BLACKSBURG, VA, March 2, 2012 -- On Saturday March 3, around 100 students from grades 5 to 12 and their teachers will participate in a national Climate Change Student Summit (C2S2) in conjunction with Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech (VBI), Virginia 4-H, the Antarctic Geological Drilling program (ANDRILL), and sponsored by a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) grant to ANDRILL at VBI.

The C2S2 Summit is the culmination of a series of workshops and educational seminars held over the past year at the Institute.  In previous workshops, students and teachers learned about the effects of climate change, how these effects are measured with techniques like Antarctic core sample drilling, and how to apply these findings in their own related science projects. 

During the Summit, students will hear from climate change experts on topics ranging from glaciers to alternate fuel sources to environmental effects of climate change.  They will also video conference with other students at locations on the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana and Beaufort, North Carolina.  Students will discuss their thoughts on climate change and also ask questions of the scientists.

For more information about past activities, please see Kids’ Tech University partners with 4-H in Climate Change Student Summit.

The educational fun continues on March 24th when KTU hosts an interactive session with the Institute’s own Stephen Eubank, Ph.D.  Eubank will present “How Much Work Could a Network Net if a Network Could Net Work?” helping students to understand how networks function and how they act as solutions (and causes) for many social problems.  This session will focus on engineering and health. On April 7, interested students can attend “Why Doesn’t My Banana Get the Flu?”,  an ecological and agriculturally-centered program given by Brett Tyler, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Genome Research and Biocomputing at Oregon State University.  Registration is available at: http://kidstechuniversity.vbi.vt.edu/county_registration.php .

About Kids’ Tech University

Kids' Tech University (KTU; http://kidstechuniversity.vbi.vt.edu), 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 (http://www.vbi.vt.edu) 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.

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Contact:

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

March 02, 2012