Last week, WVU Tech hosted 70 area high school students for Camp STEM. Made possible by generous contributions from AT&T, Toyota, DOW and the American Electric Power Foundation, the camp offered students a chance to explore fields such as robotics, biology, forensics, engineering, computer programming, math, chemistry and automobile technology.
“Businesses in West Virginia and around the country need a capable and diverse pipeline of employees to fuel 21st century jobs. Today, the need is outpacing their availability,” said J. Michael Schweder, president, AT&T-Mid Atlantic. “Camp STEM is a great way to introduce high school students to the many career opportunities that require STEM skills. The program prepares the state’s next generation of technology leaders.”
During the week-long camp, attendees participated in interactive classes where they manipulated genes in bacteria, created electrical circuits, documented mock crime scenes, built lasers, programmed basic computer games or found out what it takes to build a bridge.
DOW employees provided an interactive chemistry presentation and students worked in teams on the camp’s final project, the cardboard canoe. AT&T and DOW representatives judged Friday evening’s competition, which challenged students to design and build a cardboard canoe capable of ferrying a student across the WVU Tech swimming pool.
Attendees also visited the Green Bank Telescope and Cass Scenic Railroad State Park.
This year, Camp STEM welcomed a group of Toyota Scholars – high school girls interested in studying STEM fields – that attended the camp on Toyota-sponsored scholarships.
“There is no better time than now for ambitious students to enter STEM-related fields as demand across our country rises in many areas,” said Millie Marshall, president of Toyota West Virginia. “I learned early in my Toyota career about the importance of STEM and how it helps us continuously improve our safety and quality. I encourage students who are interested in STEM fields to learn the fundamentals, hone their skills and seek a mentor who can always help you improve. There’s no best way; only a better way of doing things.”
Check out photos from Camp STEM on the WVU Tech Flickr page.