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VCU Brandcenter presents TECH+Toys

New series brings together technology and creativity

The Virginia Commonwealth University Brandcenter launches its TECH+ series with TECH+Toys, an open house and exhibit where the school’s master’s degree candidates will demonstrate the relationship between creativity, design and technology by making and sharing toys.

The inaugural event will be held at the VCU Brandcenter, 103 S. Jefferson St., on Friday, Dec. 5, from 4 to 6 p.m.

CodeVA and World of Mirth have partnered with the VCU Brandcenter to present TECH+Toys, which brings awareness to the integral role that science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) play in fostering a well-rounded education for students in Virginia.

Master’s candidates at the VCU Brandcenter will display original toy ideas that demonstrate the creative application of technology in the process of toy design or in the actual toy itself. The two-hour open house at the VCU Brandcenter will feature “playable” toy exhibits, show-and-tell by the toymakers and a “make-and-take” toy giveaway with CodeVA.

“Through programs like TECH+Toys, we hope to instill a sense of wonder and inspire a new generation of creative thinkers, designers and technologists,” said Andrew LeVasseur, head of the Creative Technology track at the VCU Brandcenter.

The toys on display will be judged by a panel of experts from World of Mirth, CodeVA and VCU Brandcenter faculty, as well as parents and children. Selected toys will be on display at World of Mirth in Carytown during the holiday shopping season.

TECH+Toys is the first event in the TECH+ program, a new community engagement series sponsored by the VCU Brandcenter. Future events such as TECH+Music and TECH+Fashion will be held in 2015. The goal of the TECH+ series is to showcase the potential for technology to enrich daily life.

About VCU and VCU Medical Center

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 226 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-seven of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University comprise VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. For more, see www.vcu.edu.

About the VCU Brandcenter

The Virginia Commonwealth University Brandcenter in Richmond, Virginia, is an innovative, two-year graduate program that brings the creative, strategic, business and technology sides of advertising and branding together. Our purpose is to develop the best creative problem solvers in the world. The Brandcenter offers a highly creative environment for students concentrating in five tracks: Copywriting, Art Direction, Strategy, Creative Brand Management and Experience Design. Students earn a Master of Science degree in Business/Branding. Brandcenter alums work at some of the best agencies in the world such as TBWA/Chiat Day, Barton F Graf 9000, Droga5, and Wieden + Kennedy, as well as on the client side helping to build brands such as Target, Apple, Urban Outfitters, Google, Nike, Coke, Facebook and Under Armour.

About World of Mirth

Established in 1993, World of Mirth (http://www.worldofmirth.com) began as a funky vintage and novelty shop determined to provide an alternative shopping experience over the mainstream, box-box toy store. Twenty-one years later the Cary St. store holds true to its belief in play.

About CodeVA

CodeVA (http://www.codevirginia.org/) is a nonprofit built to promote computer science and computer programming across Virginia. Through a partnership with Code.org, the group is working to bring computer science education to classrooms across the state.