Wood Week 2006 at Virginia Tech begins on Monday Oct. 2 and continues through Oct. 11 and is sponsored and coordinated by the Department of Wood Science and Forest Products in the College of Natural Resources. Faculty, staff and students will be involved in a range of activities bringing focus and attention on the utilization of renewable materials, accomplishments of students in the program, interacting with partner universities and industries, and in educating 4th and 5th grade children and their teachers.

Conceived in 2005, Wood Week at Virginia Tech is a way for us to consolidate a range of activities and events into a single week-long period and bring focus to our faculty, staff, students, donors, industry partners, and local elementary schools,” said Paul Winistorfer, professor and department head and overall organizer. “We have a leading North American program in wood science and forest products, and our role for the future will be even more critical as our global dependence on renewable materials will only increase. Our program is a leading discovery, engagement and learning enterprise, spanning from nanotechnology to global distribution packaging systems and everything in between.”

Wood Week 2006 launches with a continuing education course, basic corrugated packaging and unit load design – designed for industry professionals in the global distribution packaging industry. The course is being held at the Inn at Virginia Tech and goes through Oct. 3. For information contact Bonnie Maccubbin at 231-5370.

Beginning on Wednesday, Oct. 4, over 75 industry and university partners will participate in three separate advisory board meetings within the department. The Center for Unit Load Design advisory board is a group of industry partners focused on global shipping and commerce. The Center for Forest Products Marketing and Management advisory board is focused on the business management and marketing aspects of the sector. The Wood-Based Composites Center advisory board is composed of Virginia Tech and partner universities the University of Maine, Oregon State University, the University of British Columbia, and affiliate universities Mississippi State University and the University of Minnesota, and leading industry partners. All three groups provide scholarship, fellowship, and intern opportunities for student in the department.

Wednesday evening the department is hosting a student awards and scholarship recognition reception at the Inn at Virginia Tech. Over $35,000 in student scholarship support from donors and industry partners will be recognized. Over 125 donors, guests, friends, faculty, staff, students, and advisory board members will join in to recognize students in the program.

On Thursday, Oct. 5 the department is hosting a Career Awareness Fair at the Brooks Forest Products Center on the edge of campus near the VT airport. “The career awareness fair is an awareness building effort by us, with our industry partners and for our students,” said Winistorfer. Fifteen companies representing a range of the forest products sector will bring their materials, handout, and engage students in a better understanding of the career opportunities for students. The department boasts of a 100 percent career placement rate with strong starting salaries. The career awareness fair is open to all Virginia Tech students. For more information call the department at 231-7107.

Wood Week 2006 concludes on Oct. 11 with the final event – the Wood Magic Show. Now in its ninth year, Wood Magic was conceived by professor and assistant department head Audrey-Zink Sharp. Wood Magic is an interactive youth education program that involves students and teachers in natural resource-based activities focused on wood and forest products and the role natural resource science plays in a sustainable future. Wood Magic curricula include Virginia's Standards of Learning and hands-on, engaging science experiments. Recognized for excellence in outreach by the college of natural resources, over 10,000 students and teachers have participated in Wood Magic in nine years, including summer activities at the 4-H Camp at Smith Mountain Lake.

“We’ve stretched the week a bit to include more activities in the department and we still missed inclusion of two additional continuing education courses immediately before and after these dates! Wood Week at Virginia Tech brings significant recognition to the relevance, strength and impact of our program at Virginia Tech. It is a great week of activities for our department and our students,” noted Winistorfer.