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Girls in STEM: Summer academy program marks another year of career exploration

The 2017 girls academy class stands for a group photo with WVU Tech Campus President Carolyn Long.

On Friday, July 14, more than 20 high school girls from throughout the state gathered with their parents on WVU Tech’s campus for a picnic. The celebration capped the university’s weeklong STEM Summer Academy for Girls, where students spent their days conducting experiments, exploring STEM fields and meeting with women who have built successful careers in STEM industries.

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Young detectives explore forensics at WVU Tech day camp

Students analyze crime scene evidence during the first WVU Tech Forensic Investigation Summer Camp

Most days Jennifer Merkle is a 14-year-old student from Princeton, West Virginia who likes to read books about crime and forensic science. But for two days in June, she was a real-life forensic investigator, examining fingerprint evidence, interpreting bloodstain patterns, casting footwear impressions and investigating the scenes of heinous crimes to figure out how the deeds were done – and who might have done them.

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At Camp STEM, students get a taste of college life

Camp STEM students.

In WVU Tech’s Robert C. Byrd Learning Resource Center there’s a near-constant buzz of whirring motors and clicking keyboards. It’s punctuated by bouts of laughter and the exclamation that the little machine zigged when it should have zagged. It’s the sound of Camp STEM’s popular robotics class. It’s also the sound of high school students learning that a fascination with STEM can be a very good thing.

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