Thursday, April 25, 2013

Reminder!- Saturday, April 27th- Virginia Tech at Kids' Tech University event- free, open to the public

We are excited to announce a free, open to the public event on Saturday, April 27th (10 am-3 pm) held at Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech (**On a campus map- building 119 and 120; cars can park right out front of the building. No Virginia Tech parking permits needed.)

**All are welcome- children must be accompanied by an adult!** Participate in the educational activities at your own pace.

Kids' educational activities include:
~Egg drop (kids will build an apparatus to protect an egg and then see if it works!)
~Straw rocket building activity
~Virginia Tech Police K-9 demonstrations
~Robotic arm (find out how scientists use robotics to preform moon mining)
~Quasar Instruments GO Lab- a full functioning mobile laboratory- This mobile lab is housed on a Mac truck! See what various scientific instruments do and participate in hands-on demonstrations for all ages! 

This event is co-hosted by:
~Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech
~Virginia 4-H
~Quasar Instruments
~Virginia Tech RASC-AL Design Team
~Virginia Tech Biochemistry Club
~Virginia Tech Lunabotics

Monday, April 22, 2013

"Wild World Celebration" day! Sat., April 27th!

The SEEDS-Blacksburg Nature Center will be holding our second annual “Wild World Celebration” on Saturday, April 27th, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at the historic Price House at 107 Wharton Street, SE. Join us as we celebrate Earth Day, Arbor Day and Save the Frogs Day!

•View exhibits featuring live animals, birds, insects, frog facts and other wonders of the natural world
•Play games – see the world as if you were a drop of water, migrate like a monarch butterfly and more!
•Participate in hands-on activities, including finding out what happens when an underground storage tank leaks into your water supply – yuck!
•Make arts and crafts using recycled and natural objects
•Learn about composting and how worms (and other critters) eat your garbage and turn it into fabulous soil that can grow delicious food for you to eat
•Help plant a tree in honor of Arbor Day
•Participate in our silent auction fundraiser featuring passes to local attractions, Fair Trade products and nature-related items
•Make new friends who love nature just as much as you do!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Virginia Tech and Arcos Films inviting you see "Switch"

Virginia Tech and Arcos Films would like to invite you to a FREE screening of Switch, a new award-winning documentary that moves past the politics to deliver the straight answers on energy.
Monday, 4/22/2013– 7:00pm 
Virginia Tech
Squires Colonial Hall     
Is fracking polluting our water? How dangerous is nuclear? Will gasoline prices continue to rise? Can we clean up coal? Can renewables really power our future?
Switch is an inspiring film that takes an honest and unbiased look at the state of energy in the world today. Dr. Scott Tinker travels the world to answer the biggest questions about the future of energy, and he tackles issues surrounding all types, including coal, solar, oil and biofuels, just to name a few.
But the Geosciences Department at Virginia Tech wants to give you even more. At this special showing of Switch, we’ll also include a panel discussion with four of VT’s top researchers in the field of energy: Dr. Michael Ellis, Dr. Michael Hochella, Dr. Madeline Schreiber and moderated by Dr. John Chermak. Find out what people in the field have to say about the future of energy!

And the movie is only a small part of the entire Switch Energy Project. At, you can go behind the scenes to hear complete interviews with 26 leading international experts. You can also browse by topic and view hundreds of short movies, each providing invaluable information about our energy consumption and what the future will hold.

Audiences have called Switch “the first truly balanced energy film." As no documentary before it, SWITCH has been embraced and supported by people across the energy spectrum: environmentalists and academics, fossil and renewable energy experts, scientists and economists.
“I took my students to a screening of SWITCH, and we spent most of the following class discussing it, a testament to its value as an educational tool. It was amazing...” -- Amy Jaffe, Rice University Energy Program
“Every person in America should see and digest this film.” -- Douglas Johnson, Statoil
“SWITCH really puts all the pieces together, and makes me optimistic for the future.” -- Erin Geoffroy, Environmental Defense Fund

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

STEMABILITY 2013 is here!

STEMABILITY 2013 is an informal opportunity for students with disabilities to participate in engineering technology and science learning activities designed to enhance their success in the college and work environment. 

Students will: 
Explore career majors in engineering and sciences
Engage in hands-on learning activities with faculty and students
Try out assistive and learning technologies
Use self-advocacy skills to plan for accommodations
Meet successful college mentors with disabilities

Who is eligible?
Rising high school juniors and seniors with disabilities who are interested in STEM related majors and careers. Students should be planning to attend a 2 or 4 year university and are seeking a Virginia Advanced Studies or Standard Diploma.

When is STEMABILITY 2013?
Program runs from Friday morning to Saturday afternoon, June 14-15.

Where is STEMABILITY 2013?
Program will be on the Blacksburg, Virginia Tech campus. Students will reside in the residence hall. All sessions will be conducted on the Tech campus. 

What else do you need to know? Application deadline is April 30, 2013. Student selections made by May 6, 2013. Simultaneous Parent Sessions Available.

Visit our website or contact Andrea Sharpe, program director at

Monday, April 1, 2013

Blue Mountain School summer camps

Blue Mountain School, a contemplative progressive school located in beautiful Floyd County, is offering three camps this summer for kids aged 3 to 12. Camp runs Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Each day will include theme-related activities, free play (including the largest slip and slide ever), and mindfulness practices, and each camp session will end with a celebration for the whole family!

Mystery Camp: June 17-21 - Students will solve various mysteries all week, leading up to a big mystery at the end of the week. They will have a chance to participate in making footprint molds, fingerprinting, fiber analysis, evidence collection, informant interviewing, and intelligence analysis.

Old-Time Radio Show - Local Traditions: June 24-28 - Students will explore local traditional crafts, music, storytelling, and traditional skills and will present what they've learned in a live radio show at the end of the week.

Circus Camp: July 8-19 - Students will have the opportunity to try all sorts of circus-related games and skills and will put on a real circus at the end of the session. For returning Circus Campers, this will be a chance to refine skills worked on last summer and try out new skills, too!

Rates: $195 per week per student. Additional children in a family receive a 15% discount. Please note that Circus Camp is two weeks.

Contact: Carol Volker at or 540-745-4234.