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 West Virginia University Potomac State College on Saturday, March 24 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 and protected 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.

Water is a very important topic in today’s world.  All the water that is on the earth is all that we will ever have. The WV Division of Forestry will present the Project Learning Tree activity “Water Wonders”. Participants will visit the destinations as a water molecule and find out that a water molecule’s journey can go down many different paths.

Visit West Virginia’s Soil Tunnel Trailer to better understand what it’s like underground. You will learn about soil, plants, and the creatures that inhabit our soil with an interactive, hands-on display.

The WV Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will present Trouting About . Participants will journey through the life cycle of a trout in a life-size board game. Also learn about programs that the WV DEP offers:  the Youth Environmental Program, Adopt-A-Highway, Make It Shine, and Operation Wildflower.

In conjunction with the Mineral STEM Festival, the WV Division of Forestry and WV DEP are holding a joint Project Learning Tree (PLT)/Project Water Education for Teachers (Project WET) workshop at the Mineral County Health Department, Keyser, WV on March 24, 2018 from 8-4. This PLT/Project WET workshop is open to educators, both formal and non-formal, that want to incorporate important environmental lessons into any discipline including science, mathematics, fine arts, social studies, language arts, and music. You must pre-register by March 15, 2018 to be included in the class. For more information to sign up for the workshop or to leave a message, contact Linda Carnell at 304-822-4512 or email at

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