CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A statewide program aimed at immersing West Virginia middle and high school students in their area of interest before pursuing higher education is back to in-person sessions this summer.
The first session of the Governor’s Schools of West Virginia launched Thursday at West Virginia University in Morgantown. The Governor’s STEM Institute Session 1 runs there through June 24.
The program is a partnership with Governor Jim Justice’s Office and the state Department of Education. Students who participate in the academies also engage in activities and field trips.
Joey Wiseman, director of middle and secondary learning with the state DOE, told MetroNews the purpose of the sessions is to expose students to real life, hands on experiences.
“It gives them a different perspective outside of the classroom,” he said. “They go on field trips, they usually do a visit to Columbus and see things they normally wouldn’t see.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the program was postponed in 2020 and then reintroduced virtually in 2021. This year, every academy will be held face-to-face.
The next academy is the Governor’s School for Entrepreneurship scheduled for June 19 through July 9 at Marshall University in Huntington.
“The big piece there is looking at innovation, problem solving, what problems impact our community throughout West Virginia,” Wiseman said.
The Governor’s STEM Institute Session 2 will be held after June 25 to July 1 at WVU.
Fairmont State University will host the Governor’s Honor Academy from June 25 to July 15. Wiseman said there’s about 160 high school students that participate in that session.
The program is also about networking, Wiseman said.
“Hopefully it results in improved confidence in these students,” he said. “For example, a student in Charleston may connect with a student in the Eastern Panhandle. This could be careers that open up or they go to college together eventually.”
The Governor’s School for the Arts will be held at Marshall University from June 26 to July 16. Greenbank Observatory will host the Governor’s STEM Institute from July 10-23.
The college professors run the four academies. More than 300 students have signed up this year.