WESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia University Extension Service announced the opening of the Annette S. Boggs STEAM Education Center at WVU Jackson’s Mill on Tuesday.
WVU Extension Service Director of Development Lauren Siler described it as a playground for high-tech learning.
“It is home to 3-D printers, laser cutters, and all kinds of specialty equipment to help our youth become the innovative critical thinkers for the next workforce,” Seiler said on WAJR’s “Talk of the Town.”
The 6,000-square-foot facility includes two classrooms, a technology room and will be open year-round to challenge K–12 learners. An on-site STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) specialist can create and lead the session centered around the desired topic. Students then use science concepts, computer science fundamentals, and problem-solving skills to complete the lesson.
“We use everyday items you find in your kitchen to teach about viscosity; we can teach about all those things that you would normally just read in a text book,” Seiler said. “Everything is very hands-on here at Jackson’s Mill.”
Seiler said they can develop and simulate lessons on topics like recycling, environmental stewardship, aviation, robotics, and even prosthetic hand design.
“We can really make engineering design, kitchen chemistry, and environmental science,” Seiler said. “We can make it fun, hands-on, and dynamic for just about any age group.”
Seiler said traditional classrooms, homeschoolers, charter schools, and youth groups are encouraged to schedule time at the center. Continuing education for teachers and adults is also offered at the 100-year-old facility that is being upgraded.
“We’re replacing the entire sewer and water systems here at Jackson’s Mill,” Seiler said. “So, whenever kids come to enjoy outdoor education, historical education, and STEAM education, we can be providing all of this for the next 100 years.”
Groups can schedule a visit by calling 304-269-5100.