Thursday, May 26, 2011

KTU Most Beautiful Fractal Contest winners!

Hello Everyone! I hope you didn't forget about the "Most Beautiful Fractal

We had so many great submissions, several designs that I would never have even imagine could come out of the contest! Great Job Everyone!

Below is the list the winners (1st, 2nd and 3rd) and the runner up entries (in no particular order) of each category. Congratulations to all! We will be posting the entries on the website within the next check back!

Most Creative:

1. Triangle by Liewen
2. The "M" Menace by Mustafa
3. Ladybugs Attack by Michelle
Runner up~ Super Circles by Safiya
Runner up~ A Hat of Smoke by Nicholas


1. Bushel of Roses by Krishna
2. Ficasso in Blue by Theresa
3. Spiral by Jessica
Runner up~ Fractal 1 by Elizabeth
Runner up~ Angry Storm by Brooke
Runner up~ Fractal 2 by Gracyn
Runner up~ Winter Wind by Kristina
Runner up~ Fractal 3 by Murphy


1. Fractal 8 by Christopher


1. Tsunami by Paribartan
2. Fractal 4 by Faith
3. Mutant Bat by Isabelle
Runner up~ Solar System by Hunter
Runner up~ Fractal 5 by Henry
Runner up~ Fractal 6 by Isaiah

(those that were not named were given "Fractal ____" where a number was put
in the space)

Congratulations again! And I hope you all had fun!
Kathryn Brewer

Monday, May 23, 2011

Climate Change/Environmental Literacy Educator Workshop

Do you recognize an urgency to understand the evidence being observed in changing worldwide Earth systems? Do you need exciting, quality resources to teach climate science and environmental literacy? Then, this is the workshop for you!

Saturday, Sept. 24th 2011 (12:30-4:30 pm) we will be hosting a free educator workshop called, "C2S2: Climate Change," based on the ANDRILL (ANtarctic geological DRILLing research project) Flexhibit materials for the classroom and out-of-school time settings. This workshop is funded through a partnership with VBI, Virginia 4-H, ANDRILL and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Those who attend the Sept. workshop will gain insight into climate science and experience with the Antarctica's Climate Secrets materials. They will leave with 5 posters and a DVD which includes videos and a 200+ page activity book of hands-on activities based on the 5 themes. These classroom materials were created with funding from the
National Science Foundation.

Attendees at the Sept. workshop will guarantee an invitation to apply for Workshop 2 in the C2S2: Climate Change Student Summit series (
Oct. 22nd, 2011, 12:30-4:30 pm) where educators will earn a stipend and CEU credits. In March, educators who attend workshop 2 will bring students to a Summit where they will work with scientists and interact with other students from around the world through video conferencing (educators will also earn a stipend for this activity).

The materials and activities presented in the workshops meet National Science Education Standards for grades 5-8, but have also been successfully used in grades K-12. The materials can be used in cross-curricular activities and can relate to SOL's in geography, math, science, and English.

All teachers, 4-H agents and informal educators are welcome to attend. To sign up to attend the workshop please visit- HERE or Contact- Dr. Kristy Collins at

Monday, May 9, 2011

Virtual Kids' Tech University

The Virtual Kids' Tech University has been updated with a lot of new components and features!
You can now begin exploring online materials that have been collected and created since the start of KTU in 2009.

-Visit the "Virtual World of Patterns" section to learn more from Dr. Laubenbacher's (Dr. L's)
January 2011 lecture on patterns

-Send Dr. L more questions that you may have, read the answers to questions that students have posed to Dr. L, experiment with the Fractal Maker, and the Game of Life, and watch a video from the KTU Dance hands-on activity

-Challenge yourself with Math Games at "Calculation Nation" on the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) website

-Learn more about your home planet, Earth, at the KTU Ecosystems Lab

-Then visit the red planet, Mars, with the KTU Mars Lab

-In April 2009, Dr. Phil Christensen led a lecture about why humans can't survive on Mars. Be sure to ask Dr. C even more questions with the NASA designed "Ask Dr. C." A computerized scientist that will answer questions about Mars

-Learn more about what is happening in your own backyard at the 4-H Virtual Forest & 4-H Virtual Farm!

-As a follow-up to Dr. Caitlin Kelleher's February 2009 lecture, you can now (with your parents' or guardians' assistance) download the Storytelling Alice program and begin making movies on your home computer

-Explore the 2009 Math Lab to learn more about the mathematics behind animal patterns, which was taught to the January 2009 KTU participants by Dr. Keith Devlin

-"Meet the Scientists" section allows you to read about each KTU lecture from 2009 - 2011, learn more about the scientists and their research, visit their personal webpages, and watch the KTU lecture videos

-Read KTU feedback, and submit more feedback to be posted on the website

-Parents: be sure to read the "Info For Adults" section to learn more about the purpose of the Virtual Kids' Tech University and our goals with the website

Enjoy experimenting, exploring, and learning even more, right in your own home with the Virtual Kids' Tech University!

Friday, May 6, 2011

"Science of the Olympic Winter Games" and "Science of NFL Football" Win Sports Emmy

National Science Foundation partners NBC Learn and NBC Sports Group recognized by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences

Scientific principles explored last year in two online video series called "Science of the Olympic Winter Games" and "Science of NFL Football" have earned and a Sports Emmy for Outstanding New Approaches Sports Programming.

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced the award Monday at the 32nd Annual Sports Emmy® Awards in New York.

"This is wonderful news," said Jeff Nesbit, director of the National Science Foundation's Office of Legislative and Public Affairs. NSF partnered with NBC Learn and the NBC Sports Group to create and present the series.

"Science of the Olympic Winter Games" revealed the science behind how athletes skate, ski, jump and curl their way to winter Olympic gold and "Science of NFL Football" illustrated how football players throw a spiraled pass, block an opponent and score a touchdown. By capitalizing on the power and appeal of sports, both series delivered engaging and unique science content to students and adults.

Narrated by NBC News anchor Lester Holt, the two series combined the state-of-the-art video production capabilities of NBCUniversal with the expertise of NSF-supported scientists and the athletic skills of more than a dozen Winter Olympians and former NFL athletes, who described how principles of science apply to their respective sports.

In addition, NBC Learn offered its extensive educational reach to bring the content to students and educators across the United States. Both series ran on and as well as

"Science of the Olympic Winter Games" and "Science of NFL Football" were the first "Science of Sports" projects involving NSF, NBC Learn and the NBC Sports Group.

"When we started this project we wanted to use the popularity of sports to present a range and depth of science to a huge American audience, including young people across the United States. It's nice to see the academy reward those efforts," said Nesbit.

Both Emmy award winning series can be seen online on the NBC Learn and NSF websites.