Science is bigger than you think.

The Virginia Tech Science Festival is a one-day fall festival serving 3,500 to 6,000 people in the mountains of western Virginia working to help attendees learn just how all-encompassing science is. The festival is a collaborative effort spanning multiple university entities and regional organizations. As a land-grant research university, Virginia Tech has a broad community of people thinking scientifically and conducting world-class research, and part of the mission is to share discoveries and research with the community.

The Virginia Tech Science Festival gives time, space, and permission for sharing research with the broader community. The festival inspires children and families while allowing faculty and students to hone their science communication skills. The goal of the festival is to inspire a love of science in everyone who visits. To that end, we wanted to share with Evalfest readers some details on two programs we run as part of the festival, our SAFE space designation and our charter bus system to bring in students from underserved regions in Virginia.

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4-VA Award: “Development of a Blueprint for the Virginia STEM Ecosystem.”

4-VA Award
Magliaro, Newbill, and McNair featured in The Roanoke Times

Researchers from five universities, in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Education’s STEM Director and the Virginia Governor’s STEM Coordinator, are working on a blueprint including guidance related to resource acquisition, curriculum development, teacher professional learning, work-based learning and student/community outreach to ensure a successful academic and Virginia STEM career pipeline. The five universities involved are Virginia Tech (lead institution), George Mason University, James Madison University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and University of Virginia. Sue Magliaro and Phyllis Newbill will lead the project.

Vibrant Virginia Award

Vibrant Virginia
The Office of Economic Development engages and supports university faculty in exploring community and economic development in urban and rural Virginia.

“Connecting Schools and Businesses/Promoting Workforce Development through Teacher Internships” works to promotes education and workforce development in Southwest Virginia by creating internship opportunities for students by connecting their teachers with area businesses and fostering a classroom environment that prepares students to enter the workforce. Workforce development is central to economic development and thriving communities. Funding will be used to research the potential to develop effective internships for students in local businesses and ultimately create an internship curriculum and evaluation plan that allows for educators to measure the effectiveness of internships with local businesses in Southwest Virginia. Contact Lisa McNair ( or Sue Magliaro ( for more information.

Dr. Bryanne Peterson has been awarded a grant by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Egypt.

Dr. Bryanne Peterson
Dr. Bryanne Peterson in War Memorial Hall on Virginia Tech’s Campus.

Dr. Bryanne Peterson has been awarded a grant by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Egypt. The  “STEM Teacher Education and School Strengthening Activity (STESSA)” project is building out STEM Education in Egypt through working with 8 US universities, the non-profit organization 21PSTEM, the Egypt Ministry of Education and 5 of their universities.

Kindergarten-2-College (K2C)

Kindergarten-2-College (K2C) kicks off in February to offer 5th grade students from high-needs Virginia schools hands-on experiences with Virginia Tech faculty and students in a day-long campus experience. This program is a collaborative effort of the Center for Research in SEAD Education and the College Access Collaborative. It is made possible by sponsors, presenters and volunteers, including the Office of the President and Provost, the College Access Collaborative, and volunteers consisting of Virginia Tech students and faculty, along with activity presenters from over 25 departments across campus. Over the spring semester, K2C will host over 1200 students from across the state.

Call Open for 2019 ICAT Creativity and Innovation Day Proposals

ICAT Creativity and Innovation Day will be held on Monday, May 6, 2019, from 10 AM to 4 PM. This event is a celebration of innovation and process at the nexus of science, engineering, arts, and design (SEAD). The event features projects funded by ICAT, projects from transdisciplinary courses, projects with ICAT-affiliated faculty, and community projects that work at the nexus of SEAD.  Our theme this year is "Perspective."

Virginia Tech Instrument Maker Camp

Virginia Tech Instrument Maker CampThe Virginia Tech Instrument Maker Camp. What do design, DIY, robotics, engineering, and music all have in common? They all combine to create the successful ingredients for ICAT’s Instrument Maker Camp! On July 30 - August 2, 2019 (Tuesday - Friday), ICAT researchers, and graduate students will welcome teachers and middle school-aged students to a 4-day long camp designed to harness students’ creativity and encourage them to act on their curiosity. Students will code, 3-d model, build and perform with the instruments they design. Co-sponsored by ICAT and University Libraries, Maker Camp will take place July 30-August 2, 2019. Registration will open April 1. Contact for more information.