Kids' Tech University is a program at Virginia Tech with one primary goal: creating the future workforce in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by sparking kids' interest in these fields.
One primary goal of Kids' Tech University (KTU) is to create the future workforce in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by sparking kids' interest in these fields. KTU's curriculum features three parts:
• Held once a month from January to April, in a lecture hall on the Virginia Tech campus
• Will be centered on answering a "why" question, such as "Why is the sky blue?"
• Purpose is to focus children's attention on a particular subject within the disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
• Held after each interactive session
• Focused on the specific discipline being discussed in the interactive session
• Done in a career fair fashion where kids and parents walk around to various activities
• Interactive labs will follow-up on ideas presented in the interactive sessions
• Activities are designed to cultivate children’s interest in the interactive session topics
• Features online forum to promote discussion and teamwork
• Performed at home
KTU is also dedicated to conducting research into successful educational programs. As part of this effort, we will be asking the kids to provide us with feedback on their KTU experience. Thank you for your cooperation.
Spring 2019 Registration Information
• Online enrollment begins at 6 p.m. on Oct. 23, 2018
• 450 children will be accepted into the program
• Those accepted will represent a geographically diverse area.
• Registration is on a “first-come, first-served” basis that is open to children satisfying the age restriction, regardless of place of residence or academic achievements. A waiting list will be available after registration is full for a county or for the program.
• You are enrolling him or her to attend ALL FOUR of the program dates.
In order to keep up with the costs of providing a quality program, there will be a registration fee of $100.00 per child, payable upon registration (no refunds).
To pay by credit card, add the event to your cart at the right. We suggest using the family/group checkout feature.
To register multiple children by cash or check, please click here.
Parents have an option to apply for a scholarship for your child, click here to apply.
Lunch cards and a KTU t-shirt will be given to all children who attend KTU.
Further questions? Please contact Dr. Kristy Collins at email@example.com.
2019 Program of Events
January 26, 2019
Going with the flow: the role of fluid flow in brain health and disease
An interactive session led by Dr. Jennifer Munson
Dr. Jenny Munson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics. She received her Bachelor’s in Neuroscience and Chemical Engineering from Tulane University and her Ph.D. in Bioengineering from Georgia Tech. She was a Fulbright Scholar and Whitaker Scholar in Switzerland, where she completed her postdoctoral fellowship at L’Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne. Dr. Munson was the 2016 Rita Schaffer Young Investigator Award winner from the Biomedical Engineering Society and a 2017 Young Innovator in Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering. Her work focuses on the role of fluid flow and drainage in brain and breast cancers, drug delivery, and tissue engineering and is funded by the National Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society. She works with a team of great graduate students and postdoctoral researchers applying techniques in cell culture, computational modeling, and patient data analysis to study these complex problems.
February 09, 2019
An interactive session led by Dr. Eric Paterson
Virginia Tech Aerospace and Ocean Engineering Department Head and Rolls-Royce Commonwealth Professor of Marine Propulsion
March 02, 2019
An interactive session led by Dr. Charlotte Baker
Assistant Professor of Epidemiology in Public Health in the Department of Population Health Sciences in the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech
March 30, 2019
The sea is rising! How do we know, why does it matter, and what can we do?
An interactive session led by Drs. Anamaria Bukvic and Sarah Karpanty
Anamaria Bukvic, Ph.D. is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at Virginia Tech and serves as a co-lead of the Coastal@VT initiative, also at VT. Her multidisciplinary educational training drives her dedication to study complex emerging issues with focus on interdisciplinary integration and holistic problem-solving. Dr. Bukvic received two M.S. degrees in biology and community planning from the University of Cincinnati, and finished her Ph.D. in Planning, Governance, and Globalization at Virginia Tech. Her research focuses on coastal adaptation, resilience, and vulnerability, as well as on hazard-induced displacement and relocation. Sarah Karpanty, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation at Virginia Tech and is affiliated with Coastal@VT. She earned her B.S. at Miami University in Zoology and her Ph.D. at Stony Brook University in Ecology and Evolution. Dr. Karpanty studies how changing climate impacts wildlife and the recovery of imperiled species, ranging from lemurs in the rainforests of Madagascar to shorebirds on the U.S. Atlantic Coast. She is interested in how human communities can make choices in the face of climate change that both help people and wildlife.
Learner OutcomesKids’ Tech University is a semester-long event! In January, February, March, and April there is an all-day event that consists of an interactive session, which is centered on answering a question about the world around us, and a hands-on component, which features the Virginia Tech professors, students, clubs, and community. Kids can take part in the virtual labs and forum after the all-day event to continue to cultivate their interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
This is a first-come, first-served program that is open to children satisfying the age restriction, regardless of place of residence or academic achievements. The program is designed to accommodate up to 450 children between the ages of 9 and 12 (as of September 30, 2018) representing a geographically diverse area.
When you register your child for Kids' Tech University you are enrolling him or her to attend ALL FOUR of the program dates. We are expecting that the children will attend both the interactive session AND the hands-on activity of the day. If you want your child to participate in only the hands-on OR interactive session of the day, please do not register to attend the program.
We are striving to create a "university feel" that includes children attending an interactive session (lecture) with their peers in a university lecture hall. Volunteers will be with the children (in a ratio of 1 to 10) within the lecture space. These volunteers are from Virginia Tech and will watch over your child until you come to pick him or her up. Parents are welcome to watch the interactive session from a different lecture hall on campus, which is within a short walking distance from the children's lecture hall. Due to seat limitations we do not have space within the children's lecture hall to accommodate parents. After the interactive session, parents are required to pick up their child and escort him or her to lunch and to the hands-on activities.
Attendance of non-enrolled children: Given the size and complexity of the program, a parent/guardian will be required to be with their enrolled KTU child for the hands-on event. We’ve found that non-enrolled children add an extra burden of complexity in terms of crowd flow and safety and require that you NOT bring these children to the event. If you bring a child (of any age) not enrolled to the hands-on event we will kindly ask you and your children to leave the event.
“KTU has given our child opportunities that she would never have gotten in school! She has learned the importance of protecting the environment, how patterns impact medical research as well as dance moves, how to make and edit an animated film, how to give a great speech, the possibility of life on Mars, and so many other wonderful things. She has put her entire arm into a cow's stomach, made butter, extracted DNA from strawberries and competed in a wheelchair race with one eye covered. The things she has learned are already having an impact in her daily life and will be invaluable to her in the future!” Marce, Collinsville, VA
“KTU is a fantastic program that is motivational, experiential, and provides that building blocks for career exploration. KTU was certainly worth driving two hours and a half to expose my daughter to other kids, college students, and professionals. I can't wait for the next program year to begin.” Lonnie
“The KTU program made learning about science cool and interesting.” Clare, will be a fifth grader in the Prince Edward County Public Schools, Farmville, VA
“I liked the afternoon activities because I love hands-on activities and there was lots of those. My most favorite one was designing fractals. I didn't know very much about fractals before (Kids' Tech University) and I now know much more about them because of Kids' Tech University. P.S. I love fractals!” Nicholas, grade 3, Blacksburg
“Hey Mom, I'm a VT Sophomore!” Allyson, 5th grader, Tazewell County, VA
“My son really enjoyed his KTU experience. The hands-on activities exposed him to technologies that he wouldn't have seen in his normal school classroom. The enthusiasm of the Virginia Tech students who assisted with these events made them all the more memorable.” Donna
“I loved the Antactica lecture. I had never met someone who went to Antarctica! After the lecture, I wanted to find out more about Andrill and we watched the PBS NOVA episode that was suggested. I really liked the idea of doing research with the drill, and I think I may want to be a scientist and do fun things like going to Antarctica.” Christopher grade 5, Blacksburg