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BSC Faculty Member Details College’s Solar Panel Installation Initiative at Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s 15th Annual Member-Universities Professional Institute (MUPI) STEAM Conference

  • Created
    Thursday, May 29 2014
  • Created by
    Jim Nelson/Media Relations - (304) 327-4103 jnelson@bluefieldstate.edu

dr belay(Bluefield)— Dr. Belay, Bluefield State College Associate Professor of Biology, attended the Thurgood Marshall College Fund STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture, and Math) Conference, April 13-16 in Atlanta. The focus of the conference involved improving preparation, broadening pathways and expanding professional opportunities in science, technology, engineering, agriculture and mathematics (STEAM). Dr. Belay was selected as one of the speakers representing BSC, one of 47 TMCF Member-University Professional Institute institutions.

The BSC faculty member's presentation focused upon enhancing STEAM education by using Solar Panel Installation (SPI) as a module. Through a TMCF grant, 15 BSC students and three faculty received training from Virginia Tech in solar panel installation. Dr. Belay's STEAM conference presentation detailed how BSC students' mastery of the subject matter was strengthened through the "hands on" learning environment that resulted from the collaborative agreement between Bluefield State College and Virginia Tech. "The audience was also very impressed with the way BSC utilized our undergraduate students through their installation of solar panels that now provide electricity for lighting the largest parking lot on the Bluefield State campus," Dr. Belay explained. He expressed his gratitude for the work of BSC faculty members Anthony Woart, Roy Pruitt, Bob Riggins, and Shannon Bowling for involvement in training the BSC students at VA Tech.

In an effort to expand the utilization of solar energy on campus, Dr. Belay and Dr. Anthony Woart, BSC Professor of Sociology and Director of the Minority Health Institute, are writing a grant that would involve continued collaboration with Virginia Tech in the use of solar energy as a source for heating the BSC swimming pool.