ABINGDON, Va., Sept. 26, 2012 – With so many recent successes under its belt, Kids’ Tech University is set to add yet another this October with the founding of a Kids’ Tech University program at the Virginia Tech Southwest Center in Abingdon, Va.

Designed for children ages 9 to 12, Kids’ Tech University teaches children about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects while providing them with valuable experience in a university setting.

The inaugural program will be held on Saturday, Oct. 27, and again on Saturday, April 20, 2013.

Center director Penny McCallum said “The Virginia Tech Southwest Center serves 18 school divisions in the far southwest region of Virginia. Kids' Tech University has been a huge success, and we are very excited to provide an opportunity for children in the Abingdon area to have exposure and experience in STEM subjects through the rich resources of Virginia Tech. This year, we plan to serve 100 boys and girls, ages 9 to 12. The plan is to expand this number in subsequent years.”

The program expands the center's offerings, which are currently focused on graduate programming and professional certificate programs.  The Kids' Tech University program will be the first of its kind in the Abingdon area.

"Our long-term goal is to make this program easily accessible to all children in the commonwealth, and offer it as a resource for teachers and science educators. Facilities such as the Virginia Tech Southwest Center help us in achieving this goal, and we are very excited about this new endeavor,” said Reinhard Laubenbacher, director of education and outreach for Kids' Tech University.

The Oct. 27, program will focus on pattern recognition, with an interactive session led by Laubenbacher.  In April, the session will introduce children to the exciting landscape of Antarctica with Cristina Millan. See the Kids' Tech University Abingdon website for more information and registration info.

Online registration begins Monday, Oct. 1, at 6 p.m.

About Kids’ Tech University
Kids' Tech University (KTU) is a pioneering educational initiative designed to excite children about science and provide them with a real university experience. Kids' Tech University was spearheaded by VBI in collaboration with the Virginia Cooperative Extension’s 4-H Youth Development Program. The goal is to expose K-12 students early to cutting-edge research in science, math, engineering, and technology to hopefully encourage them to pursue science careers. The Virginia Tech Kids' Tech University activities includes a spring event series for 9-12 year olds, a high school program, a VBI interactive booth at the USA Science and Engineering Festival, and hosting K-12 visits at VBI.

About Virginia Bioinformatics Institute
The Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech is a premier bioinformatics, computational biology, and systems biology research facility that uses transdisciplinary approaches to science combining information technology, biology, and medicine. These approaches are used to interpret and apply vast amounts of biological data generated from basic research to some of today’s key challenges in the biomedical, environmental, and agricultural sciences. With more than 240 highly trained multidisciplinary, international personnel, research at the institute involves collaboration in diverse disciplines such as mathematics, computer science, biology, plant pathology, biochemistry, systems biology, statistics, economics, synthetic biology, and medicine. The large amounts of data generated by this approach are analyzed and interpreted to create new knowledge that is disseminated to the world’s scientific, governmental, and wider communities.

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Contact:

Tiffany Trent
(540) 231-6822
ttrent@vbi.vt.edu

September 26, 2012