Extension Program. The Virginia Geospatial Extension Program provides workforce development opportunities in GPS, GIS, and remote sensing to support the needs of local governments, state agencies, faculty at 4-year colleges and universities, and pre-college educators. The Geospatial Extension Program directly supports the needs of Virginia Cooperative Extension’s educators and specialists and related programming efforts.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
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. At the DREAMS Lab at Virginia Tech, we are researching how these machines can be used to make end-use products. How about a customized bicycle helmet? A custom iPhone cover? A set of braces? Only 3D Printing can make this a reality!
Visitors will be able to see this technology in action. Two desktop 3D Printers will be on display along with a 3D Scanner. Examples of parts made by other types of 3D printers will also be on display for visitors to interact with.
The mission of the DREAMS Lab is to lead the transition from "rapid prototyping" to "additive manufacutring" through advances in product design, process and materials research, and engineering education. Dr. Williams, the director of the DREAMS Lab, is an Assistant Professor at Virginia Tech with a joint appointment in the Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Education departments. His joint appointment reflects his diverse research interests which include layered manufacturing, design education, and product design. The construction of the Fab@Home machine has been funded by a grant sponsored by the VT Arts Initiative. Through this project the team is exploring the integration of the 3D printing in schools to provide a context for teaching students basic math, science, and engineering principles.