More than 200 children know a lot more about their senses and their brains thanks to VTC faculty and students who engaged them recently at Virginia Tech’s Kids’ Tech University. 

Helena Carvalho with the Department of Basic Science Education and medical student volunteers spent the day giving hands-on demonstrations about the Special Senses, including why do we have two eyes and two ears and how the skin helps us identify texture, temperature and pain and how optical illusions trick our eyes. This was Carvalho’s 10th year as a Kids’ Tech University volunteer.

Kris Rau, also in basic science education and director of the neuroscience curriculum, brought together graduate students and postdocs from the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute and the School of Neuroscience at Virginia Tech to interact with youngsters on topics having to do with the nervous system, such as how our brains compare to other animal brains and how electrical signals from one person can be used to control another person's arm. Rau also gave the keynote address titled, “Ouch! Why does stuff hurt?” 

Kids' Tech University puts real researchers in front of children to get them excited about science and technology. Through the program, kids can envision themselves as scientists, the true explorers and adventurers of the 21st century.

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Photo Credits: Rasha Aridi for Virginia Tech