Virginia Tech and Qualcomm bring STEM-education to Roanoke Region

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Sixth graders from Franklin County Public Schools joined the Virginia Tech Roanoke Center on for a soft opening of the Qualcomm Thinkabit Lab in early April.
Sixth graders from Franklin County Public Schools joined the Virginia Tech Roanoke Center on for a soft opening of the Qualcomm Thinkabit Lab in early April.

Sixth-grade students from the Roanoke region have the opportunity to spend an inspiring day immersed in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) environment with hands-on learning at the Virginia Tech Roanoke Center.

“Our community has been thrilled to hear that a Qualcomm / Thinkabit Lab is coming to the area,” said Executive Director of Roanoke Regional Initiatives, Lesa Hanlin. “The lab adds a whole new dimension to our portfolio at the Virginia Tech Roanoke Center.”

Located on the Virginia Tech Roanoke campus, the lab features an engaging educational space and coding environment where students will complete and present a project. Their experience is enriched by instruction on Arduino motherboards, servos, LEDs and solar panels, while their creative side can use plush toy parts, plastic, glitter and more in their one-of-a-kind creation.

The program is a one-day field trip that is open to sixth grade students, but will expand to other grades as it grows. The lab had a soft opening attended by Franklin County Public Schools’ sixth graders in early April.

The Virginia Tech Roanoke Center is collecting craft supplies for the lab. If you attend the grand opening or one of their other events bring some gently used or new items that students can use to spark their creativity. They’re looking for markers, fabric, pipe cleaners, cotton balls, etc.

The Thinkabit Lab experience is offered to school districts at no charge, with support from Qualcomm and generous community sponsors. To see the new lab, visit them for their grand opening on April 26 from 3 to 5 p.m. Email Martha Franklin by April 22 to be added to the guest list – [email protected].