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Tech-or-Treat offers Halloween fun for kids with mad scientists

BLACKSBURG, Va., Oct. 23, 2012 – On Tuesday, Oct. 30, from 5 to 8 p.m., Virginia Tech’s Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology and the Children’s Museum of Blacksburg present Tech-or-Treat, a Halloween event scarier than a hard drive full of unrecoverable data. 

This hauntingly memorable event, for children 5 to 12 years old, will feature Halloween fun-themed technologies developed by students and faculty at the university in a family-friendly environment. Tech-or-Treat will be held in STUDIOne, the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology studio, at 460 Turner Street, on the ground floor of Collegiate Square, Blacksburg, Va.

Some highlights of the event include interactive digital jack-o’-lanterns, eerie arms reaching out, a bubbling cauldron, ghostly images in dry ice, and projected rats and snakes. Poetry, art, Halloween gingerbread house displays, and toy activities will also engage children’s imaginations and curiosity. Spooky music will be performed by the Virginia Tech String Project.

Virginia Tech students from a variety of disciplines, including the School of Visual Arts and the Center for Public Administration and Policy in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies; the departments of computer science and chemical engineering, and the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the College of Engineering; and the School of Education in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Studies, have collaborated to bring the event together. Board members for the Children’s Museum of Blacksburg, an emerging museum in the New River Valley, and R. Benjamin Knapp, director of the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology, are spearheading the event.

“Einstein once said, ‘Play is the highest form of research.’ What that means to us in in the Institute of Creativity, Arts, and Technology is creativity is essential in everything we do. As faculty and students, cultivating creativity on all kinds of levels, including Halloween events for children, flexes our thinking, opens us up to growth, motivates us,” said Knapp. “Of equal importance is the institute's emphasis on outreach, which is part of our mission. Bringing science, engineering, and art together for school-age children in accessible formats cultivates creativity in them, as well. It opens them up to a world of possibilities, which can have tremendous positive repercussions on the future for all of us.”

Tech-or-Treat is a free event. Children must be accompanied by an adult. The event is sponsored by Imaginations Toy & Furniture Company.

A university-level research institute sitting at the nexus of the arts, design, engineering, and science, the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology is uniquely partnered with the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech. By forging a pathway between transdisciplinary research and art, educational innovation, and scientific and commercial discovery, the institute works to foster the creative process to create new possibilities for exploration and expression through learning, discovery, and engagement. This includes preparing students in kindergarten through 12th grade and higher education environments to succeed in a world that demands teamwork and collaboration of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines; promoting new research domains that transcend institutionalized boundaries; and participating with people of all ages in the process of co-creation.