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Virginia Tech's Science fair returns to Blacksburg this Saturday

A girl is holding a controller aimed at a robot. Her face shows glee and she has a big smile. She is wearing pink polka dot shorts, a blue shirt with a pink heart, and a pink sweatshirt. She is in a room with other kids and a few grown ups, at a science festival event held in 2017 at Virginia Tech.
Virginia Tech
A girl learns about robots. Image from science festival in 2017.

Thousands of kids are expected in Blacksburg Saturday for the annual Virginia Tech science festival.

Kids are bused in from across Virginia and West Virginia to attend the science festival.

“This is our 10th year, said Phyllis Newbill, who works at Virginia Tech and helps coordinate the event. “And watching the kids grow up with it has been really fun.”

The event, which is open to the public, will have dozens of exhibits, geared for elementary aged kids, high school students, and anyone interested in science.

One of the exhibits features robots including one that is shaped like a little dog. And one of the outside exhibits will show stone carvers, who wear EEG caps to measure how it affects their brain activity.

“While they’re carving, they know that their brain feels different,” Newbill said. “And so with this research, we can actually see how their brains are behaving differently.”

Kids can also learn about DNA sequencing. “You can extract DNA from a strawberry and then right next door you can build a DNA model out of candy,” Newbill said.

Two boys kneel on the ground, peering at a small white plastic dog robot. The robot dog is gazing at a red ball. Sunlight shines through the windows behind them. The boys look absorbed.
Virginia Tech
Two boys gaze at a small robot dog, at a Virginia Tech Science Festival in 2019.

The Virginia Tech Science Festival is free, and runs Saturday from 10-3 at the Moss Arts Center, the 4th floor of Newman library, and Torgersen Bridge near the library.

Researchers also compete at 4 for the best, and briefest, presenter of their science. A 7th grade student will judge.

Parking on campus is free, but Newbill asks that participants don’t park in any of the handicap spaces, service vehicle spaces, or spaces that say they’re enforced 24 hours a day.

Updated: November 9, 2023 at 4:21 PM EST
Editor's Note: Radio IQ is a service of Virginia Tech.

Roxy Todd is Radio IQ's New River Valley Bureau Chief.