West Virginia State, Dow Partner to Promote Science, Mathematics

Contact: Kimberly Osborne
(304) 766-3363

Oct. 3, 2013
West Virginia State, Dow Partner to Promote Science, Mathematics

INSTITUTE, W.Va. – The Dow Chemical Company Foundation has made a major commitment to fund a new program at West Virginia State University (WVSU) designed to increase the interest of young people in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture and Mathematics (STEAM).

The new Dow High eSTEAM Program is designed for students ranging from kindergarten through college age and will promote biology, chemistry and other STEAM-based education, while at the same time expanding opportunities for hands-on research among WVSU students.

 “On behalf of West Virginia State University, I am extremely appreciative of this generous commitment from The Dow Chemical Company Foundation,” said WVSU President Brian O. Hemphill. “Along with its strong presence in the Kanawha Valley, Dow has been a long-time supporter of State. This donation will assist the University in expanding our research and public service mission while providing additional opportunities for the next generation of researchers.”

Dow’s West Virginia Operations Site Leader Tyler London said the program helps meet a growing need for the development of strong STEAM skills in today’s workforce.

“Dow is a company that needs people who are committed to innovation in order to help meet the world’s greatest challenges, such as the need for clean water, renewable energy generation and increasing agricultural production,” said London. “We are very proud to support this new WVSU program and look forward to seeing the result of putting some great young minds to work.”  

The first objective of the program is to increase awareness of and desire to participate in the STEAM fields through outreach to more than 6,000 K-12 students, through the WVSU Center for the Advancement of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (CASTEM) and the University’s extension service. CASTEM will expand outreach offerings in the STEM areas through implementation of an agriculture-based educational program.

The University will use the nationally recognized agriculture-based curricula, Junior Master Gardener, to deliver educational modules for K-12 grade levels. Modules will include lessons and hands-on activities explaining the basics of agriculture, food production, natural resource conservation and the role of science in contemporary agricultural endeavors including hydroponics, aeroponics and greenhouse production.

In addition to increasing awareness of the STEAM fields in K-12 students, the $150,000 commitment from Dow will also establish early college research participation opportunities for undergraduate students through the creation of 15 new internships for WVSU freshmen and sophomores.

Through the Research Rookies program, WVSU will offer college freshman and sophomore students an opportunity for meaningful participation in STEAM-related laboratory research from their first semester on campus forward. The aim of Research Rookies is to engage highly motivated freshmen and sophomores in faculty-mentored, hands-on research activities. Students will explore topics in their intended majors and develop relationships with faculty in their field.

The Research Rookies program will allow students to be paired with a faculty member for the fall and spring semesters and receive a stipend to assist in their educational endeavors. Faculty mentors will receive research-operating funds to support the students’ research. The program will be administered via the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and the WVSU Agricultural and Environmental Research Station.
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.
Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines the power of science and technology to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company connects chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help address many of the world's most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, renewable energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow's diversified industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in approximately 160 countries and in high growth sectors such as electronics, water, energy, coatings and agriculture. In 2012, Dow had annual sales of approximately $57 billion and employed approximately 54,000 people worldwide. The Company's more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 188 sites in 36 countries across the globe. References to "Dow" or the "Company" mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. More information about Dow can be found at www.dow.com.
- WVSU -
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