More than 550 students from 13 West Virginia middle and high schools visited WVU Tech’s Montgomery campus for the annual Engineering and Sciences Open House on Tuesday, November 10.
Despite the weather, WVU Tech’s engineering facilities were buzzing with activity as attendees moved from one presentation station to the next, working with WVU Tech students to learn about everything from biology and chemistry to engineering and computer science.
Students drove remote controlled vehicles, caught t-shirts fired from a canon, operated a massive steam-powered train whistle, watched the SAE Baja Buggy race around campus and learned about concepts such as electromagnetism, programming, robotics and chemical distillation.
Josh Watson, a teacher at Guyan Valley Middle School in Lincoln County, attended the open house with a group of more than 80 students. He said the event was an opportunity for students to explore fields they may never have considered before.
“We’ve been trying to get our students more involved in STEM education and show them that going into these fields is not just about burying yourself in textbooks or sitting through lectures all day. They’re seeing that there’s more to it than that. They’re seeing that students who were just like them a few years ago are doing some very exciting things in their studies,” he said.
The open house was also a chance for students who have already chosen a STEM field to see what opportunities college holds for them.
Jonathan Blalack, 17, travelled from Jefferson County to attend the open house. He said he’s interested in studying engineering in college and thought the event would be a great way to get a glimpse of college life.
“It’s interesting to see what the mechanical and electrical engineering students have been working on. I’m glad we came. We’ve seen a lot of experiments and demonstrations, and the labs here are really impressive,” he said.
Check out photos from the open house on Flickr.