American Electric Power Foundation has donated $50,000 toward summer camps being held at West Virginia University and WVU Institute of Technology that give students the opportunity to explore the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

Through the gift, Engineering Challenge Camps at WVU and Camp STEM at WVU Tech will have the capability to expand and provide for more students, giving attendees the ability to discover a field they are passionate about and hope to pursue as a career.

“We’re happy to partner with WVU and WVU Tech on this STEM program. At Appalachian Power, we need employees with good math and science skills for many if not most of our jobs,” said Charles Patton, Appalachian Power president and chief operating officer. “From engineering to customer service, STEM skills are critical for success. WVU and WVU Tech are helping create a well-educated work force that will build a better future for West Virginia.”

The Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources Challenge Camps provide more than 150 students exploration of the STEM disciplines. Each week has a different theme and all activities are hands-on and project-based.

“Thanks to the generosity of AEP, the quality of the Engineering Challenge Camps offered in the Statler College continues to improve,” said Cate Schlobohm, outreach coordinator. “We are able to reach more campers, we are able to provide more scholarships and we are able to purchase better project materials. We are grateful for their support.”

WVU Tech attracts about 60 students from across the state to Camp STEM’s location in Montgomery.

“We’re grateful for American Electric Power Foundation’s support as it allowed us to expand Camp STEM. This summer program is a vital opportunity for West Virginia high school students to explore STEM fields and see themselves as future scientists and engineers,” said Dr. Zeljko Torbica, dean of the Leonard C. Nelson College of Engineering and Sciences at WVU Tech.

WVU and WVU Tech officials say that introducing STEM disciplines at an early age will improve high school graduation rates and help ensure that students are ready for college by giving them a glimpse into the college experience.

The gift from AEP Foundation, which covers some housing and board expenses, will help ensure equal opportunity for all attendees. Students who face financial challenges are given support through the camp in the form of scholarships.

Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, American Electric Power is one of the largest utilities in the U.S., serving over 5 million customers in eleven states. The American Electric Power Foundation complements a tradition of corporate philanthropy exhibited by AEP and its regional utilities in support of AEP’s community relations goal: “To support and play an active, positive role in the communities where we live and work.”

The AEP Foundation donation was made in conjunction with A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University. The $750 million fundraising effort by the WVU Foundation on behalf of the University runs through December 2015.



CONTACT: Bill Nevin, WVU Foundation

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