Tag Archives: technology

Digital media program empowers youth to express themselves

“With assistance from the state 4-H office, the Virginia Youth Voices program will be sustained for youth who have something important to say through digital media. As the program continues to grow, higher visual and digital media impact is expected,” said Jamison.

In the digital age, computers, smartphones, tablets, and other electronic devices are becoming more prevalent every day. So how do we foster creativity, compassion, and curiosity in a time when young people are glued to their screens? We teach them how to use that technology for something more.

Virginia 4-H’s Virginia Youth Voices program empowers youth to use technology to explore and express their perspectives on issues impacting them and their communities. Participants create compelling videos, animations, photo essays, presentations, music, and other works that contribute the essential perspectives of youth to critical topics and inspire new solutions to long-standing problems.



John McGee receives national award for expanding geospatial education

BLACKSBURG, Va., July 23, 2015 – John McGee, a professor and geospatial specialist for Virginia Cooperative Extension in the College of Natural Resources and Environment, received the 2015 Distinguished Geospatial Education Partner Award from the National Geospatial Technology Center of Excellence.

McGee was recognized for his work with the Expanding Geospatial Technician Education Through Virginia’s Community Colleges (GeoTEd) project, a Virginia-focused effort designed to build academic pathways to employment for geospatial technicians through Virginia’s community colleges.



Powhatan 4-H and Powhatan Public Library team-up to host Maker festival

he Powhatan Public Library and Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Powhatan office hosted the community’s first Maker festival on February 21. In spite of the wintry weather, more than 725 people visited the library that day and it was estimated that at least half came to take part in the event. The event was a joint collaboration of the library director, Powhatan 4-H Extension agent, and Virginia’s 4-H Maker Educator, Paul Lambert.

A boy working with a circuit board.

A Maker festival attendee uses Snap Circuits to build an alarm.

“I’ve never seen such community support for a Maker festival,” said Lambert who has helped develop festivals in Hanover and surrounding areas. The Maker approach allows youth to do the making and creating, so once participants got started they didn’t want to leave. Families came and stayed, moving from one activity to another. For the event, Lambert provided a 3-D printer, wind turbines, K’nex, LEGOs, 3-D paper airplanes, and Snap Circuit kits for the public to experiment with. Through a Virginia 4-H Foundation grant, Powhatan 4-H office was able to provide 30 take-home kits for workshops offered, including solar-powered boats, robots, and flying disks. A Chesterfield robot club also brought a robot and allowed children to operate it by remote control. The club leader, a Powhatan resident, wanted to generate interest locally to start a new club. Another local volunteer, Arthur Jenkins, provided milling equipment to demonstrate metal working.



Online tool helps winemakers pair the right grapes with their land

Jim Benefiel

Jim Benefiel used the Virginia Tech tool to expand his Benevino Vineyards in Northern Virginia.

Virginia’s wine industry generates $747 million for the state’s economy. According to a 2012 report released by the governor’s office, that figure more than doubles a 2005 estimate of how much the industry would grow in seven years.

But long before grape juice is pressed and wine is bottled for consumers, growers must consider a staggering amount of variables in deciding where to plant vines and which varieties are best suited to a particular soil. Growers in the Eastern United States will soon have help in evaluating land for vineyard suitability using a Web-based application. Read More


Protecting Virginia’s landscapes

Participants in the Virginia Geospatial Extension Program

The Virginia Geospatial Extension Program trains tree stewards and others to use technology to map the state’s forests.

The trees that line the streets and sidewalks of Virginia do a lot more than make the commonwealth’s cities beautiful — they help create a more vibrant and healthier place to live. The College of Natural Resources and Environment at Virginia Tech is a leader in ensuring that these urban forests are protected and continue to be a vital part of our landscape. Read More