Saturday, January 26, 2013

Virginia Tech KTU- Jan. 26th

Kids' Tech University at Virginia Tech on Jan. 26th will not been cancelled!

We understand that some of you may be traveling quite a distance to attend the KTU event on Jan. 26th. We want to make sure everyone stays safe; ultimately it is your responsibility to judge if you feel safe enough to drive to the event, and we respect your decision. Please note that there is NO penalty for not attending the program and we will look forward to seeing you in February.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Virginia Tech KTU- Jan. 26th exhibit- "Earthquakes: the original rock and roll!"

This exhibit will explore earthquake shocks and the different types of waves geophysicists study to learn about hazards.  Using hands-on examples and materials kids can observe how different waves behave.  There will also be a real-time seismometer that will display earth movement—even jumping!  There will also be information about the 2011 Central Virginia Earthquake presented by graduate students who are working on the data from that area.  The Virginia Tech Seismological Observatory is part of the worldwide seismic network.  Additional information about earthquakes around the world will also be available.  To encourage earthquake safety kids can practice the Great ShakeOut Drill: Drop, Cover, and Hold On!

 Virginia Tech Seismological Observatory and Geophysics Graduate Students.
The Virginia Tech Seismological Observatory and the Seismology research group interest areas include: earthquake seismology, seismic hazard assessment, regional monitoring, exploration seismology, exploration geophysics, and tectonics.

Jan. 26th Virginia Tech KTU exhibit- "Groundwater Flow: Where does it come from? Where does it go?"

Using a hands-on water-filled model of the groundwater cycle, kids can explore hydrology concepts like contamination, recharge, and water table.  Water flows through this model to show how rain can move into the ground and dissolve rock layers in karst geology.   The Shenandoah Valley and New River Valley have a lot of karst geology and features like caves and springs.

The model can also be used to show how contamination on the ground surface can move into groundwater then move through the system in very unpredictable ways.   Groundwater pollution can be very hard to fix.

Groundwater supply is another concept we can show using this hands-on model:  as wells in an area pump out groundwater, the level can fall below the wellhead of a neighboring well, making it go dry.  Many communities in Virginia rely on groundwater for their drinking water supply.

The model used for these activities is usually on display for the public at the VT Museum of Geosciences.

Hydrogeosciences Group in the Department of Geosciences

Virginia Tech's Department of Geosciences focuses on research, education, and outreach dealing with the nature of the earth. Our students and faculty investigate earth processes at scales that range from atomic to planetary. 

The Hydrogeosciences group studies a very important thing:  water!  Their research covers a wide variety of topics in both physical and chemical hydrogeology, including chemical and contaminant transport, aquifer mechanics, well hydraulics.

Jan. 26th Virginia Tech KTU event- "There and back again (and again): The story of sedimentary rocks"

Have you ever wondered how sand turns into a rock or how fossils get into a rock?  This exhibit will show you the sedimentary portion of the rock cycle. We will have activities that show how sediment (things like sand, silt, clay and shells) forms into rocks, how rocks turn back into sediment and how fossils get into rocks.  Various types of sedimentary rocks will on display.

Department of Geosciences, Sedimentary Geochemistry Group

The Sedimentary Geochemistry group studies the history of the Earth's oceans and atmosphere preserved in sedimentary rocks. We are particularly interested in how  changes in the climate and environment affected the history of life on our planet.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Jan. 26th Virginia Tech KTU exhibit- “Where in the world am I?"

“Where in the world am I?" hosted by Virginia Cooperative Extension Agents, Emily Nester, Tazewell County 4-H and Daniel Collins, Smyth County 4-H. We will be exploring the world of GIS and Google Earth; youth participants will be able to electronically pinpoint their 'world' address on a projectable map! They will provide information on Google Earth, GIS, and Geo-Caching!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Jan. 26th Virginia Tech KTU exhibit- "Dig It!"

Become a paleontology detective! Explore the lives of prehistoric creatures and their habitats by studying both real and replica fossil clues, learning how they were formed and how scientists interpret them.

Science Museum of Western Virginia

STEM Inspired! Outreach Program

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Virginia Tech KTU- Jan. 26th exhibit- "Shelling Out the Shapes: The Incredible World of the Mollusca Phylum"

This exhibit demonstrates the amazing diversity of marine creatures from the important phylum— the Mollusca.   Explore the wide variety of shapes and colors of calcium carbonate skeletons that are made by many, but not all, of these organisms.  The biogeochemistry research group in the Department of Geosciences investigates the biochemical processes that control how biomineralized structures are formed. In this remarkable collection you will experience the many shapes and sizes of mollusks from around the globe!

The Biogeochemistry of Earth Processes (bgep) group conducts interdisciplinary research into the physical basis for biomineral formation and the complex patterns of mineralization that are observed in modern and ancient organisms. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Virginia Tech KTU- Jan. 26th exhibit- "Ocean Acidification: Dangerous Changes in Earth's Seas"

In this activity you will learn about the pH of the ocean and why humans should be concerned that the oceans are becoming more acid. By testing the pH of different liquids, you will learn the concept of acidity and understand why the rising level of carbon dioxide in atmosphere is making the  oceans more acid.  This may be dangerous for the ocean’s inhabitants that make their skeletons of calcium carbonate.  Explore how changing environments may affect the production of biominerals worldwide. 

Department of Geosciences, Biogeochemistry of Earth Processes Group

The Biogeochemistry of Earth Processes (bgep) group conducts interdisciplinary research into the physical basis for biomineral formation and the complex patterns of mineralization that are observed in modern and ancient environments. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Jan. 26th Virginia Tech KTU Exhibit- "When Continents Collide: Building and Destroying Mountain Belts"

Mountains take millions of years to form, but what would it be like to watch one grow right before your eyes! What would it look like to slice one in half and look inside? Why are some mountains, like Mt. Everest, so big and others, such as our Appalachians, much smaller? This exhibit features a mountain building table where flat layers of sand and flour are deformed to show the processes of folding and faulting that occurs beneath the surface to form the roots of mountain belts and the erosion that tears them down. Also, you can create your own mini-mountain by deforming layers of play-dough. Come experience the processes that build up and destroy a mountain belt from its deepest roots all the way to the surface!

Virginia Tech Geosciences, Tectonics and Geomorphology Group

The Metamorphic Petrology group studies how rocks transform beneath the Earth's surface in response to changes in temperature and pressure, which reveals information about both the small-scale processes (i.e. chemical zoning in minerals) and large-scale processes (i.e. the formation of mountain belts) that operate on Earth. 

Jan 26th KTU exhibit- "From magma to mineral: how do crystals form?"

How do beautiful mineral crystals form in rocks? Why do some rocks have bigger crystals than others? Why do some mineral crystals look different than others? How do volcanic processes control the size of crystals in rocks? This exhibit features a simple crystal growth experiment using common household materials as a way of showing how crystals grow in rocks both beneath and above the Earth’s surface. Rock samples from real volcanoes and magma chambers will be presented to illustrate how crystal size is affected by the amount of time over which magma and lava cool.

Department of Geosciences, Metamorphic Petrology group

The Metamorphic Petrology group studies how rocks transform beneath the Earth's surface in response to changes in temperature and pressure, which reveals information about both the small-scale processes (i.e. chemical zoning in minerals) and large-scale processes (i.e. the formation of mountain belts) that operate on Earth.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Patricia Dove selected as 2013 Virginia Scientist of the Year

**Dr. Patricia Dove is the Virginia Tech Kids' Tech University Interactive Session leader on Jan. 26th, 2013. She will talk with the kids on, "No bones about it: How are shells and skeletons formed from crystals?" **
BLACKSBURG, Va., Jan. 18, 2013 –Patricia Martin Dove, the C.P. Miles Professor of science in the Department of Geosciences at Virginia Tech, has been selected as a Virginia Outstanding Scientist for 2013.  
She was honored, along with Harold E. Burkhart, the Thomas M. Brooks Professor of forestry and University Distinguished Professor in Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment and the other 2013 Virginia Outstanding Scientist award winner, by the Office of the Governor at the Science Museum of Virginia during a ceremony Jan. 17 with Gov. Bob McDonnell.
Dove, who in 2012 was elected as a member of the National Academy of Sciences, is the director of the Biogeochemistry of Earth Processes research group.  By using chemical principles and nano-scale analytical methods, Dove has become an international leader in the field of biomineralization— the processes by which animals grow skeletons and other functional structures. Her work at the interface of earth and life is also providing insights into how changes in fossil skeletons over geologic time record changes in environmental conditions.
Dove and her students are also working on projects with significant consequences for society, such as investigating the consequences of rising carbon dioxide levels for the survival of photosynthetic organisms that create much of Earth’s oxygen.  They are also developing bio-inspired approaches to more sustainable industrial processes.
“The College of Science is extremely proud of Professor Dove and all of her achievements,” said College of Science Dean Lay Nam Chang. “As our only active member of the National Academy of Sciences, she has become one of the world’s foremost authorities on biomineralization. A world-class science program starts with world-class researchers like Patricia.”
Dove has received more than $6 million in grant funding from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy to support her research.  Publications from her research group have been cited more than 3,700 times.
She received the Geochemical Society’s Clarke Medal in 1996, and twice has been the recipient of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Best University Research Award.  She is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, the Geochemical Society, and the European Association of Geochemistry.
“This recognition from the State of Virginia is a great honor and I thank the many people who supported my nomination” said Dove, “but there are many exciting advances emerging from findings made by Virginia Tech faculty in all facets of science, engineering and now medicine.  Our contributions are only one part of that.”
Dove earned her Bachelor and Master degrees at Virginia Tech and her Ph.D. from Princeton University. After completing an NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship at Stanford University, she was a faculty member at Georgia Tech for seven years before joining the Virginia Tech faculty in 2000.
The College of Science at Virginia Tech gives students a comprehensive foundation in the scientific method. Outstanding faculty members teach courses and conduct research in biological sciences, chemistry, economics, geosciences, mathematics, physics, psychology, and statistics. The college offers programs in cutting-edge areas including, among others, those in energy and the environment, developmental science across the lifespan, infectious diseases, computational science, nanoscience, and neuroscience. The College of Science is dedicated to fostering a research-intensive environment that promotes scientific inquiry and outreach.

Jan. 26th KTU exhibit- "Turning and flipping: How to find point symmetry in minerals"

Have you ever noticed how ceiling tiles are laid out in repeating patterns, how your body looks the same on both sides or how mineral crystals in museums have complex but beautiful and equal shapes? These are a few simple examples of symmetry in our everyday world! This exhibit shows you how to identify symmetry and the different types of symmetries that are observed in nature. By building two types of polyhedra and 'decorating' them with different kinds of symmetry, you will learn how to find and identify 'elements of symmetry'. You will also learn the types of symmetry that are in specific molecules and in minerals. Build two types of symmetry elements to take home and learn how these polyhedra also represent how atoms are assembled to form crystals!

Department of Geosciences, Mineralogy and Petrology Group

The Mineralogy and Petrology group conducts interdisciplinary research on mineral formation and high-temperaure igneous and metamorphic rocks and processes.

VT KTU exhibit- Jan. 26th- "Know Your Roots: Shells, Scales, and Skeletons"

Come find out how you are related to a worm!  At this exhibit, you will learn how all organisms on earth are connected by the tree of life.  Are the wings of flies the same as those of eagles?  Have you ever seen a tree eat mosquitos? What are the differences between seashells and dinosaur teeth?  Some creatures have shells and others have bones made from very different crystals. Learn all about structures and skeletons we call biominerals, from large bones to microscopic shells!

Department of Geosciences, Biogeochemistry of Earth Processes

The Biogeochemistry of Earth Processes (bgep) group conducts interdisciplinary research into the physical basis for biomineral formation and the complex patterns of mineralization that are observed in modern and ancient organisms.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Jan. 26th Virginia Tech KTU exhibitor- "American Biosystems' new solutions for agriculture"

The cost of feeding farm animals to produce meat, milk and eggs has increased rapidly over the past couple of years. In addition to this pricing pressure, people are now more interested in the quality of their food and the safety of feed additives such as antibiotics and hormones. How can farmers worldwide deal with both of these issues?

Companies like American Biosystems,Inc. provide natural organic alternatives to hormones and antibiotics while helping animals better utilize the valuable feeds they consume. Our products provide three benefits:
1. We improve the value of expensive feed ingredients
2. We replace antibiotic growth promoters in animal feed.
3. We reduce the impact of animal waste on the environment.

Come see how enzymes improve animal feed quality!

Booth hosted by: American Biosystems, Inc.

Edward Goyette, is a 1978 graduate of the Virginia Tech Biology Department and has been President of American Biosystems,Inc. for the past 20 years. American Biosystems markets microbial enzyme animal feed ingredients in over 20 countries worldwide. Mr. Goyette will demonstrate how enzymes, produced from bacteria work in an actual experiment children and parents can see  before their eyes!

Come take a look at the future of animal feeding and how we can produce healthy foods for an expanding world population.

VT KTU exhibit- Jan. 26- "How Crystals Grow: An Interactive Illustration"

Much like we use blocks to build fantastic shapes and structures, nature uses its own building blocks to make the crystals that we see in rocks and in skeletal structures. What better way to demonstrate this wonderful occurrence than with Lego blocks! This exhibit shows a “zoomed-in” view of a growing crystal face that is made of Legos and explains the step-by-step process that occurs as the crystal grows— and how a crystal dissolves! Students can “grow” their own crystals by playing with the different pre-made examples. 

Come to learn and play with geology on the nanoscale!

Virginia Tech Geosciences, Biogeochemistry of Earth Processes Group

The Biogeochemistry of Earth Processes (bgep) group conducts interdisciplinary research into the physical basis for biomineral formation and the complex patterns of mineralization that are observed in modern and ancient organisms.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

VT KTU exhibit- Jan. 26th- "Looking Down is Looking Up: Why do we work with aerial photography?"

Geospatial tools, which include geographic information systems (GIS), global positioning systems (GPS), and remote sensing, provide us with a new understanding of the earth. In this activity, participants will use GIS to identify changes on the earth’s surface. We will examine aerial photography from two different time periods, and students will explore, estimate, and measure general changes in land use during these two periods. Students will also be exposed to basic remote sensing interpretation skills. Observing these kinds of changes helps us understand how landscape changes influence our local communities and environments. These data provide communities with the necessary information to plan for the future, and mitigate the impacts associated with these changes. 

This hands-on activity is being led by faculty from the Department of Geography  and the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation.  Tammy Parece, a Ph.D. student, and undergraduate geography students affiliated with the VT Geographic Society are providing support for these activities. This activity is co-sponsored by the Virginia Geospatial Extension Program and VirginiaView. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Virginia Tech KTU- Jan. 26th exhibit- "Take a Chance! Beat the Odds with Probability!"

Step right up!  Take a chance!  See if you can beat the odds with probability.  In this hands-on station you'll see three different ways to use hands-on approaches to teaching probability.  These techniques are appropriate for grades 4-7 and use game-learning theory and the scientific method.  Have fun with math and learn something without even knowing!  You could win a prize if you think you can beat the odds.

Hosted by- Carroll County 4-H

Carroll County 4-H is part of the Virginia Cooperative Extension service of Virginia Tech.  Sarah Jo H. Jones is the 4-H Agent in Carroll County.

Monday, January 14, 2013

KTU For Educators: Recertification Points Offered! Half-day substitute scholarships available!!

We are excited to offer Recertification Points in conjunction with the Virginia Tech Kids' Tech University ( KTU; ) program.

Educators 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.

This program is ideal for elementary and middle school teachers, out of school time educators, or others interested in STEM teaching.
January Educator Workshop Information
* Who: Teachers of 3rd- 7th grade interested in STEM and Earth Science topics
* When: Dates & Times
Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013, 8:30am - 4:30pm
* Where: Campus, Virginia Tech; Meet in McBryde Hall, Room 126

* Cost: No cost to participate! 12 recertification points offered. Funding for half-day substitutes available for the first 15 participants to register.
* Deadline: Registration ends January 17, 2013- see registration link below
January Educator Workshop Description
Virginia 4-H is helping teachers make STEM learning fun and engaging for students through a hands-on, experiential workshop offered as part of Kids' Tech University.

The workshop:
* provides opportunities to build STEM knowledge and skills in the area of crystal formation and composition * encourages student interest in geoscience-related fields. * explores essential questions: "How are bones and skeletons formed from crystals?" and "How do organic and inorganic crystal structures compare?"
Workshop leaders will work with graduate students to deliver relevant and interesting science activities using best-practice education strategies:
* Dr. Kathleen Jamison (4-H Youth Development and Informal Learning Specialist) * Dr. Patricia Dove (Renowned Geosciences Professor) * Dr. Lindsey Kolbus (Professor of Minerology) * Llyn Sharp (Geosciences Outreach Coordinator)
On Friday, January 25, 1:00-5:00 PM teachers will:
* receive coaching on the research topic and an introduction to activities during teacher-training session On Saturday, January 26, 2013, 8:30-4:30 PM, teachers will:
* participate with the children and researcher in an interactive discussion * debrief with researcher * practice hands-on learning activities with children and their parents. Geoscience professors/grad students will serve as coaches and mentors at this time. * make activity modifications based on classroom needs * develop plan for classroom application
As a result of the workshops, students have the opportunity for exposure to current and relevant research. They will benefit from their teacher's ability to connect research back to classroom content standards through intentional programming.

Register here-

Any educator who has a child enrolled in Kids' Tech University and who is attending the teacher workshop will need to arrange for a chaperone to accompany their child during the program. Children are not permitted to attend the educator workshop (regardless of age).

Dr. Kathleen Jamison
4-H Youth Dev. Curriculum & Learning
(540) 231-9411

Katie LaFon
Virginia 4-H State Events Coordinator

Virginia Tech- Jan. 26th KTU exhibitor booth- "Computing and Gaming through the Ages"

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.

Joyce Landreth, Assistant Director for Support, Network Infrastructure and Services
Jeff Kidd, Public Relations Manager, CNS
Clark Gaylord, Chief Informations Officer, VTTI
Petie Martin, "The Big Kid", former IT Support for VMRCVM

Monday, January 7, 2013

Applications are being accepted for the Modeling of Infectious Disease High School 2013 Summer Internship at Virginia Tech!

Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) offers summer internships to high school students interested in computer science, mathematics, infectious diseases, the environment, and bioinformatics. This week-long program includes research activities and tours, and a discussion/lecture series.

High school students interested in math and science, who are able to provide their own reliable transportation to VBI each morning, are eligible for participation in the program. The main objective of this high school internship is to show students the fun and excitement of scientific research. Students will have the opportunity to explore the world of genomics and the environment with world-renowned research scientists in professional labs.

Dedicated work is key for success in any career, especially one in bioinformatics research. The internship experience will strengthen the principle of dedicated work through intensive laboratory research and journal keeping exercises given throughout the week. A highly motivated attitude is encouraged throughout the program!

Program Dates- July 8-12, 2013
Application Deadline- May 3, 2013

For more information see-