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A non-profit publication of the Office of the University Relations of Virginia Tech,
including The Conductor, a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year

CIMSS plans fourth Tour de Tech
April 10-19

Spectrum Volume 18 Issue 26 - April 4, 1996

For the fourth consecutive year, the Center for Intelligent Material Systems and Structures (CIMSS) at Virginia Tech will be organizing Tour de Tech, an educational exposition for area school children.

Tour de Tech 1996 will be April 18-19, preceding the Stage 6 finish of Tour DuPont in Blacksburg, taking place on the Virginia Tech campus on Monday, May 6. CIMSS will once again work with the university community and Montgomery County school officials in the creation and organization of an event similar to Tour de Tech 1994 and 1995, to ensure an enjoyable and enlightening outing for students, teachers, and area residents.

The primary activity being organized for Tour de Tech is the science-and-engineering exposition, although numerous in-school events and projects are also being planned. Invitations to attend the activities will be extended to all schools and classrooms (K-12) in Montgomery and neighboring counties. Input is being sought from interested teachers, principals, and faculty members to create activities and demonstrations that will be appropriate and meaningful to area school children.

The theme for this year's event will be HANDS ON: Science and Engineering. The primary focus of the educational exposition is to promote an understanding and awareness of the diversity of science and engineering.

A large and diverse expo is anticipated for 1996. Booths and demonstrations will be arranged to highlight the excitement and novelty found in the many diverse areas of science and engineering at Virginia Tech. Scientists and engineers from many different disciplines will showcase the technologies under investigation at Virginia Tech that also have applications in everyday life and in such things as bullet- proof vests, space structures, canoes, and submarines. Specialists in the fields of human nutrition, agriculture, and other sciences are also being invited to demonstrate elements of their respective fields.

Tour de Tech's success in introducing Montgomery County school children to the diversity of science and engineering careers has been a catalyst for an effort to take Tour de Tech to other parts of the commonwealth. In 1996, coinciding with the finish of Stage 2 of the Tour DuPont in Richmond on May 2, Tour de Tech activities in Richmond will allow school children in that area to become better acquainted with Virginia Tech and will demonstrate to legislators and other state officials the breadth of the university's outreach efforts to provide an education to all citizens of the commonwealth.

Anyone interested in sharing ideas, preparing a demonstration, or providing input to event organizers should call Craig Rogers or Beth Howell at CIMSS, 1-2900.