MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia middle school students are getting a chance to learn about Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math in a fun, interactive way.

West Virginia University, the West Virginia Department of Education and the West Virginia Public Education Collaborative unveiled its new Technical Assistance Center for STEAM at Mountaineer Middle School in Morgantown. STEAM TAC is a free program for all middle school students in the state that is designed to get students interested in STEAM and prepare them for future careers.

The Collaborative has teamed up with an Ohio Based company, The Center of Science and Industry, or COSI which brings interactive kits full of fun projects for every student in the school to use with their teachers and take home to their parents.

COSI interactive kits (WBOY image)

“Science is everywhere and science is for everyone,” said COSI President Frederic Bertley. “You can’t wake up in the morning and get throughout the day without specifically being impacted about science. So, it’s everywhere, so we should raise our science literacy.  Second of all, job opportunities; there’s so many jobs and I’m not talking about necessarily getting a Ph.D., or going off to medical school. You can go to a two-year community college and get a great job related to science, technology, engineering, arts and math and really take care of your family.”

“The middle school level is the sweet spot for this,” said Donna Hoylman Peduto, WV Public Education Collaborative Executive Director. “And the reason being is if you wait too long and you do it in high school, then students have already maybe chosen their courses they’re going to take, and this is the time to get them excited about it. And in West Virginia, we have a lot of growth in the STEAM jobs and we don’t have anybody to fill them right now.”

STEAM TAC will be available to all middle school students in the state.

According to STEAM TAC’s website, students in the program can expect to gain the following:

  • Hands-on, interactive experiences
  • Problem solving skills
  • Critical thinking mindsets
  • Interdisciplinary applications
  • Career exploration
  • Real-world relevancy
  • Exposure to STEAM experts

Educators can sign their classrooms up using this link.