The Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center hosts an annual STEM Conference for over 700 sixth-grade girls and their teachers from the counties of Washington, Smyth and Russell, and the City of Bristol. The purpose of the STEM Conference is to introduce sixth-graders to careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics through hands-on workshops led by female chemists, engineers, doctors, programmers, and other professionals from regional industries and colleges. These professionals emphasize the link between their education and the important jobs they perform today. They encourage the students to enroll in core STEM classes while they are in middle and high school.
The STEM Conference is a partnership between the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center, Alpha Natural Resources, CGI, Eastman Chemical Company, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, Range Resources-Pine Mountain, Inc., Thompson & Litton, Food City, and other regional firms. Joining them are faculty from Emory & Henry College, Radford University, the University of Virginia, VCU’s Department of Nurse Anesthesia, Virginia Highlands Community College, and Virginia Tech.
This year’s STEM workshops will be conducted on Friday, November 20th.