IALR and Virginia Tech officially celebrated the transfer of a robotic growing unit from IALR to Virginia Tech as the start of a long term collaboration.  Executive Director Mark Gignac and Senior Scientist Dr. Scott Lowman have been meeting regularly with Dr. John Wells to explore various ideas, including ways to integrate the two synergistic components of education and research, using science and technology to drive learning through discovery.  Dr. Wells is an associate professor of education specializing in Integrative STEM and Technology education.

The robotic growing unit surfaced as the perfect foundation for an ongoing relationship.  IALR placed this unit on the Virginia Tech campus, where Dr. Wells will be developing a pilot program that will serve as a learning platform, in addition to contributing to research taking place at IALR.  According to Dr. Wells, “Bottom line, ensuring the student research directly contributes to IALR’s research is the critical foundation for future IALR funding proposals where the educational merit component directly aligns with (a) preparing a STEM workforce, (b) improving students’ critical thinking skills (c) supporting undergraduate research, and (d) increasing the P-12 student pipeline for STEM fields”.

PHOTOPictured are Mark Gignac, Dr. Scott Lowman, Dr. Al Wicks, Rick Weaver, Dr. Jerzy Nowak, Dr. John Wells, student team members, and Daniel Caccavelli.

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