Registration for Kids’ Tech University, which is hosted by the Fralin Life Sciences Institute and Virginia 4-H, will open on Oct. 18 and will continue through Jan. 5. 2022 or when the program is full.
Registration will operate on a first-come, first-served basis, and the program will be limited to 350 participants.
A registration fee of $65 per child will be charged upon registration to cover the costs of offering a high-quality program. No refunds will be given. Parents will also have an option to apply for a scholarship during registration.
Every year, Kids’ Tech University (KTU), which aims to inspire the future generation of scientists by bridging the gap between kids and experts in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Last year, the program had to address a gap of a different kind: distance.
Kids’ Tech University, like many other programs and activities, had to move to a virtual format for the first time as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite its difficulties, the program was a success. Not only that, but kids were given access to locations and experiences they could never have imagined.
The program drew interest from all across the country and the world, leaving Kristy Collins, the Fralin Life Sciences Institute’s head of education and outreach, astonished.
“We have never had so much national reach – or any international reach for that matter – for this program,” said Collins. “We had kids from Florida, Georgia, West Virginia, Tennessee, Arizona, Virginia, North Carolina, and Maryland. Last year’s program was also attended by kids who were residing in Japan, Egypt, and Turkey.”
This year, the program will continue the tradition by hosting another virtual Kids’ Tech University. Registration will open on Oct. 18 for the event, which will include topics such as origami nervous systems, oxidation-reduction processes, boat building, and more.
Previously, Kids’ Tech University has been able to give the children a “university feel” by having them participate in interactive sessions in one of Virginia Tech’s lecture halls. However, now that the program has pivoted, students will be engaging with scientists and doing activities over Zoom. This year, closed captioning will be available for the interactive sessions.
Following the interactive sessions, kids will partake in hands-on activities from the comfort of their own homes. Kids will get kits in the mail, and they will need to use minimal, if any, items from their own houses. In addition to the scientists, Virginia Tech undergraduates will also be jumping in to lead kids and their parents through the exercises.
The schedule for the spring 2022 Kids’ Tech University semester is as follows:
Jan. 29, 2022: An interactive session led by Amanda Morris, a professor of chemistry in the College of Science. The oxidation-reduction process of salt water will be the subject of the tentative hands-on activity.
Feb. 26, 2022: An interactive session led by Kristofer Rau, an assistant professor of basic science education in the Virginia Tech-Carilion School of Medicine. For the tentative hands-on activity, kids will create a STEAM hand model and origami nerve systems.
March 19, 2022: “Did you know that mosquitoes are super smart?” The interactive session will be led by Luis Escobar, an assistant professor of fish and wildlife conservation in the College of Natural Resources and Environment. The tentative hands-on activity for this session will be about color adaptations. Kids will complete a “Build a Bug” activity with Improv.
April 2, 2022: An interactive session led by Dewey Spangler, the manager of the Virginia Tech Ware Lab and Advanced Engineering Design Lab. Kids will be building a boat for the tentative hands-on activity.