Blacksburg, VA, August 20, 2013---The award-winning Kids’ Tech University has partnered with the Army to host four new Kids’ Tech sessions at historic Fort Belvoir in Fairfax, Virginia. Registration will open on August 26 at 6 pm at

The program aims to give children a taste of what it’s like to be part of the university community and to experience how asking questions often leads scientists to major discoveries.

Taking place on September 14, October 19, November 16 and December 7, these sessions will help kids find answers about the world around us. At the Fort Belvoir sessions, children will be invited to discover how network dynamics is used to solve problems, why Antarctica is necessary for understanding geology, and why bees are so important to food production.

”This is a unique opportunity for military children to interact with world renowned scientists and participate in hands-on activities” said Kristy Collins, KTU program director. “We are excited about hosting an event at Fort Belvoir, our first at a military location! This program is made possible by a grant from the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) and with partnerships including the US Army Corp of Engineers; Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech; Virginia 4-H; US Army Family, Moral, Welfare and Recreation Programs; US Army Child Youth and School Services; Military Intelligence Readiness Command and Army Reserve Child and Youth Services.”

Because of this unique partnership, only children ages 9 to 12 with a military affiliation will be eligible to participate in the program. Registration is on a first come, first served basis.

US Army ERDC -Topographic Engineering Center’s Deputy Chief Valerie Carney said, "ERDC realizes the importance of STEM outreach to help build our future workforce, and we are very excited to be able to sponsor Kids' Tech University at Fort Belvoir this year in support of our outreach efforts. What caught my attention with KTU is the multi-faceted aspect of the program, having interactive sessions with scientists, hands-on activities with volunteers, and virtual lab activities to be performed later at home. The comprehensive nature of this program should make it fun for children to learn about STEM disciplines."

Kids’ Tech University will also host an inaugural fall program at the VT Research Center in Arlington, Virginia. Start up money for the program is being provided by a VT Research Center grant. The program will be held on September 15, October 20, and November 17, 2013. Children (and parents) will be invited to discover how network dynamics is used to solve problems, high-flying organisms, and how viruses make us sick.

Registration will open for the Arlington program at on August 27 at 6 pm. Registration closes once 70 children have signed up for the program.

About VBI

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.



Tiffany Trent

August 20, 2013