Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Virginia Tech Kids' Tech University- Open Registration

Registration is open for the Virginia Tech Kids' Tech University program. Please see this link to enroll a child!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington D.C.

Don’t miss the largest celebration of science in the US!

April 28
& 29, 2012, 10:00am-6:00pm (4:00 pm on Sunday), Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington D.C.

What is the universe made of? Why did dinosaurs go extinct? What do magic tricks and hip-hop have to with math? What will be the next medical breakthrough? What do fossils and rocks tell us about the Earth’s secrets? What does baseball have to do with physics? Find out at the 2nd USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo! Explore science & engineering with 2,000 free, hands-on activities and over 100 stage shows and author presentations. The two-day Expo is perfect for teens, children and their families, and anyone with a curious mind who is looking for a weekend of fun and discovery. Meet Science Celebrities, award-winning Science Authors and Nobel Prize winners from the past and present. New this year: A Career Pavilion for high-school students, a Book Fair featuring over 30 science authors, and a science carnival for children! The Expo is the pinnacle event of the 2nd USA Science & Engineering Festival to be held in the greater Washington D.C. area in
April 2012. The Festival is a collaboration of over 500 of the nation’s leading science and engineering organizations. For more information on all Festival events and how you can get involved, visit

Monday, November 28, 2011

Virginia Tech KTU enrollment- registration glitches

Hi everyone,

Over the last hour we found out that Google Chrome and Firefox are having issues with the VT Survey System. After you enrolled your child in the program you should have seen a box that popped up with further instructions- this means you enrolled your child. If you did not see that box and the survey automatically erased all your information and went straight back to the survey-- you have not enrolled your child. Use Internet Explorer or Safari- it should go through then.

If you have any questions about your child's enrollment please don't hesitate to contact Kristy Collins at or 540-231-1389; make sure you list the county/state information you registered them under.

We apologize for any inconvenience.


Enrollment opening TODAY for Virginia Tech Kids' Tech University program!!


The Virginia Tech Kids' Tech University program for the Spring 2012 semester will open enrollment on Monday, Nov. 28th at 6 pm! Please see this website for enrollment information. Remember to "refresh" your link if you are having troubles registering at 6 pm.

The "Meet the Scientist" topics include:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Virginia Tech Kids' Tech University opens enrollment on TODAY- Nov. 28th at 6 pm!


The Virginia Tech Kids' Tech University program for the Spring 2012 semester will open enrollment TODAY- Monday, Nov. 28th at 6 pm! Please see this website for enrollment information.

The "Meet the Scientist" topics include:

Monday, November 21, 2011

Dr. Skip Garner's, The Majorizer!

Dr. Harold "Skip" Garner, Executive Director of Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech, recently lead a team of scientists in creating a computer program for Virginia Tech undergraduates. The concept is simple, type in your interests, press "Submit to find matched courses and majors" and a list of Virginia Tech majors and/or courses corresponding to your interests is displayed. Majorizer works for undergrads and also suggest fields of study for graduate work. The program -- called The Majorizer -- is in beta form. Dr. Garner is excited to share this program with KTU! (Kids' Tech University was first developed at Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, in cooperation with Virginia 4-H.)

Check it out!-- The Majorizer

When you attend Virginia Tech, what undergraduate or graduate major best fits your interests?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Nov. 19th Interactive Session abstract for the VSU Kids' Tech University program!

"Why Is Antarctica So "Cool" To Geologists?"

Geologists are scientists that study the Earth in order to understand what our planet looked like in the past, how it changed to its present form and what it will look like in the future. These are important issues for all of us so we can better predict and prepare for any changes that may occur and can affect our way of life. Antarctica is a great place for geologists to work, because it is a very old continent that has experienced a lot of changes and can help answer some of these questions. Scientists have drilled for rocks in Antarctica to learn how mountains and volcanoes formed and how they might be related to earthquakes or what kind of plants and animals lived there in the past and why and when they dissapeared. Rocks can also tell us why there is so much ice in Antarctica, when it all formed and, ultimately, how its melting will affect the rest of the world.

Cristina Millan is a Ph.D. student in the School of Earth Sciences at the Ohio State University. Her research focusses on rock deformation, rock structures and fluids beneath the Earth's surface. She has travelled to Antarctica to do field work on three occasions, two of them as a member of the ANDRILL research team.

Friday, November 18, 2011

VSU Engineering Department will exhibit on Nov. 19th at the VSU KTU program

The VSU Engineering Department will be exhibiting 2 Thermal Vision Cameras! The students will learn about surveying Temperature Measurement and Remote Temperature Measurement. The department will also be available to discuss other applications in military or industrial situations.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Science Museum of Virginia is exhibiting at the Nov. 16th VSU program!

At the Science Museum of Virginia exhibit, we will look at the different types of rocks: sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic. Kids will be able to look at, identify, and touch different samples as they learn. As they are learning about how different rocks form, they will also make a model door hanger that shows the 4 main layers of the earth's crust and list some brief facts about each layer. They will learn a little bit about tectonic plates, continental drift, and why continents look like they do.

Also, we will have information about other neat things that are going on at the Science Museum of Virginia! Come check it out!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Nov. 16th VSU hands-on exhibit- "Antarctica and Climate Change Secrets"

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. Educators from this workshop will lead hands-on activities they learned about the morning of the event with the kids of Kids’ Tech University.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

VSU exhibitor abstract- "Zooplankton Experience"

Interaction Description:
Zooplankton are small animals that float or drift in great numbers in fresh or salt water but cannot swim against currents. Zooplankton come in all different sizes, some are too small to see with the naked eye and some jellyfish can grow to be 6 ft long and weigh 400 lb. In Antarctica, zooplankton are very important to the health of the ecosystem. They act as the main food source for large apex predators like whales, seals, penguins and other marine birds. We'll be showing you what some of the important Antarctic zooplankton look like, how we study them and some of the threats they face with continuing global climate change.

Project Description:
The Palmer Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) study area is located to the west of the Antarctic Peninsula extending South and North of the Palmer Basin from onshore to several hundred kilometers off shore. The Palmer LTER studies a polar marine biome with research focused on the Antarctic pelagic marine ecosystem, including sea ice habitats, regional oceanography and terrestrial nesting sites of seabird predators. The Palmer LTER is one of more 26 LTER research sites located throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Tahiti; each focused on a specific ecosystem, that together constitute the LTER Network.

Presented by:
Kate Ruck

Monday, November 14, 2011

VSU KTU abstract for Nov. 19th- "Groundwater in changing Climate"

"Groundwater in changing Climate"

Climate change does not just increase air temperature, melt polar ice and glaciers, and raise sea level; it has the potential to change precipitation patterns that also will change the availability of groundwater and surface water so critical to our lives. Although many might not realize it, groundwater potentially is our most important source of water. Not only do we draw groundwater from aquifers directly beneath us, but groundwater also supplies from 60% to more than 90% of the water that flows through streams in Virginia. It also supplies much of the water to plants, including the crops that supply our food and vegetation that protects and supports wildlife. Thus, understanding where and how groundwater flows and how this might change as climate changes is essential to managing the quality and quantity of these critical water supplies.

This hands-on activity is present by:

Gary K. Speiran
Research Hydrologist
U.S. Geological Survey
Virginia Water Science Center

Friday, November 11, 2011

Something for everyone about Antarctic penguins

Dear Educators and Parents,

Take your students/kids on a virtual field trip to the Adélie Penguin breeding
colony at Cape Royds, Ross Island, Antarctica. Penguin Science is an NSF funded project engaging and educating classrooms and the public with Antarctic penguins as they raise their chicks and cope with global climate change.

· Students/kids adopt a penguin family, keep a field notebook recording foraging trips, egg hatching and chick rearing data. Follow daily pictures as they raise their chicks. Live pictures start
Nov 10, 2011

· Combine science, art and geography as students track their postcards mailed to them from Antarctica.

· Design and make a flag to fly at our research station.

· Classroom ready activities, teaching powerpoints, short videos and movie clips on the biology and behavior of Adélie Penguins.

Something for everyone about Antarctic penguins. Check out the adaptation page, gallery of pictures, field notes and penguin cartoons.

Questions or comments? Email me

Jean Pennycook
Penguin Education Specialist

Monday, November 7, 2011

Virginia Tech Open House- Saturday, November 12, 2011, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

You and your family are invited to attend the Virginia Tech Open House! Saturday, November 12, 2011, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Please join us for a behind-the-scenes look at how Virginia Tech is inventing the future as more than 60 areas across campus open their doors to the community. Participants will tour world-class facilities, learn about cutting-edge research, and interact with faculty and students. Don't miss this rare opportunity to explore Virginia Tech.

Use this website to plan your visit. There are more activities and information to come, so please check back often to see what your favorite unit is up to and how to best navigate your day! Transportation will be provided. Blacksburg Transit (the university’s bus system) will provide complimentary shuttle service on three different loops with multiple stops. There will also be complimentary parking on campus. As a courtesy to our guests, visitor passes will not be required for campus parking lots on Saturday, November 12, with the exception of otherwise restricted spaces (loading zones, handicap spaces, etc.). See the Parking Map for available lots and locations. The Universal Access Campus Map Page shows accessible routes and building entrances for individuals who have mobility impairments or who just need to have reasonably accessible paths.

There will be a printed brochure available at the Open House with a campus map and list of events and activities, but you can download your own PDF version to bring with you.

For additional information or questions, please contact 540-231-2190 or

Start at the Visitor Center for details about activities, maps, etc.

Map of Events and Activities

Events by Sponsor

Events by Location

Events by Type

Events by Time

See the Mobile Site for smart phones and tablets

There is also an Admissions Open House this weekend.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Information about 4-H

Hi Kids' Tech University kids and parents,

Many of you have expressed interest in the 4-H program. 4-H is enriched with learning experience where young people partner with caring adults and volunteers in a fellowship unparalleled to any other program available to youth today. Through 4-H, young people are encouraged to participate in a variety of activities that emphasize 4-H's "learning by doing" philosophy of youth development. The goals are to help kids develop as responsible individuals and as productive citizens in their communities. 4-H creates supportive environments for culturally diverse youth, 5-19 years of age, to reach their fullest potential.

There is a 4-H program you and your family can get involved in right where you live. The program depends on volunteers. Volunteering through 4-H is one of the best things a family can do together. Contact your local 4-H County Cooperative Extension Service or visit our website.

Albert Reid
Extension Specialist
4-H Environmental Education

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Virginia Aerospace Science & Technology Scholars Program- for HS juniors- Application due Nov. 4th

The Virginia Space Grant Consortium, NASA Langley Research Center, and the Virginia Department of Education are partnering to provide an exciting opportunity for high school juniors in Virginia in 2011-2012. This competitive program allows high school juniors to apply for an engaging NASA-developed course using a space exploration theme. Online coursework will teach a broad range of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills aligned with Virginia and national standards. After successfully completing the course, scholars have the opportunity to be selected to participate in an all-expense-paid, seven-day residential Academy at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. The program seeks to broaden students' STEM knowledge, while providing meaningful, real-world experiences and career role models.

The Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars (VASTS) coursework is offered online from
December 2011 through May 2012. This graded course consists of ten lessons and a final project that allow students to build their knowledge of NASA and space exploration and key STEM skills. Master educators will work with students online throughout the course, providing ongoing communication and feedback on assignments, quizzes, and the final project.

Students selected for the residential NASA Summer Academy will spend seven days with science, engineering, and technology mentors, and master educators at NASA Langley Research Center in the summer of 2012. They will undertake a mentored team aerospace mission and will be immersed in hands-on, experiential STEM activities. Students will receive two college credits for successful completion of online coursework and two college credits for the Summer Academy.

To apply, students must:

* be a high school junior with an interest in science, technology, engineering or mathematics;
* be a Virginia resident and U.S. citizen;
* have a minimum GPA of 2.7;
* be at least 16 years of age; and
* have Internet access and e-mail to complete online assignments.

Additional background information and application forms can be found at: .

The application deadline is
November 4, 2011. For further information, please contact Amber Agee-DeHart, VASTS program manager, Virginia Space Grant Consortium, by e-mail at or by telephone at (757) 766-5210.