(EDITOR’S NOTE: For media interested in attending the ceremonies at either of the local high schools and learn event details, RSVP to Katie Farmer at 315.256.8509 or email@example.com.)
The West Virginia University Center for Excellence in STEM Education, WV Forward and national manufacturing innovation institute Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow, will celebrate the top two schools of West Virginia’s inaugural MakerMinded competition Aug. 23 at Tygarts Valley Middle/High School and Sept. 6 at Cabell Midland High School.
The schools secured the top scores for their students’ outstanding performance in MakerMinded, and will each receive educational robotics technology to enhance their STEM curriculum. The events will bring together the student bodies, community leaders and local governments to celebrate the schools’ achievements, which include activities from creating a STEM club and using Maker technologies to participating in Hour of Code events and competing in robotics and cyber contests.
The celebrations also will launch the second annual statewide competition, which recognizes student achievements in advanced manufacturing and STEM, demonstrated through the use of the digital learning platform, MakerMinded.
“MakerMinded offers unique opportunities for West Virginia students to gain 21st century skills that can pave pathways to in-demand STEM careers,” said Gay Stewart, director of the Center for Excellence in STEM Education.
In partnership with LIFT and the U.S. Department of Defense’s National Defense Education program, MakerMinded launched in West Virginia in the fall of 2018 to inspire more middle and high school students to pursue advanced manufacturing careers and equip them with the complex, technical skills in demand at West Virginia’s more than 1,000 manufacturers that currently employ more than 47,000 employees.
“The average salary of jobs in the advanced manufacturing industry is already over 1.5 times the average West Virginia salary, and is increasing,” Stewart said. “West Virginia’s MakerMinded students are poised to become the talent our state needs to meet its most multifaceted defense, technological and manufacturing challenges.”
The program directly links students in 34 schools across the Mountain State to a diverse range of national and local advanced manufacturing programs, including facility tours, gaming activities, and project-based learning. MakerMinded also includes a competition component, as students and schools receive points for each completed activity.
In partnership with LIFT and the U.S. Department of Defense’s National Defense Education program, MakerMinded launched in West Virginia in the fall of 2018 to inspire more middle and high school students to pursue advanced manufacturing careers, which is one of the industries identified by WV Forward as ripe for economic and job growth. Programs like MakerMinded help equip the next generation with the complex, technical skills in demand at West Virginia’s more than 1,000 manufacturers that currently employ more than 47,000 employees.
“Programs like MakerMinded help us move West Virginia forward by preparing our students for the jobs of the future, building a robust talent pipeline in STEM disciplines,” Stewart added.
“MakerMinded is one of the tools which will help fill the ‘missing middle’ in advanced manufacturing,” said Nigel Francis, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director, LIFT. “We are proud to see the impact it is having in West Virginia and around the country.”
Vanessa Licwov-Chanell, West Virginia MakerMinded;
Jacey Cavanagh, MakerMinded
Joe Steele, LIFT
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