Friday, February 26, 2016

KTU Feb. 27th Exhibitor!

Asteroids and Exoplanets
A series of hands-on activities will be conducted in order to demonstrate different astronomy principles. Children are invited to swing a sound-making ball in order to teach the principle of the Doppler effect, and its implications for finding exoplanets are discussed. Next, A flour-filled pan is bombarded with balls of varying size and mass as an analogue for studying impact craters on the surface of the moon. Finally, a latex sheet stretched over a hula hoop is used to demonstrate concepts in Einstein's relativistic universe, including the orbits of planets and the development of black holes.

Alex Gagliano and Aishwarya Kumar
Alex Gagliano is a junior undergraduate studying Computational Modeling and Data Analytics at Virginia Tech. He is looking to pursue a career in astrophysics and astronomy outreach. Aishwarya Kumar is a first year graduate student in Electrical Engineering, specializing in Electromagnetics at Virginia Tech. She would like to conduct interdisciplinary study involving astronomy and astrophysics leading to a career in research and academia. 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Feb. 27th KTU exhibitor

Fused Filament Fabrication - 3D Printing in Action
What could Leonardo da Vinci have designed if he had an iPad and 3D printer? This exhibit will show fused filament fabrication 3D printing machines in action. The exhibit will demystify the process that takes an idea and produces a three-dimensional object.

The Button Family
The Buttons are tech evangelists sharing STEM knowledge and inspiring students.

Feb. 27th KTU exhibitor

"Microbes" by Microbiology Club at Virginia Tech

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.

Feb. 27th KTU exhibitors

VT RASC-AL Robo Ops 2016 Team

Given that our project revolves around background research and actual construction of a robotic rover system for future extra terrestrial exploration, we intend to operate a very hands on booth for attendees.  We will have our large rover system on display for students to observe being operated as well as interact with individually.  Team members will be presenting to attendees on the ideas of what makes a successful rover drawing parallels between past Mars rovers and our system.

Aerospace & Ocean Engineering Dept.
The design team running the booth is led by 4 aerospace students who are conducting research and development on the rover as their senior design project.  The team also includes 2 mechanical engineering juniors, 1 electrical engineering graduate student (and competition alumnus), and 2 highly experienced in robotics grade school members.  Our project is supervised by Dr. Kevin Shinpaugh.


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 and remote sensing to identify changes on the earth’s surface. We will examine aerial photography from 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.

Geography and Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation
This hands-on activity is being led by faculty from the Department of Geography  and the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, a Ph.D. student in Geospatial and Environmental Analysis and Geography and Meteorology students. This activity is co-sponsored by the Virginia Geospatial Extension Program and VirginiaView.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Feb. 27th Virginia Tech KTU program:

"The Old Curiosity Shop" by David and Kazuko Allen

We present a number of physics demonstrations, many of which are hands on for the viewer.
Questions and discussions are encouraged. The viewers are invited to explain the effects they see and are guided towards the answers.The viewers' curiosity directs the discussions.

David and Kazuko are retired educators interested in promoting scientific and mathematical curiosity as the driving force for young people developing an interest in STEM education.

Feb. 27th Virginia Tech KTU exhibitor!

Learn 3D game programming with Alice

The Alice  is a 3D interactive animation environment for teaching fundamental programming concepts. It uses 3D graphics to engage kids to learn the basics of programming.

Activity: How Tall Are You? Introducing Decisions and the use of Functions
This activity shows you how to program the Alice rendered 3D/java interface to make decisions and animate 3D characters by programmatically asking true/false questions. If the answer is true, you can make the 3D animation do one thing, if the answer is false, you make a different 3D movement. You will learn how to program decisions using IF/ELSE statements and use functions for determining height and distance between 3D objects. Great starter for starting to learn game programming!

Rackspace Hosting is the leader in Hybrid Cloud Hosting, the Open Source OpenStack cloud technology suite and is the home of Fanatical Support. The Rackspace offices here in Blacksburg is a Developer center where our programmers create the cloud technologies that power the Internet and the back end of many of the most popular Apps and Internet technologies.  Rackspace believes in Open Source and Fanatically supporting the STEM and tech communities in which they reside.
Sharing makes us all smarter.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Feb. 27th KTU exhibitor

What's Growing...
Have you ever thought about what is growing on your skin or in your mouth? Stop by and learn about the world of bacteria, fungi, and cells. We have interactive activities that will give you a sneak peak into the small world growing around you. We will explore what the small things growing look like macroscopically and microscopically. Exciting hands on demonstrations will include the use of microscopes and interactive models.

Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine's GSA
We are the Graduate Student Association for the Virginia- Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine and we are composed of the Ph.D.,Masters,and dual-degree (Ph.D./D.V.M.) students in the Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences (BMVS) department. Our department is composed of a variety of disciplines ranging from regenerative medicine, bacteriology, immunology, and virology to toxicology and emerging infectious diseases.

Feb. 27th KTU exhibitor!

KTU Feb. 27th Exhibitor!

"DNA Extraction from Cheek Cells" by VT Undergraduate Service Learning Students

At this booth kids and parents will extract their DNA from their cheek cells. You will take home your DNA in a cute centrifuge necklace.

The undergraduate students hosting this activity have been trained by KTU to facilitate this activity. These students are fulfilling service hours for their undergraduate classes.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Feb. 27th KTU exhibitors!

"Coin Batteries" by VT Service Learning Students

This booth is modeled after the US Naval Academy STEM program ( ). Kids will build a coin battery using pennies, zinc washers, vinegar, salt and paper towels. Multimeters will be used to measure the voltage through the battery cell.

Corrosion is also an electrochemical process. It can occur when two different metals are immersed in salt water. The Navy must prevent corrosion on ships.


"DNA Oragami" by VT Service Learning Students

At this booth the kids will create the double helix structure of DNA using only paper.

The Undergraduate students hosting this activity have been trained by KTU to faciliate this activity. These students are fulfilling service hours for their undergraduate classes.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Feb. 27th KTU exhibitor!

Feb. 27th KTU exhibitor abstract!
"Exploring Structure Representations as Scientists and Engineers" by Virginia Career VIEW, School of Education

Participants will explore the range of characteristics that can be observed, created, and differ between a 2D and 3D representation of the same structure. The participants will have the opportunity to be scientists: describing and hypothesizing about the differences in the representations and how those difference may be important in understanding the structure. And the opportunity to be engineers: creating differing 3D representations of a structure based on a given 2D image. Resources regarding careers in engineering and science related to structure formation and tumor-research will be made available for participants to take with them.

Virginia Career VIEW (Vital Information for Education and Work) is recognized as the Commonwealth's Career Information Delivery System for all students in grades K-8 in Virginia. We are located at Virginia Tech as part of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences in the School of Education. As part of the Office of Educational Research and Outreach, our mission is to inform, encourage, and support the education and career development of the people of Virginia. Virginia Career VIEW is supported by State funds from the Virginia Department of Education, directly through Virginia Tech. Our efforts combine independent research, engaging activities, in addition to hands-on statewide training and outreaches with the most current data presented using the latest technology.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Feb. 27th Virginia Tech KTU exhibitor!

"Antarctica Today:  Geography, Penguins and More!" by Hokies Abroad Antarctica

Students from the Virginia Tech Hokies Abroad Antarctica program will present photos and information on their recent study abroad experience in Antarctica.  Students will present characteristics of the Antarctic continent and use maps of the world to help you locate and compare your home country to Antarctica.  The exhibit will include a hands-on activity to demonstrate the importance of insulation to wildlife survival in the cold Antarctic climate, as well as the opportunity to take a photo in special clothing designed for use in the Antarctic.  The Hokies Abroad students will also present photos and video of their experience in Antarctica, including their interactions with penguins and the blood-chilling polar plunge!

The Hokies Abroad Antarctica program is a Virginia Tech faculty-led course in which students take an online course during the fall semester, followed by a 2 week expedition to the coldest, windiest, driest, highest, quietest, most remote, and least understood continent on Earth.  In the Hokies Abroad Antarctica program, students study contemporary issues in Antarctica such as Antarctica's history, exploration and exploitation of natural resources, the continent's geology, climate, and marine and terrestrial biology, legal, psychological, and anthropological aspects of human activity in the region, conservation of fragile polar ecosystems, and the impact of cruise ship tourism to Antarctica on the surrounding region.  For more details, visit:

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Feb. 27th KTU exhibitor

"Deconstructing of computers" by VT Service Learning Undergraduate Students

Get out your screw drivers and hammers. We are taking apart some computers!

The undergraduate students hosting this activity have been trained by KTU to faciliate this activity. These students are fulfilling service hours for their undergraduate classes.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Feb. 27th KTU exhibitor

Below is what is in store for the Feb. 27th Virginia Tech KTU program. Posts will be featuring the exhibitors at KTU over the next couple of weeks!

"It’s a Small World" by Cimini Lab, Department of Biological Sciences

Ever wonder what your skin is made of or what an insect wing looks like? Come and see some of the smallest things in our world! Activities will be designed to teach students about the microscopic world, specifically cells, through the use of microscopes. We will provide intriguing sample slides for students to examine, such as cheek cells, plant leaves and insect wings. Videos of cells growing will be displayed to show examples of what powerful microscopes can see. Learn how microscopic things make up everything around us!

The Cimini lab is lead by associate professor Daniela Cimini through the Department of Biological Sciences at Virginia Tech. The primary interests of the lab are in understanding the mechanisms driving successful cell division and how these activities can be applied to the medical and environmental scene.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Community hands on coding workshop

"Programming Lights and Knobs with the Arduino" ,
When: Wednesday, Feb. 17th, 4:30-7:30pm
Where: at Rackspace, Blacksburg, VA.
How: RSVP while there's still space: