Three summer workshops on web development, virtual reality, and robotics will offer aspiring middle school web designers, writers, and computer scientists a high-tech learning adventure designed to teach skills in math, science, computers, and oral and written communication. Virginia Tech's Continuing and Professional Education and the Center for Instructional Technology Solutions in Industry and Education developed the workshops with support from Montgomery County and Salem schools. Classes will be held on the Virginia Tech campus and will be small in size to ensure personalized attention.

The weeklong workshops will engage students in hands-on exercises using computers and real-life scientific puzzles as well as introduce them to careers in fast-growing, high-tech fields. The curriculum is tailored to improve problem-solving, critical thinking, and teamwork skills.

"Exploring Web Development," will run July 12-16 and will introduce a number of different media production techniques for the World Wide Web. Students will use Macromedia Studio MX 2004 to create websites, including uploading a website to a server, using digital cameras, editing images, shooting and editing digital video, incorporating video into a webpage, and creating animated movies for websites.

"Virtual Reality and Fun Technologies" will be offered July 19-23. This introductory level course will expose students to a variety of technologies including digital video, Web design, Photoshop, and robotics. Students will also have an opportunity to visit high-tech laboratories at Virginia Tech. They will document their learning experiences through video production and creative webpages.

"The World of Robotics and Webpages" will be held July 26-30. Students will learn to build and program robots using LEGO® parts and an easy-to-use computer graphical interface. As students progress through the class they will program their robots to perform increasingly difficult tasks. They can even see their robot compete head-to-head with a classmate's. Students will learn to document the progress of their robots and showcase their creations by producing their own interactive web pages using publishing and graphics programs and streaming audio and video.

Workshops will be held from 1-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The fee for each workshop is $275 and includes materials, afternoon snacks, and a field trip. A limited number of scholarships are available to students in the Montgomery County and Salem school systems. Information and registration are available online at http://www.conted.vt.edu/bsyt/>.