Thursday, February 28, 2013

March 7th! -- Virginia Bioinformatic Institute and Fralin Life Sciences Institute at the STEM Expo!

The Virginia Tech Roanoke center is proud to announce the 2013 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Expo on March 7th, 2013. Admission is free and open to the public. Entry into the expo will also grant participants access to the myriad of other exhibits at the Virginia Museum of Transportation.

The event is designed to connect students with scientists and engineers from Virginia Tech and the Roanoke Valley with the intent of sparking their interest toward pursuing careers in the areas of science, technology, mathematics, and engineering.

Exhibits will include the 2011 EcoCAR Challenge winner, Autonomous Vehicles and aircraft and strawberry DNA extraction hosted by the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute and the Fralin Life Sciences Institute.

Partners for the 2013 Technology Expo are the Virginia Tech Roanoke Center, Roanoke City Public Schools, Science Museum of Western Virginia, Virginia Museum of Transportation, Virginia Tech Joseph F. Ware Advanced Engineering Lab, Virginia Western Community College, and the Virginia Tech Catawba Sustainability Center.

Monday, February 25, 2013

4-H Summer Camps

Summer Camps held at the W.E. Skelton 4-H Educational Center at Smith Mountain lake are designed for youth ages 9-13. See there website for more information. 

4-H camps are being held:
June 10-14 -  in Giles County (contact- 
Cora Gnegy- 540-921-3455), Montgomery (Michelle Dickerson- 540-382-5790), and Floyd (Tyler Painter- 540-745-9307) 

June 17-21- Pulaski 4-H Camp (contact- Chris Lichty- 540-980-7761)

July 8-12 - Roanoke/Salem 4-H Camp (contact- Leslie Prillaman- 540-772-7524)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Virginia Tech Feb. 23rd KTU 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.

Hosted by: VTCSOM (Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine) Basic Sciences Department
Volunteers students and a faculty from Basic Sciences from Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine (Roanoke, VA).

Virginia Tech- KTU exhibit- "Homemade Lava Lamps"

Homemade lava lamps can be made from supplies found around the house! All you need is an empty water bottle, food coloring, vegetable oil, and alka seltzer. First, fill up the water bottle a bit more than halfway with vegetable oil. Second, fill the rest of the bottle with water leaving about an inch of space at the top. Third, add TEN drops of food coloring. Fourth, break an Alka Seltzer into 4 pieces and drop it into the bottle one piece at a time. Add the next piece after the first one stops bubbling. Finally, watch the magic happen!

We are Virginia Tech's chapter of the national organization - American Medical Student Association (AMSA). Pre-health students in the club take part in meetings and different professional activities in order to gain knowledge in different health fields and to help prepare them for the transition to professional school. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Virginia Tech Feb. 23rd KTU exhibit- "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.  

Hosted by: VTCSOM (Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine)
Volunteers students and a faculty from Basic Sciences from Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine (Roanoke, VA).

Virginia Tech Feb. 23rd KTU- "Finding my garden spot"

The Master Gardeners' booth will have information and hands-on projects which teach students to have an appreciation for their place in their local environment. Students will learn about worms, frogs, honeybees, and plants. There will be crafts, such as make your own garden journal and seed balls, as well as a bingo game.

The mission of the NRVMGA is to provide service to the community by promoting good horticultural practices in accordance with standards approved by the Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) and its Master Gardener program and to foster communication, education, and fellowship among its members. We do this through service projects to the community as well as fielding queries through the VCE office and booths at local events.

Virginia Tech Feb. 23rd KTU exhibit- "Shocking Science"

Do you want to get shocked by a jolt of electricity? Do you want to see other people be shocked? Come by our booth to do hands-on experiments about static electricity and electrical circuits. 

In addition to electricity, you will be playing with lots of other fun physics toys!

Enriched Physics Outreach is a class that undergraduate physics students take to learn how to make interactive physics lessons for students at the K-12 level. We focus on age-appropriate hands-on lessons which promote making predictions and experimenting with both high-tech and low-tech equipment. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Virginia Tech KTU Feb. 23rd 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.

Virginia Tech KTU Feb. 23rd exhibit- "Electricity, Magnetism, Mechanics, Optics and Pressure Demos"

About the Physics Outreach program
Our program consists of undergraduate students in physics who have a passion for teaching physics to kids of all ages. They present hands on experiments in mechanics, electricity and magnetism, optics, and pressure.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Virginia Tech Feb. 23rd KTU exhibit- "Pump it Up!!"

Our aim is to show kids some exercises that are a lot of fun and age appropriate. We are going to have a fun exericse activity for the participants to do along with us. Also we will have a short "zumba" class which is a latin workout that is inspired by dance because what kids don't like to move to the music! Boards will be up with fun nutrition and fitness facts to inform not only the kids but also the parents. Recepies will be availabe to be copied that are nutritional and simple to make. In addition to the recepies we will have delecious and nutritious snacks to show that healthy eating can be fun and yummy!!! 

Fitness and Nutrition Club is interested in not only physical activity but also the nutritional aspect as well. We are part of the Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise. FAN Club participates in activites such as Relay for Life, Big Event, hiking, private fitness classes, and cooking nights. Our goal is to not only promote a healthy lifestyle within the club but to also reach out to the Virginia Tech and New River Valley communities. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Virginia Tech Feb. 23rd KTU exhibit- "Virginia Career VIEW, School of Education"

Explore VIEW's interactive website, printable activities and resources for students and parents focused on career exploration.  Learn about how the study of genetics plays an important role in more than 15 careers!

Based in the School of Education at Virginia Tech, Virginia Career VIEW's mission is to inform, encourage, and support the education and career development of the people of Virginia.   Our efforts combine independent research and engaging activitiies, in addition to hands-on statewide training and outreaches with the most current data presented using the latest technology.  We share these resources through our website (, toll-free career information line, workshops for professionals, and statewide outreach events.

Virginia Tech Feb. 23rd KTU exhibit- "Water in Our Environment"

Come learn about how water moves through an environment with our groundwater hydrology model.  See how water moves above and below ground and learn about wells, underground aquifers, the water cycle, and more!

The Soil and Water Conservation Society at Virginia Tech 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 SWCS@VT to help with this mission.  ESO is involved in education, recycling initiatives, and other activities promoting environmental conservation and appreciation.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Virginia Tech Feb. 23rd KTU exhibit- "Our Changing Planet"

The earth changes from natural processes over time. Mostly, these changes take place over hundreds and thousands of years, much longer than humans have existed on earth – for instance, the Colorado River carving out the Grand Canyon. Sometime these changes can take place over the course of hours or even days. In today’s age of geospatial technologies, we can track and document these changes. The tools and data are readily available on-line for students, parents, and teacher’s daily use. We will be using computers to show these on-line tools, how to use them, and information on how to access these from home.

Virginia Tech Geography Society

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Virginia Tech Feb. 23rd KTU exhibit- "Rock On!"

How do we use rocks and minerals in our daily lives? How does a rock fit into the constantly changing geologic cycle of the Earth? Is the rock igneous, metamorphic, or sedimentary? What kinds of minerals are in it? How hard is the rock? Perform geologic tests to find out for yourself.

Science Museum of Western Virginia

STEM Inspired! Outreach Program

Virginia Tech Feb. 23rd KTU exhibit- "Crack this case"

Young scientists will draw conclusions to determine which egg is boiled and which is raw by using scientific reasoning, logic, and previous knowledge.  That's right, we will crack this case without cracking the egg.  

Sonya Furgurson is the 4-H Agent in Halifax County, Virginia and a Nation Board Certified Teacher.  4-H offers a variety of positive youth develop programs to youth ages 5-18 in which they learn generosity, mastery, belonging, and independence through studying science, citizenship, and healthy living. 4-H is "Making the Best, Better!"  

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Virginia Tech Feb. 23rd KTU exhibit- "Mechanically Stabilized Earth"

This exhibit discusses mechanically stabilized earth (MSE). Mechanically stabilized earth is used on a variety of geotechnical applications including walls, bridge abutments, dams, and levees. MSE is constructed by placing steel or plastic reinforcement in layers in the soil structure. This exhibit will show the concepts of how MSE works with a hands-on demonstration using sand and sheets of paper. The paper will represent plastic or steel reinforcing used in full-scale construction. The strength of the sand without paper reinforcing will be compared against the strength of the sand with paper reinforcing.  

The Geotechnical Student Organization (GSO) at Virginia Tech was founded in 2009 by geotechnical graduate students to enhance the student experience, promote the field of geotechncial engineering to undergraduates and the community at large, and connect with our national professional organization, the Geo-Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). The GSO receives generous support from the Center of Geotechnical Practice and Research (CGPR).

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Virginia Tech Feb. 23rd KTU exhibit- "The Key to Identifying that Tree"

Is this tree an oak, a maple, or a hickory?  If you want to dazzle your friends with knowing the name of all the trees in your backyard or woods, this session will teach you how to use online and field guide keys to determine the name of many Virginia trees.  Learn about the 4-H tree identification project and how you can win prizes for being able to successfully identify trees and shrubs.  You will have the opportunity to test your id skills using a dichotomous key to identify several leaf and twig samples.  You will also learn about a smart phone app that you can take into the field to identify woody trees and shrubs and how to make your own leaf collection.  Virginia 4-H offers 4-H forestry judging competitions.  Learn how you could show off your id skills in one of these contests!    

Montgomery County 4-H offers many programs and activities for area youth, ages 5 to 18. These include community clubs, special interest clubs, after-school programs, day and residential camps, and leadership opportunities.  To receive information about upcoming events, you can subscribe to our 4-H e-mail list at  Click on "Join our Mailing Lists".  Then submit your e-mail address and select the list to which you would like to subscribe. "4-H Youth Programs" is the first on the list. Be sure to click "Join" at the bottom of the screen.  We send announcements about all upcoming events to this list. To find out more about the Montgomery County 4-H program, contact Michelle Dickerson at 382-5790.

Virginia Tech Feb. 23rd KTU exhibit- "The Science of Biomedical Engineering"

Biomedical engineers conduct research across traditional educational boundaries to develop solutions for a myriad of medical problems ranging from tissue engineering to imaging. Many disciplines are involved in biomedical engineering including math, biology, physics, chemistry, computers, genetics, biomechanics, electrical engineering. Biomedical engineering solutions include medical imaging systems such as MRI and CAT scanners, prosthetic devices and tissue grafts, drug delivery systems and cancer treatments.  Demonstrations at KTU will include DNA extraction and the fabrication of scaffolding materials for tissue engineering; to talk about the importance of DNA and how one may conceptually regenerate tissues.

The Virginia Tech-Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering & Sciences (VT-WFU SBES) is a joint graduate program that was formed in 2003 to bring together three prestigious academic institutions: the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, and the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. The VT-WFU Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) club is a BMES chapter that was founded to help bridge the gap between Virginia Tech and Wake Forest and foster communication and collaboration among various research groups. Our mission is to encourage the development, dissemination, integration, and utilization of knowledge in biomedical engineering, as well as to enhance interaction within the scientific community.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Feb. 23rd Virginia Tech KTU exhibit- "The Importance of our Watershed"

The American Water Resources Association (AWRA) will be setting up a model of a watershed that will be used to demonstrate the effects of pollution from the local community on the environment. They will use tools to demonstrate where stormwater drains to, and how this can be damaging to surrounding bodies of water due to the pollution that different human activities contribute to the runoff. They will then demonstrate different ways that humans can implement different buffers around the community to help stunt polluting factors from entering important waterways.

American Water Resources Association (AWRA)

Our chapter's mission is to support our local, regional, and national water resources through water education, service, management, and research.

VT KTU exhibit- Feb. 23rd exhibit- "Exploring DNA with the Biochemistry Club"

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 octaploid, 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.

Biochemistry Club of Virginia Tech

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.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Virginia Tech Feb. 23rd KTU exhibit- "BLAST! Let's Make An Elephant"

We will provide computers with a program that allows children to change several nucleotides of a human's genetic code and run it through a database, which will output the animal to which the new genetic code belongs.  This will show the children that our genetic code is closely related to that of many animals.  

We will also discuss the combinatorial aspect of how many ways there are to alter the genetic code.  

The AWM seeks to encourage women to achieve successful careers in mathematics.  For this reason it is important for us to reach out to children in the community and show them that math is a fun and interesting subject that warrants study.

Virginia Tech Feb. 23rd KTU event- "Exploring the World of Veterinary Medicine"

We will be exploring the wonderfully diverse profession of veterinary medicine through a multitude of demonstrations and hands on activities.  We will use radiographs, bones, and perhaps even live animals to help demonstrate a number of different aspects of veterinary medicine.  There are more career options for veterinarians than treating Fido and Fluffy, and our goal is to elucidate that only your imagination and the number of species on this planet limit what you can do as a vet!  

The VMRCVM chapter of Veterinary Students as One In Culture and Ethnicity (VOICE), founded in September 2010, is a student-run organization that addresses a need for sociocultural awareness that is not part of the current core veterinary curriculum. We are an organized and unified student voice contributing to enhancing the diversity of the profession and the cultural competence of veterinary students.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Virginia Tech Feb. 23rd KTU exhibit- "The Virginia Tech Chapter of the Wildlife Society"

At our booth we will have specimens that the kids can touch including skins, skulls, and possibly 2 live specimens. We will also have a short game involving kids matching descriptions to pictures of animals. There may be prizes of candy for those who get them all right (or who try the game).

The Virginia Tech Chapter of The Wildlife Society is a student organization for those interested in wildlife and becomeing a proffessional in the wildlife field. Our mission is to promote professionalism in our membership through experience, networking, conservation awareness and education in an enjoyable atmosphere. Our members develop and promote sound stewardship of wildlife resources and of the environments upon which wildlife and humans depend. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Virginia Tech Feb. 23rd KTU exhibit- "Wheel of Agriculture!"

There will be a wheel to spin, and based on where you land there wil lbe diferent categories! We will have fun, both easy and hard, questions relating to agriculture! It is a chance for both parents and students to learn about where food comes from, and what goes into production, while winning cool prizes!!

The Virginia Tech 4-H Club welcomes any Virginia Tech student who wants to become more involved in the Hokie community and make a difference here on campus through service and learning.

We are affiliated with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, but we do not require that our members have an interest in agriculture. Whether you wish to continue your past 4-H experience or you are trying the club for the first time, we guarantee that you will have fun and make many new friends!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Virginia Tech Feb. 23rd KTU exhibit- "Food Factor"

The Student Nutrition and Dietetics Association will host a table for kids to experiment and try new and unfamiliar foods in a fun and interactive way.  The game provided will have kids "spin to win" where they will get the chance to try a new and unfamiliar food.  Foods in the past used were kumquats, honeydew, prunes, apricot, grapefruit, soymilk, broccoli, and dark chocolate.  This provides a chance to expose children to new foods and try out something that may not see everyday in a fun and exciting way.  They hope to engage kids attraction to trying new foods to promote a healthy whole foods approach!

Student Nutrition and Dietetics Association
As a student based organization, our mission is to provide those interested in nutrition with opportunities to engage in events and activities that will offer further experience and opportunities in the field of Nutrition.  We engage in a variety of activities and community opportunities to do so through nutrition booths (on and off campus), volunteer work for Micah's Backpack, Heritage Hall, athlete nutrition programs, VA cooperative extension programs, and assisting in health promotional workshops.  We attend professional conferences and provide members wth various networking opportunities in the nutrition and health field.  Other fun activities we participate in as a club include food cooking demonstrations, food cook-offs, potlucks, and field trips.

Friday, February 1, 2013

NSF Photography Contest

The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently hosted a "photography" contest. See this website for the artistry behind the 2012 International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge winners. There is a video that explains the processes, techniques and thoughts behind their entries!