The Upward Bound Program at Williamsburg Technical College has emphasized engaging participants through hands-on instruction and fun activities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics; after being awarded a supplemental STEM grant for the amount of $40,000. The goal of their STEM initiative is to prepare students from underrepresented populations to pursue post-secondary degrees in STEM with increased confidence and capability. To succeed in this highly technological society, students need to develop their STEM skills to levels much beyond what was considered acceptable in the past.
During their 2019 Summer Component, Upward Bound (UB) offered several STEM-focused opportunities for program participants including an interactive session at Charlotte Motor Speedway, a STEM & art integration workshop at the Harvey B. Gant Center, an engineering exploration at Carowinds, an astronomy presentation at W.A. Gayle Planetarium, and a Virtual Reality challenge at Escapology. In addition to these outings, students were busy in the classrooms working with various STEM concepts. The roller coaster displayed is one of the many STEM projects completed this summer. To address stereotypes and cultural norms around girls in STEM, UB female students stepped up to the challenge to assemble and design what has become the main attraction in our office. You’re invited to stop by and check out their great work on display in room 212 at Williamsburg Technical College.