BLACKSBURG, Va., (May 27, 2011) - Kids’ Tech University, a collaboration between Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) and Virginia 4-H, will host the second annual Climate Change Student Summit (C2S2) at VBI, kicking off the event with educator workshops to be held on Sept. 24, 2011, and Oct. 22, 2011, before the March 2012 summit. 

On Sept. 24, registered educators will attend the first workshop in the C2S2: Climate Change series from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. This workshop will discuss climate change based on Antarctic core sample drilling by ANDRILL (ANtarctic geological DRILLing research project) and will provide educators with posters, a DVD, and a 200-page activity book created with funding from the National Science Foundation.

Educators who attend Workshop 1 will receive an invitation to Workshop 2 on Oct. 22, 2011, from 12:30-4:30 p.m., during which they will earn a stipend, CEU credits, and receive the Environmental Literacy Framework (ELF) with a Focus on Climate Change materials.

In March 2012, educators and students will attend C2S2 at VBI as the culmination of their climate change activities and research. “We are excited to host the C2S2 workshop series and summit again this year,” Kristy Collins, Ph.D., of VBI stated. “The summit is a wonderful and fun opportunity for educators and children to learn about climate change research and environmental literacy.” The teachers and students will have a unique opportunity to present their research projects to other student groups from the area and participate in a live videoconference with students from around the US.

All information presented in the workshops is applicable to K-12 STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) goals, and is especially appropriate for SOLs in geography, math, science, and English. It is also appropriate for out-of-school time learning facilitators in informal education settings, such as science museums, natural history museums, and 4-H.

All formal and informal educators are welcome to attend the workshop series and participate in the summit. The materials and activities presented in the workshop have successfully been used in grades K-12 even though they were specifically designed for grades 5-8. Kathleen Jamison, Ph.D., Virginia 4-H STEM specialist, reflected on the benefit of 2011 C2S2 for informal educators: "Collaborating with ANDRILL and VBI on the topic of climate science enabled Virginia 4-Her's to expand understanding and application of environmental literacy. By demonstrating their science project findings, presenting their experiences to scientists and peers at VBI, and having a voice in a real-time teleconferencing forum among the participating states set a precedent for 4-H Club involvement in Climate Science. A goal for 2012 is to expand 4-H youth involvement on the topic of climate science through 4-H STEM Camps, special interest and project clubs, and school enrichment opportunities as an intentional part of our Virginia 4-H STEM Plan of Action as part of a national effort: One Million New Scientists, One Million New Ideas!"

About Kids’ Tech University

Kids' Tech University (KTU;, 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. Children, their parents, and teachers, come to the Virginia Tech campus and participate in a series of engaging scientific activities, including lectures by world-renowned researchers and hands-on laboratory experiments. The goal is to expose children early to cutting-edge research in science, math, engineering, and technology to hopefully encourage them to pursue science careers.

About the 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.

About Virginia 4-H

4-H is the youth development education program of Virginia Cooperative Extension. Rich in learning experiences, young people are encouraged to participate in a variety of subject matter content that emphasizes 4-H's "learn by doing" philosophy while partnering with caring and trained adults as volunteer facilitators. Standing for head, heart, hands, and health, 4-H uses more than a century of experience in positive youth development programming to build strong, confident leaders. Current program emphasis to increase STEM knowledge, skills/abilities, attitudes, and aspirations is integrated into 4-H programming where applicable. Through school-based, after-school and community clubs, as well as camp settings, 4-H members are provided opportunities for real life application of content learned. Experiential learning and Skillathon Stations, used extensively in 4-H, provides a model for outreach consistency.



Tiffany Trent

(540) 231-6822

Published by Tiffany Trent, May 27, 2011