MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia education officials welcome new STEAM tech support center to train students for future careers in science and technology.
The facility opened Thursday at Mountaineer Middle School in Morgantown. STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics.
STEAM TAC will focus primarily on high school students in Grades 6-8 throughout 2022 while providing professional learning for teachers.
Officials hope to expand the program to all middle and high school students in grades 6-12 after grade one.
The project is in partnership with West Virginia University and the West Virginia Public Education Collaborative.
âThey’re going to be offering resources and actually being in these classrooms working with teachers,â Public Schools Superintendent Clayton Burch said on Thursday’s MetroNew âTalklineâ.
WVPEC Executive Director Donna Peduto was also a guest on “Talkline” and spoke about the center at the monthly State Board of Education meeting in Charleston on Wednesday. She said the program includes all hands-on learning.
“It’s transformational how different it is because if it’s relevant and they are working on a solution to a real world problem, it stays with them all along and they take it with them all along. of life, âsaid Peduto.
Peduto said businesses were already moving around the state and needed workers. She said STEAM TAC can help students prepare for these jobs.
âTech companies all put up notice boards saying they need people. I think sometimes students don’t have this training at a young age and therefore they don’t choose these careers. I think this will be a game-changer for our state, âshe said.
âWe need to make sure that our graduates are ready, not only with the knowledge and content to do these jobs, but these companies are looking for these soft skills as well,â he said.
The Center for Science and Industry (COSI) has partnered with STEAM TAC to provide nearly 1,500 STEAM kits to grade six students in participating schools and organizations.
Burch said the center is going to be a resource for the whole state.
“We are one of the first 10 states to offer computer classes in each of our public schools and this partnership will only increase the experiences we want these children to have,” he said.
In a statement, WVU President Gordon Gee said in part, âOur fundamental goal at the University of West Virginia is to enhance educational opportunities for everyone and this exciting collaboration builds on relationships. existing schools that we maintain with our state’s schools – especially important given the obstacles so many of our students faced during the pandemic. “