STEM Festival features Environmental Topics

Alana Hartman works with youths as they explore a stream environment to learn how streams and rivers form during a past STEM Festival. Alana is the Potomac Basin Coordinator with the WV Department of Environmental Protection, Watershed Improvement Branch. She works as an Environmental Resource Analyst which requires a science or environmental degree. She also earned a Master’s degree in biology. 

STEM fields offer a wealth of career opportunities. Many of those jobs are in the environmental field. The Mineral County Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Festival, is an opportunity to explore some of those careers. It will be held at Potomac State College on Saturday, April 2 from 12 PM to 4 PM.

The Mineral STEM Festival is a great source of information and inspiration for local youths. They will be exposed to new ideas and career paths.

Some of the earliest environmentalists were foresters, wildlife and fisheries biologists, water quality specialists, and law enforcement officers.  These people make careers by ensuring that our natural resources are managed so future generations can enjoy them.

A natural resource degree is one of the more versatile degrees because students can branch out in different career directions.  Many fields have concentrations in chemistry, physics, and biology.  Algebra, trigonometry, and calculus are also fundamental courses for these career paths.  Forest Engineering, computer science, and GIS are required for forestry students, as well as linking them to the latest technology.

Local representatives with environmental careers will be present at the Mineral STEM Festival to present hands-on activities. They will answer questions about careers in their particular field.

The WV Department of Agriculture will present two activities. At The Scoop on Dirt, the participants will learn about different layers of soil. They will learn about different soil textures and, through a feel test, be able to identify the type of soil. In the other activity participants will learn about invasive species that are threating our native species.

The Canaan Valley Institute will be on hand with a demonstration on rivers. Ever wonder how a river forms the way that it does? Stop by “Where the River Runs” to learn about erosion, the importance of trees along a stream, geology, hydrology, and why rivers and streams meander the way they do.

The WV Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will present The Incredible Journey. Participants will journey through the water cycle by pretending to be a water molecule. Also learn about programs that the WV DEP offers:  the Youth Environmental Program, Adopt-A-Highway, Make It Shine, and Operation Wildflower.

Environmental stations are just one of the many types of STEM activities offered. For more information on the Mineral County STEM Network visit For regular updates on the STEM Festival Like our Facebook page