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WVU wins one of three inaugural STEMx™ Challenge Grants to improve computer science education across the state

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The West Virginia University Center for Excellence in STEM Education is one of three state-level organizations to receive grants of $15,000 from the STEMx™ network. These inaugural awards are intended to help states develop solutions to pressing science, technology, engineering and mathematics education issues.

The WVUCE-STEM will use the grant funds to host a statewide conference next spring, “STEM Forward: Building West Virginia’s Capacity through Computer Science,” for STEM educators, business and industry leaders, state agencies, public school districts, higher education institutions and nonprofit partners. Conference participants will explore strategies for providing computer science education to students across the state, with a particular focus on rural computer science education. The conference will produce a summative report that lays out how stakeholders can work together to provide computer science education for all West Virginia students. The results are intended to provide a model for other state-wide STEM networks.

"This is a wonderful opportunity to positively impact West Virginia's economic future,” said WVUCE-STEM Director Gay Stewart. “Careers in computer science are available in our state and pay well. Some require college education, but others could be open to our high school graduates with sufficient preparation. I am thrilled that West Virginia University, through the Center for Excellence in STEM Education, will have the opportunity to lead the way in this important initiative."

The STEM Forward conference will be a collaborative effort of the WVUCE-STEM, The Education Alliance, the West Virginia Governor’s STEM Initiative, and the West Virginia Department of Education. Similar events are also planned in South Carolina and New York, the other states that received this year’s STEMx™ grants.

The STEMx™ network is a multi-state STEM network developed for states, by states. This grassroots movement provides an accessible platform to share, analyze and disseminate quality STEM education tools to transform education, expand the number of STEM teachers, increase student achievement in STEM and grow tomorrow’s innovators. The network is composed of 21 state STEM networks.

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ac/06/16/17

CONTACT: Gay Stewart; Director, WVU Center for Excellence in STEM Education
304.293.5032; gbstewart@mail.wvu.edu 

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