Institute: West Virginia
Year Established: 2017 Start Date: 2017-03-01 End Date: 2018-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $57,886 Total Non-Federal Funds: $115,773
Principal Investigators: Paul Ziemkiewicz, Andrew Stacy
Abstract: In 2016 with support from the US Geological Survey, the West Virginia Water Research Institute (WVWRI) began development of a research and education program centered on the Boy Scouts of America’s Summit Bechtel Reserve, near Oak Hill, WV. The program introduces scouts to the environmental STEM field, particularly the aquatic sciences, while using the site as an aquatic observatory/laboratory. Over the past year, the WVWRI has developed an environmental STEM curriculum, which we will refer to as “E-STEM” which engages scouts by incorporating fun, hands-on activities and technology into the curriculum. The Summit Bechtel Reserve is the BSA’s fourth high adventure camp and is the permanent home for the National Scout Jamboree, which is held every four years. The next National Scout Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel Reserve will be held in July of 2017. It is expected that up to 40,000 scouts from across the United States will attend the Jamboree. This presents an excellent opportunity to engage a large number of scouts, and their leaders, with the E-STEM curriculum during the next phase of this project. It is hoped that by introducing scouts to an E-STEM curriculum in their formative years that an interest and appreciation of the environment will ensue. It is also hoped that such exposure will lead to the pursuit of higher education in environmental sciences.