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STEM Summer Academy for Girls returns with big help from Toyota

Students in the 2016 STEM Summer Academy for Girls program robots.

The WVU Tech STEM Summer Academy for Girls will be hosted on the Beckley campus July 9-14 thanks in part to funding provided by Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia. 

The popular program – now in its third year – brings high school girls from throughout the region to campus to take interactive STEM courses, explore careers in STEM fields and meet with women who have built powerful careers in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.

“As students explore STEM concepts and careers at the Academy, they’re finding confidence in both their abilities and their potential in these fields,” said Dr. Afrin Naz, a professor at WVU Tech and organizer of the Academy program.

“We’re also putting them in contact with women who have built successful careers in STEM and who present their work with that same confidence. It creates an environment where these girls really flourish,” she said.

The camp is made possible by a generous donation of $20,000 from Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia. Toyota is known throughout the country for its efforts in the area of workplace inclusivity. For Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia President Leah Curry, the Academy partnership is an important part of the company’s effort to foster that inclusive environment in the STEM industries of the state.

“We are proud to partner with WVU Tech’s 2017 STEM Summer Academy for Girls. Toyota West Virginia has been a part of this initiative since it started in 2014. Not only is STEM education vital to the future of the manufacturing workforce, but it is crucial to the success of West Virginia. Females in the manufacturing industry are underrepresented yet needed, and this camp encourages female students to analyze their boundaries and expand their horizons to career possibilities they never thought possible,” she said.

For more information about the Academy, visit camps.wvutech.edu.