On September 14, 2018 74 students from Lincoln and Boone Counties in West Virginia ventured to BridgeValley Community and Technical College’s Advanced Technology Center to participate in a day of entrepreneurship, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) and career and college readiness activities. The day was part of a partnership between The National Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education (EntreEd) and BridgeValley CTC. The project was funded by The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation (TGKVF).
Students from Lincoln County High School and Sherman Junior High School rotated though a series of highly interactive and engaging activities focused on entrepreneurship and STEAM with career and college connections. The activities included a robot battle, an open-ended design challenge, a manufacturing company competition, a music challenge and a creative mindsets activity. The day ended with a full group product development challenge where student groups were given random everyday items and asked to create a new product. They then “pitched” their new product ideas.
The event was coordinated and planned by EntreEd’s Regional Coordinator, Toi Hershman, BridgeValley’s Director of Community Education Programs, Laura Lambert, and BridgeValley’s Assistant Professor/Outreach Coordinator, Jason Spencer. Several additional BridgeValley faculty and students participated to work with the student groups.
“We were all so excited to see the students this engaged,” said Toi Hershman. “The students were an absolute joy to work with! We are grateful to be able to offer an event where groups of students could interact and are encouraged to be creative and innovative.”
This spring, with support from TGKVF, EntreEd and BridgeValley hosted a day-long master teacher training focused on entrepreneurship and STEAM. 24 teachers participated in the program and learned how to create entrepreneurial and STEAM experiences for their classrooms and schools.
EntreEd and BridgeValley maintain a strong partnership and an ongoing relationship as part of EntreEd’s America’s Entrepreneurial Schools Program. Both Lincoln High School and Sherman Junior High School will become part of that initiative and be awarded the America’s Entrepreneurial Schools designation during the 2018-2019 school year through the supportive funding of TGKVF.
“We hope to be able to continue these types of events for students,” said Toi Hershman, “ We love working with BridgeValley. The Advanced Technology Center is an innovation hub and a wonderful place for students to discover their strengths, be creative, and learn how to tackle challenges – all mindsets that will serve them regardless of their future career path. “