West Virginia State University Program Promotes STEM Fields to High School Students

Contact: Jack Bailey
(304) 766-4109

Aug. 1, 2019
West Virginia State University Program Promotes STEM Fields to High School Students
WVSU STEM Scholars Academy Targets Herbert Hoover, South Charleston High Schools
INSTITUTE, W.Va. – High school juniors at Herbert Hoover and South Charleston High Schools will have the opportunity to learn more about STEM fields over the course of the coming school year through a new program created by West Virginia State University (WVSU).

The WVSU STEM Scholars Academy will pair WVSU students with juniors from Herbert Hoover and South Charleston High Schools to prepare traditionally underrepresented students for future success in the STEM fields, and employment in STEM careers.

The year-long program will combine innovative teaching, ongoing mentorship, professional development opportunities, hands-on STEM research experiences, and a weeklong college preparation camp which will include a visit to Washington, D.C. to explore additional possibilities in STEM.

“The WVSU STEM Scholars Academy is an important program for introducing the STEM fields to high school students that have traditionally been underrepresented in these fields,” said WVSU President Dr. Anthony L. Jenkins. “Through this program our goal is to foster students’ interest in STEM fields as well as develop their skills, abilities, confidence and provide exposure to current and future careers that are available throughout our state and nation.”

The WVSU STEM Scholars Academy is being funded in part by a $47,700 grant from the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation.

“The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation is excited to support WVSU in this initiative,” said Senior Program Officer Stephanie Hyre. “We deeply value educational programs that have a strong emphasis on mentorship, post-secondary guidance, and STEM learning opportunities.  The WVSU STEM Scholars Academy touches upon several of our priorities and we look forward to its success in helping students achieve their academic goals.”

WVSU will identify 20 sophomore or junior students who will serve as mentors in the program. Ten high school juniors each from Herbert Hoover and South Charleston High Schools will be recommended by their guidance counselors to participate in the program. Students will be based on criteria including those traditionally underrepresented in STEM, such as those from low income households, first generation college students, African Americans, Native Americans, or those of Hispanic heritage.

WVSU student mentors will engage with the high school throughout the academic year to discuss topics such as career interests, learning styles, study strategies, time management and overcoming challenges.
The high school students will also participate in WVSU campus events over the coming year, including a professional development event and an immersive science experience.
Upon completing their junior year, high school students will participate in a week-long residential summer camp on the WVSU campus. The camp is designed to introduce them to the College experience as well as prepare them for the college application process. The capstone experience to the camp will be a weekend trip to Washington, D.C., that will allow students to see career possibilities they might consider if they pursue a STEM degree.

Follow West Virginia State University on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @WVStateU.
West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.
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