Type your search keyword, and press enter

VWCC to host autonomous robot competition on Saturday

Virginia Western Community College’s School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) along with its Engineering and Engineering Technology programs will host the 13th annual autonomous robot competition from 8:30-11:30 a.m. on Saturday in the college’s Humanities Building gym. More than 20 teams comprised of high school and college students from the area will be putting their robots to the test. The fun-filled event is free to attend and a crowd of robot and technology enthusiasts is expected.

The theme for this year’s competition is “Hockey Skirmish for Southerners.” The semi-annual competition is based upon the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) national robotics competition. The 2020 ASEE competition will be held in Montreal, Canada, which is known for hockey.

In this year’s competition, autonomous robots will search for plastic pucks and attempt to shoot goals past an electronic goalie. Student teams have been hard at work all semester preparing their ice skating magic. The competition consists of a Science Fair presentation to local engineering and STEM related judges and then riveting robot hokey demonstrations.

The challenge offers a hands-on learning activity as students must create a design, perform 3D modeling, budget and order parts, assemble their robots, complete multiple test trials and troubleshoot software bugs. The excitement of competition day is that anything and everything can happen.

WHAT: 13th Annual Autonomous Robot Competition
WHEN: 8:30-11:30 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 7
WHERE: Virginia Western Humanities Building Gym

Virginia Western Singers announce Christmas Concert Series

The Virginia Western Singers, an auditioned student group that displays the best vocal talent from Virginia Western Community College, announces their Christmas Concert Series of performances around the Roanoke Region. The series will kick off with a public concert at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6 at Virginia Western’s Whitman Theater. Tickets are $5 and free to students.

The Virginia Western Singers are a group of 10 singers who perform pop, country, rock, and a-Capella styles of music. The group began with auditions in September and has been rehearsing for a Christmas show to perform around the region.

“I have such a vision for the Virginia Western Singers,” said Laura Ruth Hall, director of the singers and a Virginia Western faculty member. “I am very proud of them, of their talent and dedication, and we are so excited to present our 2019 Christmas shows throughout the community.”

The Singers’ Christmas shows will include music such as “Jingle Bells,” “Jingle Bell Rock,” “All I Want for Christmas is You,” “O Holy Night,” “Little Drummer Boy,” and much more. 

Performances include:

  • Kickoff concert at Virginia Western’s Whitman Theater; Tickets $5 or free for Virginia Western students, faculty and staff; 7:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 6.
  • As featured act in the Christmas musical “Jingle in the City” at New Hope Christian Church at 4229 Welcome Valley Road, Roanoke;  6:30 p.m. on Dec. 7; 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 8.
  • As special musical guests at services at New Hope Christian Church; 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Dec. 8.
  • Matinee performance at Virginia Western’s Whitman Theater; 12-2 p.m., Dec. 11; Tickets $5 or free for Virginia Western students, faculty and staff.
  • Virginia Western’s Whitman Theater, 7 p.m., Dec. 19; Tickets $5 or free for Virginia Western students, faculty and staff.

For a map and directions to Virginia Western’s Whitman Theater, please visit: https://www.virginiawestern.edu/about/visitvwcc.php.

“Virginia Western Community College is a wonderful place to get your degree, earn credits that transfer to a four-year university, enhance your career, or just learn something new,” said Michael Juhasz, a sophomore in the group. “I am very thankful that our college has student involvement groups like the Virginia Western Singers, and I am proud to be a part of the group and a part of our Christmas shows.” 

Fralin Futures scholarship recipients tour Fralin Biomedical Research Institute

Virginia Western Community College students who received the first-ever Fralin Futures STEM-H Scholarship were invited to tour the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC on Nov. 22, 2019. Executive Director Dr. Michael J. Friedlander met with the students and described the Research Institute’s target areas and the varied jobs that will support the Roanoke facility as it expands in 2020.

Research Institute doctoral students later met with the Fralin scholarship recipients and offered advice on transferring to four-year schools and pursuing doctoral degrees in research-oriented fields.

The tour was one of several cohort activities scheduled in 2019-20 for the Fralin scholarship recipients. The scholarship is administered by the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation. Applications for the 2020 scholarship cycle will be available in March 2020 at virginiawestern.edu/scholarship.