Since flood waters destroyed communities throughout West Virginia in late June, West Virginia State University (WVSU) Associate Professor of Chemistry Dr. Micheal Fultz has been coordinating an effort to ensure science education remains a part of those schools that were impacted.
Shortly after the floods of June 23, Fultz began organizing an effort to collect monetary donations and donations of scientific equipment that would go toward Herbert Hoover High School, Elkview Middle School and Richwood Middle School, the schools whose science programs were affected the most.
“We really need to ensure that students are engaged in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields in high school, because if we don’t engage them in high school they won’t study those fields when they come to college, and we need more students in the STEM fields, to help develop the future West Virginia economy” Fultz said.
Since putting out the call for donations, a variety of individual and corporate donors have stepped forward to support the effort including the VWR Foundation which donated $25,000 to purchase scientific equipment. Mylan Pharmaceuticals has also been supportive, donating a variety of equipment to the effort. Dow, Dow Corning, the NASA-West Virginia Space Grant Consortium, Marshall University and Preiser Scientific have also given donations, as have others who wish to remain anonymous.
The Chemical Alliance Zone, the Kanawha Valley Section of the American Chemical Society and the Bioscience Association of West Virginia (BioWV) have also been active in the effort, which has resulted in boxes upon boxes of new and used scientific equipment pouring into a central collection point in Hamblin Hall on the WVSU campus.
While donations continue to pour in, the plan is that once the impact schools are ready to receive the donated equipment, the WVSU student chapter of the ACS along with Fultz will deliver the equipment to the schools. While a date for those deliveries has not been established yet, it is expected to occur within the next few weeks.
In the meantime, monetary donations, as well as donations of equipment will continue to be accepted. Monetary donations are being accepted through the WVSU Foundation online at https://connect.wvstateu.edu/sciencerecovery. For information about donating scientific equipment, contact Fultz at (304) 766-3106 or firstname.lastname@example.org.