Past KTU Programs - Kids' Tech University (KTU)
Dr. Helena CarvalhoApril 09, 2011
“Why do we want to touch everything with our fingertips? And more ‘Why’ questions about how our bodies

An interactive session led by Dr. Helena Carvalho



Presentation Slides

KTU Booklet

Assistant Professor of Basic Sciences, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute
Dr. Helena Carvalho's Personal Website


Are you the type of person that needs to touch everything? Sometimes it feels like we must touch to see better, doesn’t it? It’s fascinating to learn about how human bodies connect to the world. Do you think the world is what we see? The answer is, “NO!” There are many more “things” in the world than our senses could possibly detect! In this interactive session, we will be discussing and experiencing the Special Senses. Have you ever wondered: Why do we have two eyes on our faces? Why do we have two ears on our heads? Why do we stop feeling our clothes after a while? Why can we not smell our perfume all day? Those and more questions will be answered in our interactive session. Let’s explore together how our human body connects to the outside environment and learn more about the intriguing world of Human Function.

Dr. Helena Carvalho is a Physiologist with many years of experience in basic sciences and worked with microcirculation research for more than 20 years. She was the recipient of Pappenheimer Postdoctoral Fellow Award offered by the American Physiological Society and the best presentation at ENCENF (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). Dr. Carvalho recently received the 2011 Young Investigator Award from the Teaching Section of the American Physiological Society (APS).

After teaching medical students and undergraduates for many years, she turned her interest towards How People Learn (HPL) with emphasis on teaching strategy that promotes a lifelong learning experience for all levels of students. She is currently writing a Physiology manual that includes practical exercises with a focus on hands-on activities. The goal is to explore the students' natural curiosity and achieve a genuine interest in science.

Dr. Carvalho is currently an Assistant Professor in Basic Sciences at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute.

April 2011 - Hands-On Exhibits
After the interactive session the students were escorted by their parents to have lunch and then to the hands-on portion of the event. There the students enjoyed the experience of interacting with various exhibits from the Virginia Tech community.

1) "Why Can Dairy Cows Eat Grass and I Can't?" - Department of Dairy Science

2) Virginia Career VIEW

3) "From 3D Printing to Additive Manufacturing" - DREAMS Lab at Virginia Tech

4) "Heart Sounds" - GenBioOrg

5) E. Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM)

6) The VT-WFU Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) Student Chapter

7) "Guess Whose Smile" - Pre-Dental Club

8) Food Animal Practitioners Club - Virginia Marylan Regional College of Veterinary Medicine

9) "Red light, green light with a twist!" - VT Chapter- Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS)

10) Fitness and Nutrition Club at Virginia Tech

11) "Crime Scene: KTU" - Dr. Skip Garner's lab at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) at Virginia Tech

12) The Sustainable Food Corps

13) The Synthetic Biology Research Group at Virginia Tech

14) "Food Pyramid"

15) Water Bottle Rocket Activity - CanSat @ VT

16) Poultry Club

17) "How Do You Make a White Frog? VBI's African Clawed Frog (Xenopus) Colony and Its Applications" - Dr. Pawel Michalak's lab at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) at Virginia Tech

18) Integrative Medicine Club (IVMC)

19) "How Do We 'Feel' Things Around Us? The Sensory System" - Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute

20) "How Can We See? The Visual System" - Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Insitute

21) "How Can We Hear? The Auditory System" - Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute

22) "How Do We Recognize So Many Different Flavors? The Chemical Senses" - Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute

23) "Wheelchair Obstacle Course" - Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute