News and Events

Local Students Explore National Security at Hume Center Labs

Jun 9, 2017

As part of the ”hands on, minds on” mission of Virginia Tech, the Hume Center this week invited local middle and elementary school students to tour our laboratory at our Blacksburg facility in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center. Drs. Joseph Ernst, Alan Michaels, and Chris Headley set up a series of hands-on demonstrations that allowed the visitors to explore several areas of research in national security. Students discovered the workings of cyber-physical systems and related security by examining a traffic cabinet with wireless signals. They disassembled military grade radio equipment to learn about software-defined radio. Finally, they had a live demonstration of visualizing and classifying wireless communication signals (such as WiFi and Bluetooth) using software defined radios and machine learning. Their tour ended with practical advice from Hume Center researchers on ethical hacking and tools available to them that will increase their computer skills as they follow their interests.

STEM outreach for K-12 students is central to the mission of the Hume Center. Schools, summer camps, and other academic organizations interested in scheduling a demonstration for their students should contact Dr. Kira Gantt at