CHARLESTON, W.Va.- The West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) recognized the establishment of the West Virginia Department of Education’s (WVDE) Technical Assistance Center for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM TAC) during its monthly meeting in Charleston recently.
The STEAM TAC is the newest of the WVDE’s Technical Assistance Centers and is a partnership with West Virginia University and the West Virginia Public Education Collaborative. As a hub for STEAM learning, the Center offers a comprehensive approach to help West Virginia educators incorporate STEAM learning into their classroom teaching. This facility and its resources are available for use throughout the state to inspire STEAM-minded students to be thought leaders and problem solvers of the future.
Educators who sign up not only receive tailored lesson plans, toolkits and instructional resources free of charge, but they also engage in a transdisciplinary STEAM TAC classroom immersion tailored to their grade level, chosen activity and local community. Schools are encouraged to schedule multiple immersions throughout the day, which are designed to be completed during one class period, to optimize the engagement of participating students and teachers.
The STEAM TAC will focus primarily on Grades 6 – 8 throughout 2022 while providing professional learning for educators that bolsters excitement for learning among students. The Center seeks to expand the program to all middle and high school students in Grades 6 – 12 after the first year.
State Superintendent of Schools W. Clayton Burch said the new TAC aligns with the WVBE’s strategic plan and leadership goals.
“The TAC aims to cultivate one-of-a-kind partnerships with local STEAM experts, educators, service-learning providers and caregivers, as well as national STEAM-minded programs to help inspire innovative ways to motivate and educate students,” Superintendent Burch said. “Our goal is to empower educators to integrate these exercises into their classroom teaching. It’s a win-win for our West Virginia educators and students.”
“Our fundamental purpose at West Virginia University is to enhance educational opportunities for everyone and this exciting collaboration builds on the existing relationships we have with schools across our state – especially important given the obstacles so many of our students have faced during the pandemic,” West Virginia University President E. Gordon Gee said. “We are committed to this partnership and to providing resources that will help overcome the challenges we face to build a better future for West Virginia.”
The grand opening ceremony for the STEAM TAC was Dec. 9, at Mountaineer Middle School in Morgantown, West Virginia. The Center of Science and Industry (COSI) has partnered with the STEAM TAC to provide nearly 1,500 STEAM kits to sixth graders at participating schools and organizations that will engage in statewide STEAM immersions that day. Details regarding those activities will be shared in follow-up correspondence.
To learn more about the STEAM TAC and how educators can schedule a STEAM classroom immersion, visit wvde.us/tac or steamtac.wvu.edu.