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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

KTU Update

So, this past weekend (Friday, January 28th) my youngest daughter (Kristina) and I took off for Virginia Tech for the third season of Kids' Tech University! To say this event is life changing for children would be untrue. This event is life changing for EVERYONE! Me included!

The lecture/storytelling session was led by the most amazing professor, Dr. Reinhard Laubenbacher, Professor at Virginia Bioinformatics Institute and of the Department of Mathematics, Virginia Tech, who was able to communicate a huge math concept to the children (and the adults!) This is a summary of the session:

Did you know that we are surrounded by patterns--everywhere? For example, farmers need to understand weather patterns to plan their harvests. Your parents need to understand traffic patterns to drive you to school safely. Music and dance excite us through patterns of sounds and movement. Some patterns are pretty easy to spot, like the pattern on seashell, or the pattern on a snowflake. However, other patterns around us aren’t so easy to see, like the patterns on a pine cone, or the patterns of ocean waves. I’ll bet you wouldn’t guess patterns exist in clouds! To discover some of these patterns, we need to be very, very observant. So join me and together we’ll hunt down some patterns in the world around us--and as we investigate how these patterns form and why they’re there, the answers may surprise you!

In the afternoon, the parents and children were able to attend 2 hands-on sessions (one at the math emporium - exploring fractals and the other at the dance studio). I know what you're thinking, are you kidding me? What on earth does dance have to do with math? Well, I thought the same thing...but, it does! There are PATTERNS in dance, and math calculations are used when creating choreography! What a blast!

While at the Math Emporium (University Mall), Kristina had to pose with the Hokie Bird! Don't they look GREAT!!!!!

Can't wait for February....“Why are glaciers in Antarctica important to people who live in Virginia?” A storytelling session led by Dr. Ellen Cowan, Professor of Geology, Appalachian State University.

Kids' Tech University - January 2011

So Friday morning, we get up nice and early to drive to Blacksburg! Did I check the weather forecast? No! Did I expect snow? No! Not only did I get snow, but I got 15 mph traffic to top it off! I just knew I would be late for teacher training! But, PRAISE GOD, I wasn't! The delay was due to a car in the ditch - and I was quickly returned to the speed limit (plus a little!).
More to follow.....