The Curie and Da Vinci Living Learning Communities bring together ~200 first- to fifth-year students from over 30 science majors in three colleges at Virginia Tech annually. Students in this Lee Hall residential community study physical and quantitative science (Curie) and biological and life science (Da Vinci). Combined, “CurVinci” is part of the broader inVenTs STEM community in Lee Hall, which provides a residential Makerspace for interdisciplinary collaboration between science and engineering students. Through community programming and a first year experience course series, we focus on skills development and a commitment to retention and diversity in STEM. We aim to foster a small community within which students have a shared learning experience and a sense of belonging at a large institution.


CurVinci’s experiential learning program centers on the First Year Experience, with second through fifth-year students serving in community-based mentoring and leadership roles. Our living-learning community is designed to provide support, challenge and opportunity to students in pursuit of a career in science. "CurVinci" students have access to many experiential learning opportunities that promote a successful first year at Virginia Tech and beyond:

  • Live with other students pursuing science related majors, making it easier to organize and participate in group study and review sessions.
  • Gain experience with 3D printing, laser cutting and power tools in our in-house inVenTs Makerspace.
  • Participate in professional networking events within Lee Hall.
  • Participate in service learning and science-themed educational outreach programs.
  • Gain valuable perspective about college life through a peer mentoring program.
  • Have the option to enroll in shared sections of General Chemistry and Principles of Biology courses (for majors requiring these courses).
  • Commit to live in the community for one year at a time. Gain valuable leadership and professional experience by applying to serve in leadership roles in subsequent years.

This community is part of a larger living learning program, called inVenTs, which includes two engineering communities and two science communities. All participants live together in Lee Hall, forming a creative environment for creating a conducive environment for group studying, peer mentoring, and social interaction.

Our vision for the Curie and Da Vinci Living Learning Communities is to be a well-known presence at Virginia Tech with a reputation for academic and professional excellence in the sciences. Keeping this vision alive requires that all students work together as a community to create an enriched educational experience. Therefore, it is important that applicants have a clear understanding that being a part of Curie and Da Vinci is more than just living in the same residence hall as other science majors. Students are required to engage in the community in ways that require a time investment. All CurVinci first year students are expected to:

  • Enroll in the Successful Starts in Science First Year Experience course series (one course each, fall and spring semesters).
  • Fall semester (COS 1015, 1 cr.): This course provides first-year students with a connection to a network of personal, academic and professional support, as well as exposure to a wide range of opportunities presented by upper-class peers (e.g., study abroad, undergraduate research, internships, professional networking, and service learning through science outreach).
  • Spring semester (COS 1016, 1 cr). First-year students develop collaborative teamwork, interpersonal and problem-solving skills through participation in the CurVinci peer-to-peer projects, which are envisioned, managed, and implemented by students within Lee Hall’s design studio. In the Peer-to-Peer Project model, FY students collaborate with second- and third-year student leaders in different professional roles on projects designed to reflect the problem-oriented, peer-run, participatory practices of scientists. Projects involve fourth-year undergraduate researchers, third-year project coordinators, second-year project mentors who manage and coach project teams and first-year students who implement project components. Through these projects, students apply concepts from foundational coursework in a hands-on project, learn cutting-edge, discipline specific technology, and articulate connections between academic coursework, co-curricular activities, and leadership roles.
  • Participate in community activities that focus on academic and professional development, as well as community building social and service learning events.
  • Participate in a mentoring program in which first year students are provided a sophomore mentor and share this mentor with up to six other first year students in the community. Mentor groups will meet for one hour each week throughout the fall semester.

Please give these requirements careful consideration before applying to Curie and Da Vinci, to ensure that this First Year Experience will be a good match for you. For more information go to: http://www.inventscommunity.org.

CurVinci curricular and co-curricular programming focuses on (a) building a community of support among science students and (b) developing skills that complement a student’s academic curriculum. In particular, CurVinci courses focus on developing skills associated with being good practitioners of science, including interpersonal communication, collaborative problem-solving, time management, and professionalism. One of the most important things to understand when applying to Curie and Da Vinci is that what students get out of the program is largely a function of what they put into it. We provide access to opportunities and resources through community events, peer mentoring and coursework. It is the student’s responsibility to take advantage of these opportunities by engaging in community programming.

Curie

  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry
  • Computational Modeling and Data Analysis
  • Environmental Informatics
  • Geosciences
  • Mathematics
  • Meteorology
  • Nanoscience
  • Packaging Systems and Design
  • Physics
  • Statistics
  • Systems Biology
  • *Academy of Integrated Science

We accept students in the Academy of Integrated Science program if they are enrolled in one of the majors listed above. More information here: https://www.ais.science.vt.edu.

Da Vinci

  • Animal and Poultry Science
  • Biological Sciences
  • Clinical Neuroscience
  • Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Computational and Systems Neuroscience
  • Crop and Soil Sciences
  • Dairy Science
  • Environmental Horticulture
  • Environmental Science
  • Environmental Resources Management
  • Experimental Neuroscience
  • Fish Conservation
  • Food Science Technology
  • Forestry
  • Human Nutrition Foods and Exercise
  • Life Sciences Undecided/Exploring Life Sciences
  • Microbiology
  • Natural Resource Conservation
  • Natural Resources (undecided)
  • Psychology
  • Sustainable Biomaterials
  • Water: Resources, Policy, and Management
  • Wildlife Conservation
  • *Academy of Integrated Science

We accept students in the Academy of Integrated Science program if they are enrolled in one of the majors listed above. More information here: https://www.ais.science.vt.edu.

Questions

For more detailed information on the Curie and Da Vinci LLCs or questions related to housing assignments, please contact livinglearning@vt.edu. For questions about Curie and Da Vinci LLC programming, contact Dr. Lori Blanc, lblanc@vt.edu.