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In addition to the broader impact that PlantSimLab will have on the plant biology community, the project will also leverage the ongoing outreach project that engages 9-12 year-old children across Virginia. The program, Kids' Tech University (KTU), brings 450 children to the Virginia Tech campus 4 times each year, where they interact with scientists, participate in hands-on laboratories, and, between campus events, explore a virtual space related to topics discussed on campus.

The PlantSimLab project leaders plan to use this large-scale, successful, outreach program for K-12 students as a vehicle to introduce children and teenagers to problems in plant biology and make available to them modeling and simulation as a tool to explore different aspects of plant science. The project will result in hands-on as well as virtual activities related to plant biology in general and the focus of the proposed project in particular.

Kids Tech University reaches approximately 450 9-12 year-old children and their parents every year, in addition to dozens of teachers through workshops. Participants come to Virginia Tech from all over Virginia and neighboring states.

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Pictures from Kids' Tech University held in the Math Emporium at Virginia Tech on Jan.24, 2015

  PlantSimLab: A Simulation Laboratory for Plant Biology is funded by NSF Award Number 1146819.