Virginia Western Community College. Courtesy of the school.

Here’s a roundup of education briefs from around Southwest and Southside:

Virginia Western to host STEM Day on April 15

Virginia Western Community College will host STEM Day for elementary and middle school students on Saturday, April 15. The free event runs 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Virginia Western STEM building at 3080 Colonial Ave. in Roanoke.

Virginia Western faculty in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are teaming up with community partners to introduce their fields to the college students of tomorrow. This outreach is open to any K-8 student in the college’s service region, which encompasses Roanoke, Salem, Roanoke County, Craig County, Franklin County and southern Botetourt County. 

Hands-on activities include Raspberry Pi’s for gaming and coding; 3D printing; robots; dissections, DNA extractions, specimens and anatomical skeletons; animal models including a cow and horse hoof; rocks of Minecraft; sound and glass; Non-Newtonian fluids; slime; leaf and tree activities; and more.

Chemistry professor Lanette Upshaw is coordinating the event.

STEM Day activities will span the subjects of chemistry, mechatronics, geology, physics, biology, agriculture, engineering, math, information technology, biotechnology and astronomy. 

The Roanoke County Sheriff’s Office will provide free hot dogs. Participants will have the chance to see Virginia Tech’s formula race car and motorcycle team, and the Virginia Department of Forensic Science will have educators on site. High school STEM clubs from around the Roanoke Valley also will participate.

Parking is free. Children will need an adult accompanying them during the event.

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Veterans resource fair slated in Roanoke for April 27

Military veterans, transitioning service members and their family members interested in employment opportunities are invited and encouraged to attend the Veteran-Employer Connection & Military Family Resource Fair, Thursday, April 27, 2023 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Virginia Western Community College. 

Co-hosted by the college and the Virginia Department of Veterans Services, the Resource Fair will held in Room 208 in VWCC’s Fralin Center for Science and Health Professions, 3094 Colonial Ave., SW, Roanoke, Va. 24015. There is no cost to attend, but pre-registration is encouraged. 

For more information and to register to attend the Veteran-Employer Connection & Military Family Resource Fair, go to

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Anne Brown. Courtesy of Virginia Tech.
Anne Brown. Courtesy of Virginia Tech.

Tech professor receives National Science Foundation award

Anne Brown, Virginia Tech University Libraries’ assistant professor, science informatics consultant and health analytics coordinator, and affiliate of the Department of Biochemistry, has received a five-year, $800,000 National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development award to use her molecular dynamics simulation expertise to shed more light on the differences between amyloids that harm and those that don’t.

Amyloids are proteins that signal certain responses in the human body.

The CAREER award is the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious award for early career faculty, encouraging them to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their organization.

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