Saturday, March 31, 2012

"MWEE Held at Virginia State University" by Albert Reid

On March 2, a Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) was held for the first time at Virginia State University’s Randolph Farm for approximately 200 middle school students. This event was in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, James River Soil and Water Conservation District, Prince George County Public Schools and Prince George County 4-H. Students participated in hands –on environmental learning activities concerning the Chesapeake Bay. The following is a list of the different stations the students were exposed to during the event. Stops included activities involving wetlands (soil probe testing), parking lot runoff, fish identification and aquatic habitats, riparian buffers (Appomattox River site), aquatic water quality analysis, hydroponics, and animals (alpacas, goats & sheep). Presentations were adapted to the Virginia Standards of Learning.

What is a MWEE?

A MWEE is an investigative or experimental project that engages students in thinking critically about the Bay watershed. A MWEE integrates field work in the Chesapeake Bay watershed with multidisciplinary classroom activities and instruction. Students then share their discoveries with local schools and communities, both orally and in writing.

MWEEs Are Integrated within the Instructional Program.

A MWEE is not a single field trip; rather, the experience reflects an integrated approach to learning. MWEE’s align with jurisdictional learning standards and occur where and when they fit into the existing curriculum. They are also effective tools for teaching many subjects including science, math, history, reading and art.

MWEEs Involve Preparation, Action and Reflection.

A MWEE is organized into three phases. First students research and discuss a watershed issue or problem in preparation for the field component. Second, students take action by observing, measuring, or collecting data during their outdoor experience. Third, students return to the classroom, reflect upon and analyze their project and reach conclusions.

MWEEs Reveal the Watershed as a System.

MWEEs have an intentional connection to the watershed as a whole. Experiences focus not only on the Bay, rivers, and streams, but also on terrestrial issues such as erosion control, buffer creation, groundwater protection, and pollution prevention.

For more information concerning MWEEs contact:

Page Hutchinson

Watershed Outreach and Education

Project Wet Coordinator
Virginia Office of Environmental Education

VT KTU April 7th exhibit- Polymer-GAK Exhibit

The American Medical Student Association (AMSA) from Virginia Tech will be presenting the polymer exhibit. This is a hands on exhibit where children will be able to make GAK (slime). Step-by-step instructions and assistance will be given to every child by an AMSA member. Feel free to take creations home!

Hosted by- American Medical Student Association from Virginia Tech

American Medical Student Association is a national organization. The chapter at Virginia Tech is student-governed and is comprised of premedical students.

VT KTU April 7th exhibit- What's in your Pool? Human Genetic Variation and Inherited Traits

Look around you. We are all human beings and share 99.9% of the same DNA. So why do we all look so different? At this booth students will learn about simple genetics through an exploration of dominant and recessive traits. Each trait, or physical characteristic, is determined by a person’s genetic makeup. Every person inherits two copies of each gene (known as allelles), one from mom and one from dad. The combination of these alleles will determine the actual trait exhibited by the individual person. Students will look at themselves and consider several common physical traits, such as the ability to curl their tongue, the presence of dimples, and their dominant hand. They will then make and take their own “trait bracelets” to demonstrate their individuality and similarity to others.

Hosted by- Scieneering and CEED

Scieneering is a comprehensive interdisciplinary program of academics and research at the intersection of science, engineering and law, through which students are exposed to real-world, multi-dimensional problems that require knowledge beyond a single discipline. Current Scieneers come from more than 10 science and engineering majors and perform research under the direction of one of over 100 voluntary faculty mentors.
The Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity (CEED) provides encouragement and support to engineering students, focusing on the under-represented population, in an effort to increase the diversity of students who apply to, enroll, and graduate from engineering and awareness of engineering and other technical fields as an exciting and rewarding career path.

Friday, March 30, 2012

VT KTU April 7t exhibit- hosted by the American Water Resources Association (AWRA)

The Student Chapter of American Water Resources Association (AWRA) will be hosting an exhibit of getting to know water and your watershed by showing a model watershed and playing H2Olympics. A model watershed will be used to demonstrate how water moves over the landscapes and in communities. What types of pollutants run off and what types of things can we do to prevent it will be explored in a fun and interactive way. The H2Olympics sets up games for kids to compete on events like pole vaulting, balance beam, and slalom to test the adhesion and cohesion properties of water. Come out to test your skills and learn about water and how it affects our watershed.

The American Water Resources Association (AWRA) is a multidisciplinary student organization. Student members come from many different fields and backgrounds (engineering, education, forestry, soils, biology, ecology, geography, management, regulation, hydrology, etc.) but share a general interest in our water resources. Group activities include co-sponsoring seminars, participating in volunteer/outreach activities, providing support in water education, stream monitoring with Save-Our-Stream techniques, and supporting Amman Imman—a non-profit organization that works to supply safe-drinking water to African communities. Overall, AWRA’s mission is to support the education, management, and research of our water resources.

VT KTU April 7th exhibit - Virginia Career VIEW Interactive Games

Join Virginia Career VIEW to explore what careers use science, medicine, and technology. What can you do now to get ready for college and careers? Play our interactive games on our free website and learn more about what you can do to reach your career goals. We are part of the School of Education and our mission is to create college and career resources just for grades K-8. Our website is fun, free, and includes things to print, games to play, a career search, college search, and more! Parents learn how you can help your student think about being college and career ready now!

Hosted by- Virginia Career VIEW VT SOE

Virginia Career VIEW is currently funded by the Virginia Department of Education and is based at Virginia Tech's College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, School of Education, in the Office of Educational Research and Outreach. VIEW provides free training and resources to grades K-8 students, educators, and parents about career and college exploration and planning. We are one of the first and only free state based career exploration systems in the nation. All activities meet the Virginia Standards of Learning and the Virginia School Counseling Standards.

BGSU Kids' Tech University March program

"Why are tomatoes red? What the tomato genome sequence tells us about the color of tomato fruit."

An interactive session led by Dr. David Francis

David Francis, Associate Professor, Horticulture and Crop Sciences, The Ohio State University, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Wooster, OH.

DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is the building block of life. The DNA alphabet has only four letters A, T, C and G, which are arranged in 12 strings known as chromosomes; the complete DNA sequence of tomato stretches over 950 million letters! Scientists use the DNA sequence of plants to develop new types of plants that are more productive, resistant to disease, and can provide nutrition for us. What we can learn from the DNA sequence of tomato? Does the DNA sequence tell us about the color? What about the nutritional value of a tomato?

Tomato color is caused by a group of chemicals called "carotenoids", an important class of pigments that include vitamin A. Several proteins are needed to make a specific carotenoid. The information to make the proteins comes from the DNA sequence of tomato. By comparing the DNA sequence from different tomatoes, using mathematical tools, we can learn which part of the sequence is responsible for making the proteins that assemble and modify carotenoid pigments. Other parts of the sequence determine when, and in which part of the plant those proteins are made. We will also talk about how we use the information in the DNA sequence to make new varieties of tomatoes.

Dr. David Francis is an Associate Professor in Horticulture and Crop Science at Ohio State University in Wooster Ohio. David grew up in Southern California and did his doctoral studies at the University of California, Davis in the heart of the Central Valley of California, the largest tomato-producing region in the world. The Central Valley of California is a very hot, dry environment in the summer. By comparison, the Midwest is cooler and more humid, conditions that are much more favorable, for plant pathogens. The primary goal of his research group is to use the genetic information of wild type and domesticated tomato varieties to develop new cultivars with improved fruit quality and disease resistance for the Mid west environment. Ultimately though, the product of his research has to be a tasty tomato, so yes David eats his work.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

VT KTU April 7th exhibit- "H2O Olympics"

Learn about properties of water with fun, simple experiments you can do at home! We will also have a game exploring resources trees need to grow and how they compete with other trees.

Exhibit hosted by- VT Soil and Water Conservation/Environmental Student Organization

The VT Soil and Water Conservation Society is dedicated to helping educate the public about current issues pertaining to soil, water, and the environment as a whole. The Environmental Student Organization is partnering with VTSWCS to help with this mission. ESO is involved in education, recycling initiatives, and other activities promoting environmental conservation and appreciation.

VT KTU April 7t exhibit- W. B. Alwood Entomological Society

The W. B. Alwood Entomological Society, started in 1966, is a student-run organization bound by our shared interest of insects and the desire to relate our interests in the world at large. Come to our exhibit where we will show the importance of insects on Earth and how they directly, and indirectly, affect you. We will have microscopes to see insects in high definition, and we will have live insects from our very own insect zoo!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

VT KTU April 7th exhibit- "Some Assembly Required…"

Participants will be taking apart and/or putting together different types of computers (laptops, desktops, servers) in order to learn about the different parts that make up these machines. Volunteers will explain the functions of the various parts and assist the participants in the activities.

Hosted by Blacksburg Office of Rackspace

Fanatical Support® has made Rackspace the service leader in cloud computing. We deliver enterprise-level hosting services to businesses of all sizes and kinds around the world. We got started in 1998 and since have grown to serve more than 172,000 customers. Rackspace integrates the industry's best technologies for each customer's specific need and delivers it as a service via the company's commitment to Fanatical Support. Our core products include Managed Hosting, Cloud Hosting and Email & Apps. There are currently over 4,000 Rackers around the world serving our customers. The Blacksburg office of Rackspace is the home of product development for our email and related applications and one of a number of development centers for our cloud products.

Monday, March 26, 2012

VT KTU April 7th exhibit- "Extracting DNA from Strawberry"

DNA is the genetic material that gives living organisms their characteristics. The Biochemistry Club of Virginia Tech invites all KTU participants to engage in a hands-on DNA extraction from strawberry. We use strawberries as a source for extracting DNA because they are soft and easy to pulverize, and they produce enzymes which aid in breaking down the plant cell walls. Strawberries have enormous genomes. They are octoploid, which means they have eight of each type of chromosome (which equals abundant DNA). At the end of this experiment participants can take their strawberry DNA home.

The Biochemistry Club of Virginia Tech is an undergraduate Biochemistry majors group that sponsors events for career development of students. One important activity is the engagement of elementary school students in science activities.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Virginia Tech Kids' Tech University March session

“How Much Work Could a Network Net if a Network Could Net Work?”

An interactive session led by Dr. Stephen Eubank

Deputy Director of the Network Dynamics and Simulation Science Laboratory at Virginia Bioinformatics Institute and a Virginia Tech Adjunct Professor of Physics

Every day, we have to deal with dozens of networks, from natural ones like spider webs to man-made ones like road networks, telephone networks, and the world-wide web. What is it about networks that makes them a solution for so many different problems? How can we design networks so they'll do the things we want them to do – like let us make a phone call to the other side of the world – and not do things we don't want them to do – like spread a virus? We'll start by describing networks as mathematical objects so that we can think about them in precise ways. Then we'll look for patterns in the kinds of things that can happen on networks and how they're related to the way the network is put together. Along the way, we'll take detours and short cuts through the networks of science, mathematics, and computing.

Dr. Stephen Eubank is the Deputy Director of the Network Dynamics and Simulation Science Laboratory at Virginia Bioinformatics Institute and a Virginia Tech Adjunct Professor of Physics. Dr. Eubank’s research and training program centers on detailed mathematical modeling and computer simulation of biological systems. Two principle areas of interest are population-level infectious disease epidemiology and cellular-level immunology. For both of these, he and his collaborators are integrating knowledge from diverse areas of biology and sociology into high-performance-computing enabled simulations with tens of millions of interacting agents.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

VT March 24th KTU exhibit- "How Hard Does Your Heart Work?"

What does your heartbeat look like? What happens to your heart when you do different activities? What makes your heart pump faster or slower?

Join Virginia Tech Rescue on Saturday to find out the answers to these questions and find out a little bit more about your most important organ; Your Heart! You will be able to see how your heart beats faster when you do strenuous activities and will also be able to see what your heart beat looks like on a computer screen!

The Virginia Tech Rescue Squad is an student-run volunteer EMS agency that provides 24/7 emergency care service to all of Virginia Tech's campus. VTRS has been providing 911 medical care to students, faculty, and visitors for the past 43 years, free of charge. Not only do we offer around-the-clock medical service, but we also attend standbys for large events and football games on campus, provide transport from the on campus clinic to higher care facilities, and offer CPR, AED, and First Aid certification classes to students, faculty, and visitors. VTRS maintains its fleet of four advanced life support (ALS) equipped ambulances, one ALS quick response vehicle, a communications interoperability command and control unit, a special operations truck and trailer, a mass casualty response unit, Cycle Emergency Response Team, and an all terrain vehicle.

VT KTU March 24th exhibit- "VTC’s Food Laboratory: Guess that Portion Size"

Healthy eating means knowing what and how much you eat. Although the terms serving and portion sizes are used interchangeably, they are actually two different things. A “serving” is the amount of food recommended by consumer education material such as MyPyramid. A “portion” is the amount of food you choose to eat at any one time. If your portion is bigger than one food group serving, it counts as more than one serving. To overcome portion distortion, kids will have the chance to be part of a game show where they estimate recommended serving sizes using common household items.

PIG: Pediatric Interest Group from Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine will be presenting this exhibit!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

VT KTU March 24th exhibit- "VT KTU Feb. 25th exhibit - VT Rocketry and SPACE (Student Participating in Advancing spaCe Education)"

Come build a paper rocket with VT Rocketry! Using a sheet of paper, an index card, a pencil and an air launcher, build a pencil sized paper rocket and see how far you can fly! Learn about how VT Rocketry is participating in the annual NASA USLI competition and come take a look at our prototype rocket! It's four feet tall and flies to over 1000 feet!

You will also learn about buoyancy and the ideal gas law using Cartesian Divers! Using a straw, some paper clips, a rubber band and a 2-Liter bottle, watch as the "diver" that you make "magically" sinks as you squeeze the bottle filled with water but then rises when you release it! It's not actually magic but it sure does look like it!

VT KTU March 24th exhibit- CanSat at VT and the RASC-AL senior design team joint booth!

The CanSat at VT organization and the RASC-AL senior design team are hosting a joint exhibit for KTU on February 25th. CanSat is a competition for students to build a miniature satellite roughly the size of two soda cans that gets launched into the lower atmosphere and collects and transmits atmospheric and telemetry data on its way down to the ground. The RASC-AL group works on a paper study for NASA for a potential manned mission to Mars.

We will be hosting 3 distinct activities at our booth. For the first activity kids will build paper rockets using paper, a straw and a index card. They'll learn very basic things about control and fins. For the second activity the kids will design a duck call straw. And lastly, the kids will see some "cool" electronics gadgets.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

VT KTU March 24th exhibit- "Hydropower"

Hydropower is a form of generating electricity that has changed the world. We will be taking a look at where this started and how it has changed through human ingenuity. Also how has Hydropower taken on such a big role in the world? We plan to go over the inner workings of the plants including its turbines, power transformation process and the damns that are used to do this. Although Hydropower may be clean and renewable it does have its draw backs like all power plants. The world is looking to improve this clean energy source by making it more efficient and friendly to local ecosystems.

Theta Tau is a Professional Engineering Fraterity that regularly engages in outreach programs designed to increase awareness and interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Our target audiences range from young children in pre-school to the entire community. One of our main goals is to debunk common misconceptions, and educate people about certain technologies and practices that have an unwarranted reputation in public opinion. Our mission with this booth is to both highlight the advantages of hydropower and also point out its limitations and environmental impact.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Virginia Tech Museum of Geosciences Public Program

Museum of Geosciences Public Program
Thursday, March 22, 2012 4:00-5:00pm
2062 Derring Hall

Hokiesaurus Presents: Rocks and Minerals

Join the Geosciences Outreach Team for hands-on activities with common rocks and minerals.

We will learn how geoscientists test minerals to classify them and how they look for minerals in rocks to identify rock types.

We will also have a chance to see some of the beautiful examples of minerals from Virginia and around the world in the Museum collections. This program is appropriate for K-12 youth and interested educators. Parking in the Perry St. F/S lot, passes available in the Museum.

VT KTU March 24th exhibit- "How well do YOU wash YOUR hands?"

Glo Germ Activity:
Using a safe and nontoxic lotion or powder based product that fluoresces under black light, we will be able to demonstrate to participants the importance of properly washing your hands. The lotion or powder is rubbed onto hands and cannot be seen under regular light. The participants will then go wash their hands as they usually do. This can be done if there is a bathroom nearby, we could walk groups back and forth. Then the participants hands are placed in a box containing a black light to show where the lotion still remains on their hands. Usually there is still some around the fingertips or between fingers. This activity demonstrates the importance of thoroughly washing ones hands because wherever lotion is there may also be the potential for germs to still be present.

The Food Science Club of Virginia Tech is a student organization whose missions include education, career development, community outreach and fellowship.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

VT KTU March 24th exhibit- "Special Senses"

How do your body recognize what happens in the environment? In our exhibit medical students from Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine will interact with you to demonstrate the Special Senses. You will learn that 1) Touch is part of the sensory system and it is more than using our hands to feel things. Our skin helps us to recognized difference in temperature, vibrations, texture, pressure and pain. 2) The visual system can trick us with optical illusion due bright light and contrasting patterns. It is the mental processing that determines how we see the world. 3) The auditory system detects sound vibration and we can identify where the sounds come from because we have two ears on each side of our head. 4) Taste and Smell are the chemical senses and they are very close related.

Volunteers students and a faculty from Basic Sciences from Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine (Roanoke, VA) will be presenting this exhibit!

Friday, March 16, 2012

VT KTU March 24th exhibit- "Microbiology"

Our exhibit will focus on the role microbes play in our daily lives both good and bad. We will have microscopes set up so that individual bacterial cells may be seen and we will have bacterial cultures from different environments available for observation. The small size of bacteria will be emphasized as well as the importance of hand washing before eating.

The Microbiology Club of Virginia Tech is a student chapter of the American Society for Microbiology. Its memberships consists primarily of undergraduate students from across campus with an interest in microbiology.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

VT KTU March 24th exhibit- "Food Factor"

Are you a fearless eater? Come find out at the Food Factor table run by the Student Dietetic Association of Virginia Tech! You may find a food you never knew existed, may like a food you have never liked before and even learn some fun facts about the foods!

The Virginia Tech Student Dietetic Association is a student run organization comprised of undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in nutrition. Many of our members plan to become registered dietitians. The mission of the Student Dietetic Association is to provide students interested in nutrition opportunities to engage in events and activities around campus and the community that will offer further experience and opportunities in the field of nutrition.

VT KTU March 24th exhibit- "What do you want to be when you grow up?!"

Come explore Virginia Career VIEW's online and print resources about careers in the fields of science and mathematics. Explore unusual careers, play computer games, and learn more about which careers might be a good match for you!

Virginia Career VIEW offers free career exploration resources for K-8 students in Virginia. Based in the School of Education at Virginia Tech, VIEW offers various hands-on resources for students to explore skills and interests as they relate to career development. In addition to providing resources for students and parents, VIEW also holds annual workshops and webinars for educators.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

VT KTU March 24th exhibit- "Rainbow Eggs"

Before an egg is laid, it begins as a yolk in the hen. The white portion of the egg is added later, followed by the hard outer shell. The yolk is formed in a series of layers that are put down each day as the yolk develops. If a hen is fed pills filled with non-toxic dye, that dye will appear in the fatty parts of the hen's body after a few days. This includes the developing egg yolks. We fed red and blue dye capsules to white leghorn hens on alternating days for one week. Then, we collected and hard-boiled the hens' eggs. As you will see, the yolks have a series of colored layers. These red and blue layers correspond to the days that the hens were fed either red or blue dye, demonstrating how the yolk is formed.

The Poultry Club at Virginia Tech is a group intended for students of all majors who are interested in learning more about or becoming involved in either poultry science or the commercial poultry industry.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

VT KTU March 24th exhibit- "The importance of exercising and nutrition"

Healthy nutrition and exercise is extremely important for growing children and adults. We will be explaining the importance of healthy foods and how it is beneficial to their health. In addition to this we will provide information about how exercise can prove to be beneficial to mental and physical health. At the both, along with the information being provided, we will have the children learn how to find their heart rate, and then have them do a set number of jumping jacks. Afterwards they will find their heart rate again and will be informed about why that occurs and where their heart rate should be as a healthy child.

Alpha Chi Sigma is the Professional Chemistry Fraternity here at Virginia Tech. We strive to give back to the community while at the same time help teach others about Chemistry.

Monday, March 12, 2012

April 28th and 29th- USA Science and Engineering Festival, DC Convention Center

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

April 28
& 29, 2012, 10:00am-6:00pm (4:00 pm onSunday), 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?

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 on April 28th and 29th. 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

VT KTU March exhibit- "Tracking the geographical spread of disease: how and why diseases seem more prevalent in today’s globalized world"

Analyzing disease transmission and diffusion assists in understanding the etiology of a specific disease. This analysis also provides health care providers and public health officials with the tools necessary to track diseases and determine where and when to apply preventative measures. We will examine the types of disease diffusion and why different disease spread in different ways. We will review how globalization has contributed to the spread of diseases and discuss if new diseases are emerging. We will also examine ways to prevent disease and other illnesses at the local level, including innovative ways to grow healthy, more nutritious foods.

This hands-on activity is being led by three masters students in our Medical Geography Program, with assistance from a Ph.D. student and three undergraduate students from the Department of Geography. The Geography Department (founded in 1975), located in Major Williams Hall, is part of the College of Natural Resources and Environment. We offer both Bachelors and Masters Degrees and we participate in the College of Natural Resources doctoral program in Geospatial and Environmental Analysis. We have recently added a new degree program in Meteorology. The department’s students are active in its Geographic Society’s many outreach events and fellowship activities, such as exploring caves in southwest Virginia. More information about our program, our students, staff, and faculty can be found on our website at here.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

VT KTU March 24th exhibit- "Wheelchair challenge"

Many times we don’t think how amazing is to be able to walk and move around. About 50 million Americans have a disability according to the US Census Bureau (about 1 in 5 of us). Roughly 40 Million of those with disabilities need NO ASSISTANCE to carry out their daily activities. Do you have what it takes to live independently with a disability? Come to our exhibit and take the challenge!

Students from the medical school at Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine will help you go through a wheelchair obstacle course and learn more about the challenges which 3 million people in the United States face every day.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

VT KTU March 24th exhibit- "Play hard, eat right! or Fit for Nutrition"

Club members will demonstrate different exercise activities and with the room we have, there will be a miniature relay race for the children (just two groups of 2-3 children) in which they will complete an exercise and then tag the next child to complete the next exercise. We will also have some sort of nutrition activity, most likely highlighting MyPlate and how they can incoporate that into their lives. There will be a poster board with exercise information on it and also a handout for parents to take that will encourage them to get their children active and eating right.

The Fitness and Nutrition (FAN) Club, is a student organization at Virginia Tech, open to all majors, for those interested in fitness and nutrition. We have club meetings every other week to discuss volunteering opportunities, upcoming activities, and share recent news in the field of nutrition or exercise. We do Happy Feet, Micahs Backpack, Relay for Life, the Big Event, and many other events in the area. Kids' Tech is a great opportunity for FAN Club to give back to our community and educate the youth about fitness and nutrition and how to integrate them into their lives.

Friday, March 9, 2012

VT KTU March 24th exhibit- "W. B. Alwood Entomological Society"

The W. B. Alwood Entomological Society, started in 1966, is a student-run organization bound by our shared interest of insects and the desire to relate our interests in the world at large. Come to our exhibit where we will show the importance of insects on Earth and how they directly, and indirectly, affect you. We will have microscopes to see insects in high definition, and we will have live insects from our very own insect zoo!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Student organization to drop more than 30 tons of snow onto the Drillfield for SnowJam 2012!

BLACKSBURG, Va., March 7, 2012 – VT Snow Freestyle Team is bringing winter back to Virginia Tech with SnowJam 2012. On March 15, the student organization will pile more than 30 tons of snow onto the Drillfield to host a snowboarding and skiing performance event.

“We're really excited this event is becoming a reality after months of hard work,” said Nick Gagianas from Pittsburgh, Pa., a senior majoring in marketing in Pamplin College of Business. Gagianas is the marketing manager for VT Snow.

Skiers and snowboarders from six colleges and universities will showcase their skills on a freestyle arena constructed specifically for the event in the middle of the Drillfield. The event is free of charge and open to the public. SnowJam 2012 is expected to draw thousands of spectators, according to Gagianas.

“We've always thrown smaller rail jams off campus, but we really wanted to bring the talent we have on the Virginia Tech campus into the spotlight this year,” Gagianas said.

In addition to watching skiers and snowboarders perform stunts, the audience can network with nonprofit organizations. VT Snow is giving free space to the National Wildlife Federation and Actively Caring for People to promote their causes. Relay for Life will also have booth space, and will sign up teams and individuals for their event April 20, 2012.

“Our vision of the SnowJam is not only to showcase our talent and advertise our group, but to spread the word about causes that exemplify our team’s core values,” said Nate Slemp of Sugar Grove, Va., a junior majoring in wood science and forest products in the College of Natural Resources and Environment. Slemp is president of VT Snow.

VT Snow worked with Galvanic Design to bring in a “rail jam” in which more than 30 tons of snow will cover a freestyle arena. Galvanic Design hosts the Campus Rail Jam Tour to bring arenas to campuses nationwide. Individuals can enter the event by filling out a Campus Rail Jam Tour application. To be eligible, riders must complete the form and send in photos and videos that convey their skill level. Gagianas stressed that the event is just as much about safety as is about fun and getting talented performers.

As of March 1, there were more than 80 applicants. The group expects to allow about 40 skiers and snowboarders to perform. Students from Collegiate Freestyle Alliance schools will be performing. This includes riders from Virginia Tech, Liberty University, University of Maryland, North Carolina State University, Radford University, and Duke University.

“As you can imagine, this project is quite an undertaking,” Slemp said. “Roughly 15 VT Snow members have been envisioning and working toward this event for over a year, and over a dozen departments had to give their approval for us to go forward with our plans.”

VT Snow began playing with the idea of this event in March, 2011, and started to take action in June. By August the team was having weekly meetings to ensure they were on track. After four months of persistence, the group had everything approved by the university and began to look for co-sponsors. VT Snow worked with the Virginia Tech event planning office to guarantee they followed the necessary guidelines and policies to make SnowJam 2012 a success.

“Paperwork. Presentations. We did it all to convey the potential of this event to [Virginia] Tech,” Gagianas said. “We came in thinking it was going to be a huge challenge getting the event approved. We weren't wrong. It was a ton of work, but coming in with those expectations made us do things right the first time.”

Since their start three years ago, VT Snow has been continually trying to promote and help riders who want to sharpen their skills. The student organization has grown into a team of more than 70 riders who train year round and contend in collegiate level competitions. This will be their first major event on campus.

The Division of Student Affairs at Virginia Tech encompasses departments dedicated to providing a rich co-curricular experience and essential student services. Virtually every aspect of a student's life outside the classroom is represented through the division's departments.

Written by Lauren Marshall from Marshall, Va., a senior majoring in communication and human development in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Virginia Tech KTU Jan. and Feb. video

Hi everyone,

Our photo-extraordinaire, Dr. Ivan Morozov, and web guru, Kris Monger, have put together a video capturing the Virginia Tech Kids' Tech University Jan. 28 and Feb. 25 events!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Google Science Fair!

Have you asked a question today? What did you do with it?

Did it take you somewhere new? Did it bring you here?

The Google Science Fair is an online science competition seeking curious minds from the four corners of the globe. Anybody and everybody between 13 and 18 can enter. All you need is an idea.

Geniuses are not always A-grade students. Google Science Fair welcomes all mavericks, square-pegs and everybody who likes to ask questions. Simply upload your project to win some life changing prizes.

Everyone has a question. What’s yours?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Virginia Middle School Students View the Earth’s Surface in Time and Space

Check out the article below from the America View Blog

Written by Tammy Parece, Geographic Society at Virginia Tech
First mentioned on the America View blog

On Saturday, February 25, 2012,VirginiaView, and the Virginia Geographic Society participated in Kids' Tech University (KTU). Kids' Tech University is a program at Virginia Tech with one primary goal: creating the future workforce in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by sparking kids’ interest in these fields. KTU, active at Virginia Tech since 2009, invites middle school students from across the Commonwealth to participate in a university research experience. Geographic Society Members have participated on an individual basis in the past, but 2011 is the year we decided to be involved as a Society.

The title of our program was Looking Down is Looking Up: Why do we work with aerial photography? The GIS portion of the program was designed by Dr. John McGee, Associate Professor and Geospatial Extension Specialist, Department of Forestry and Environmental Conservation, and a leader of the VirginiaView program, and has been presented by John at KTU over the past three years. This year, John asked if the Geographic Society could provide the manpower for the event and members jumped at the chance to support student research experience. Geographic Society Members have participated on an individual basis in the past, but 2011 is the year we decided to be involved as a Society.

The program introduced participants to applications of some common geospatial tools - geographic information systems (GIS), global positioning systems (GPS), and remote sensing, to provide these young minds with a new understanding of the earth. In this activity, the students used GIS to identify changes on the earth’s surface. They also examined aerial photography from three different time periods (1962, 2002, and 2008). The students explored, estimated, and measured general changes in land use during these periods. Our display was the first one the students saw when they walked through the door of the Lane Stadium West Club Box.

At our first table, we had two laptops with GIS programs running. The students were shown how to display the different layers in GIS, zoom in and zoom out to obtain different scales, and view the changes between aerial photos of the New River Valley Mall area. Students were awed at the changes between 2002 and 2008, but flabbergasted when they saw 1962. In most instances when they saw these 1962 aerial photos, they commented “nothing is there.” When they looked closer, they were able to identify farm fields, trees, streams, and the VPI Horticulture Research Center which was located on land now occupied by a strip mall.

At our second table, Dr. James Campbell, Professor, Department of Geography, introduced students to applications of stereovision in the analysis of aerial imagery introduced students to applications of stereovision in the analysis of aerial imagery. On a portable light table students could look at a glass plate of a 1968 aerial photo of Chicago and a 1980s high-altitude color infrared aerial photograph depicting the Roanoke, Virginia metropolitan region. Using a large mirror stereoscope, students could examine coastal landforms near a Minnesota Lake, using stereoscopic capability to see subtle variations in landforms and vegetation cover.

At our third table, participcants could view episodes of the Geospatial Revolution, a video series that introduces key applications of geospatial technologies in today’s world. We discovered that parents were not the only ones extremely interested in this video - many of the middle school students could not believe the capabilities of geospatial technologies, and their significance for our society.

Observing these kinds of changes helps us understand how landscape changes influence our local communities and environments. The activity was co-sponsored by VirginiaView, a state level organization within AmericaView, a national consortium that focuses on research, outreach to K-12 and community college educational communities, and distribution of imagery to a spectrum of users at state and local levels.

At the end of the day, we were thanked by VBI officials, including Dr. Kathleen O’Hara and Dr. Reinhard Laubenbacher. They told us that they were looking forward to our participation again next year. We let them know that we are participating in the next KTU event scheduled for Saturday, March 24. The theme for that KTU session is Health, Nutrition, Biomedical Engineering, and Medicine. They asked how we could participate in such diverse topics from session to session, an insight that highlights the essence of Geographic inquiry, which seeks to illuminate interrelationships between the physical and human worlds.