Radford University signs partnership agreement with Virginia STEAM Academy


Radford University has become the sixth university to sign a partnership agreement with Virginia STEAM (Science Technology Engineering and Applied Mathematics) Academy. Radford will provide research opportunities for Virginia STEAM Academy students and faculty, co-develop and –deliver curriculum and professional development offerings, and contribute to the development of residential life policies and procedures that significantly inform the residential life experience of the Virginia STEAM Academy student. Virginia STEAM Academy, in turn, will provide exceptionally able students and faculty to participate in research projects and contribute to state-of-the-art curriculum development and testing, and vet residential life policies.

Virginia STEAM Academy is pleased to return to RU for a second consecutive year as a host site for Summer STEAM. Summer STEAM is a weeklong residential learning experience. Rising sixth, seventh and eighth graders from around the Commonwealth will come to the RU campus for intensive exposure to science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

"Radford University is honored to once again host the young scholars who will attend this summer's Virginia STEAM Academy," RU President Penelope W. Kyle said. "We are proud to offer our campus and our faculty to those talented students who are drawn to stimulate their intellectual curiosity through work and research in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields, and who serve as inspiration for the Commonwealth's future."

This year's Summer STEAM Academy at RU will be held July 12-18 and will offer four courses. Two of those courses will be taught by Radford University faculty members, giving the middle school students an opportunity to learn complex subjects from university professors.

RU Chemistry Professor Francis Webster and Associate Information Technology Professor Prem Uppuluri will serve as teachers and engage their STEAM students, respectively, in the emerging field of nanoscience and the ever-important concepts of cyber security.

In addition, courses in mathematical modeling – for rising seventh grade students only – and life sciences quest will be offered.

STEAM Academy's inaugural RU summer program in 2014 offered students a course titled "Forensic Anthropology, Bioarchaeology and Forensic Science," taught by Donna Boyd, eminent professor of anthropological sciences and co-director of the Radford University Forensic Science Institute, and Cassady Urista, chair of RU's department of anthropological sciences.

"Our goal was to expand our footprint and have a presence in the southwestern part of the state," said Virginia STEAM Academy Board Chair and Co-founder Caroline Martin. "My own daughter graduated from Radford University, so I know first-hand of the university's commitment to student learning and the family feel of the campus. I wanted Virginia STEAM Academy Summer STEAM students to experience Radford University's nurturing, inclusive environment."

Since its beginnings in 2013, the Virginia STEAM Academy has received more than 700 applications and graduated 187 Summer STEAM Student Ambassadors representing every region of Virginia.

Grant funding from the Virginia General Assembly, businesses and private donors allows Virginia STEAM Academy to offer Summer STEAM at no cost to the participants.

To learn more about Virginia STEAM Academy and to apply for Summer STEAM, visit www.vasteam.org/summer-steam. Online applications must be received by March 24, and mailed applications must be postmarked by March 24.

Feb 18, 2015