Kids Tech University
Kids' Tech University (KTU) sparks kids' interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and builds the future workforce in these fields. KTU provides a true university experience by having interactive sessions in the University lecture theaters, lunch in the Oaks Dining Hall on campus, and experiments mentored by their older university peers.
The Kids' Tech University (KTU) program is different from other kids' programs because we introduce the children to researchers capable of talking about the science that they do in an exciting and interactive session. The goal is to get them exciting about science by having them live the life of a science student for a day on the BGSU campus. Each season the Kids’ Tech University program has four all-day Saturday sessions, starting in early February and ending in early April.
Each program starts in the morning with a talk and extended question period with the invited speaker. These sessions are unlike any typical university lecture as our speakers are typically inundated with questions.
For lunch the children go with their parents or our program volunteers to the Oaks Dining Hall on campus which normally serves our residential students. Afternoon sessions will include a series of hands-on activities relevant to the session topic that the children can participate in with their parents.
2020 will mark the 9th season of Kids’ Tech University @BGSU. I aim to provide a true university experience for the children by providing them the opportunity to live the life of a science student at BGSU for a day.
Each year I invite four scientists that I believe are capable of explaining the science that they do to a young and very enthusiastic audience of 9-12 year olds. The morning program starts with a talk by our guest scientist about the science that they do and how they got interested in science as a career. We use the large lecture rooms in Olscamp Hall, so that parents can also have the opportunity to see that all of our speakers are peppered with questions form the audience.
For lunch the children go with their parents, or our program volunteers to the Oaks Dining Hall on campus, where the children can have their lunch in the same place where residential students eat.
The afternoon hands-on sessions are science labs centered around the topic introduced by the speaker. My goal for these activities is that they should be “real’ and include activities that they might not be able to do in a school setting. These experiments are typically organized into 40 min sessions that the children rotate through and are staffed by undergraduate and graduate students that I recruit and train for each event. I and my faculty colleagues act as instructors for many of these sessions, so that the children have the opportunity to talk directly to us and ask additional questions.
So a complete day starting about 10 a.m. AM and ending just after 3 p.m. will include a morning “lecture,” lunch, and afternoon “labs.”
Who am I?
I am a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences Department. My graduate students and I make use of techniques in Molecular Biotechnology to study how essential plant metabolites called polyamines function as signal molecules that enable plants to respond to environmental stress such as heat, cold, drought, and pathogen attack. We use similar approaches to understand the genetic basis of how a group of world-wide devastating plant pathogens called Phytophthora and Pythium species are so effective at killing plants.
We need your help on any one or all of the following days: from 9:30 a.m. to 3:15 pm. All events are on Saturday and where appropriate lunch is provided. The program relies heavily on the volunteering efforts of BGSU undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, staff, and the community.
Registration for the program is in the Olscamp Hall Lobby, and the morning talk is held in one of the lecture halls. We need volunteers to organize the children in groups and lead them into the lecture hall, take the students to lunch at the Oaks Dining Hall and act as instructors for the afternoon lab activities. If you are volunteering as an instructor/mentor for the afternoon hands-on session, a “working lunch” training session starting at noon is organized so that you can be ready when students return for the afternoon hands-on session.
You can help us recruit the next generation of scientists.
Kids’ Tech University is now in its 9th season at BGSU but we need your help to ensure the widest diversity of children from Bowling Green and surrounding communities are able to attend this unique program. To ensure that this is possible for the 2020 program, registration fees are nominal $30. but covers only the cost of T shirts, for the participants, and lunch for the volunteers. Additional funds are needed for purchase of materials and supplies for the hands-on session , printing costs, rental of facilities, and a nominal stipend for a student coordinator of the program.
Gold Sponsors ($500-$1,000)
Paul Morris and Maureen Yorga