Bluefield State College Student and Biomedical Club Receive $5K Grant from Governor’s STEM Initiative

(Bluefield)—A grant written by Benjamin Duncan, a Bluefield State College undergraduate student and Biomedical Club vice president, has been awarded $5,000 through the Governor’s STEM Initiative Mini-Grant Program. The grant will enable the BSC Biomedical Club to expand its STEM-based outreach activities, encouraging area public school students to engage in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics activities.

“Ben had the resourcefulness to seek out funds from the Governor’s STEM Initiative and design a project that will appeal specifically to high school students,” noted Dr. Sarah Holguin, Biomedical Club co-advisor. “We’re all very proud of him.”

Duncan has been active in numerous Biomedical Club activities during his years as a BSC student. Upon receiving news of the grant award, he stated, “I’ve taken pride in the intiatives that the Biomed Club has sponsored, because they help us give back to the community. The focus of this grant enables us to bring STEM awareness and gateways to opportunities for these students. They will hear speakers who will encourage and stimulate their interest in these fields. The whole process allows me to really come full circle, passing forward to these students the same joy of learning that sparked my interest in science, preparing them to lead West Virginia to a brighter future.”

The Biomedical Club’s goal is to give local high school students the opportunity to view science-oriented speakers from institutions such as NASA, Marshall, or WVU, while also encouraging the students to take control of their future education. “It is an honor for the Biomedical Club to be recognized by the Governor’s STEM Initiative and to be able to share our enthusiasm with the community,” added Dr. James Walters, BSC Professor and Biomedical Club co-advisor. “The BioMedical Club’s efforts to bring in outside speakers is inspired by the desire to explore the career horizons in biomedicine and other science careers.”

Additionally, the Biomedical Club will utilize this grant’s funding to stage a Science Bowl quiz competition, in which high school students can compete in a science-based trivia contest. One of the Biomedical Club’s missions is to encourage STEM education among children in the local area, observed Dr. Holguin. “This new Science Bowl initiative expands their reach to high school students in a way that is fun and makes sense to that age group,” she explained. Earlier this year, the Biomedical Club organized and hosted a Science Day program and served as mentors, helping seventh grade students from Southside School in McDowell County prepare for and compete in an “egg drop” competition.

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