BGSU welcomes future scientists at Kids’ Tech University

BOWLING GREEN, O.—Why are tomatoes red? What can fossils tell us about the past and future of our planet? Kids’ Tech University at BGSU is designed to let kids explore scientific concepts through hands-on activities as they discover more about the world and nature.

A semester-long research program for children ages 9-12, Kids’ Tech is presented by real scientists answering real questions. Aimed at area families, the program is made up of four sessions, in January, February, March and April. Each day includes a morning interactive session with faculty followed by lunch and an afternoon of related learning activities. An online component continues students’ engagement after the campus activities have been completed.

The semester kicks off in January with Dr. Reinhard Laubenbacher of Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech University, who originated the Kids’ Tech program. He will introduce patterns, from snowflakes to ocean waves, and why they are there.

BGSU faculty members will teach two of the sessions. In February, Dr. Peter Lu, Ohio Eminent Scholar and professor of biology, will discuss proteins and their functions. In April, Dr. Peg Yacobucci, an associate professor of geology, will present fossils and what we can learn from them.

Dr. David Francis, associate professor of horticulture and crop sciences at Ohio State University, leads the March session, on DNA and its role as the building blocks of life.

Kids’ Tech is open to all children age 9-12 by Sept. 30 who live within an hour of BGSU. There is a $25 registration fee to participate; scholarships are available. All students will receive a lunch card and a KTU T-shirt.

Online enrollment begins at 6 p.m. Dec. 5 at http://kidstechuniversity-bgsu.vbi.vt.edu/

Now in its fourth year, a primary goal of the program is to prepare the future workforce in science, technology, engineering and mathematics by sparking children’s interest in those fields.

Kids’ Tech at BGSU is directed by Dr. Paul Morris, an associate professor of biology, and is funded through a U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant, which calls for participating universities to help prepare the next generation of scientists. (See http://www.bgsu.edu/offices/mc/news/2011/news94721.html) Additional support comes from 4H.

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(Posted November 10, 2011 )