VSU makes STEM exciting for middle schoolers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  September 28, 2016

Contact: William Gee, Marketing & Communications Dept., 804-524-5005, wgee@vsu.edu

Kids’ Tech University Returns to VSU

Kids’ Tech University returns to Virginia State University for two sessions this fall.  Sponsored by Virginia Cooperative Extension, the popular program for youth ages 9-12 is designed to create a future workforce in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by sparking kids' interest in these fields. 

The Kids' Tech University (KTU™) program is different from other kids' programs because it puts real researchers in front of children to give exciting interactive sessions on those infamous "why" questions that have always intrigued children. The goal isn't to teach the children, but, rather, to get them excited about science and technology through a shared enthusiasm of the subject areas. The program also shows kids that scientists are the true explorers and adventurers of the 21st century.                 

On Oct. 15 British barrister David Neita, co-leader of a NASA Stem training initiative involving astronauts, will present to the students his topic, “The rewarding and remarkable world of science.” On Nov. 15, Harry Johnson, principal researcher with Lockheed Martin’s Center for Innovation in Suffolk, will share his experiences with the youth. Both sessions will be conducted in the auditorium of the L. Douglas Wilder Building on campus. Each session will also feature a demonstration on how drones are being used in precision agriculture to make farming more efficient.      

Using a university setting and atmosphere to stimulate interest in science and technology disciplines, KTU™ will also help familiarize kids with a college setting. The participants will interact with undergraduate and graduate students, researchers, and fellow participants. The curriculum will include interactive sessions, hands-on campus activities, and a virtual component. The purpose of the interactive sessions is to capture the participants' attention for a given science, technology, engineering or mathematics subject, while the on-campus activities encourage kids to transform learning into doing. Finally, the online KTU™ component reinforces the subject areas with activities designed to channel the participants' excitement for the science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines.                

This program is intended for up to 100 children ages 9-12 (as of September 30, 2016) who live within a four-hour driving distance of Virginia State University. A $30 per child registration fee includes a tee shirt for registrants and lunch for registrants and their parents.                

Online registration can be found at  http://kidstechuniversity-vsu.vbi.vt.edu/county-registration.                       

If you need further information or are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact  Jessica Harris at  jbrown@vsu.edu or call (804) 524-5964 / (800) 828-1120 during business hours of 8 am. and 5 p.m. to discuss accommodations no later than five days prior to the event.                       

Extension is a joint program of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and state and local governments. Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/ affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Interim Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.