Since 2015, we have been conducting projects to promote project-based learning in K-12 math
and science education. We have organized three Improving Teachers Quality (ITQ) workshops
for West Virginia middle school and high school teachers on project-based learning on 2015,
2016 and 2017 sponsored by West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission. Many of the
teachers have incorporated science/engineering projects into their math/science teaching. Almost
every teacher observed significant improvement of students’ performance after the
implementation of project-based learning. In recent years we are implementing PBL in our
innovative after-school programs.
Featured Project: EASY CS STEM
EASY CS-STEM: Engaging After School Year-Round in CS-STEMIn this project, at least 300 middle school students will participate in online after-school
programs in four counties of West Virginia, including Putnam, Kanawha, Fayette, and Raleigh
Counties from 2021 to 2023. The participating middle school students will be engaged in various
hands-on projects. All the activities are free of charge to the students and online. About 24
undergraduate students of West Virginia University Institute of Technology will participate as
assistants. Establishing mentorship relationship between university students and middle school
students constitutes the primary merit of this project. Through participating in a range of hands-
on projects such as game development and robotics at the after-school programs, middle school
students are expected to be more interested in STEM. Moreover, professionals of local
companies will be invited to the after-school programs as guest speakers. In addition, family-
oriented events will be organized in this project to engage parents/guardians, who are anticipated
to play a more constructive role in the education of K-12 students.
EASY CS-STEM project is sponsored by Toyota USA Foundation.
After School Programs designed around PBL in STEM in Raleigh County
we are working with three middle schools (i.e., Beckley Stratton Middle School, Park Middle
School, and Independence Middle School) at Raleigh County West Virginia. From our
experience in previous years we have learned that due to time limitation it is challenging for the
teachers to include additional activities during their class time. With this project the teachers will
not only be able to allocate more time and effort, we will be able to see the impact of this project
as they will work with the progression of same group of students from middle schools to high
schools. The projects implemented during the after school include STEM integration, coding and
Robotics. All participating teachers receive professional development during summer at WVU
Beckley campus to receive the skills, knowledge, and experiences necessary to succeed in to this
effort. All these projects are developed and facilitated by WVU Beckley campus. Our current
WVU STEM students work with the Raleigh County teachers during the after school hours. The
after school program is free.
The sole sponsor of “Carter after-school program” is Carter Family Foundation.
Improving Teachers Quality (ITQ) workshop 2015Improving Teachers Quality (ITQ) workshop 2016