WVU Tech holds on-campus freshman summer program for STEM students

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – After having to move the program online last year due to COVID, students and professors at WVU Tech were more than ready to finally be able to hold the First 2 Network Summer Research Program in person this year.

“We are trying to help the students see how university life looks like even before they start,” says Dr. Sanish Rai, Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Information Systems at WVU Tech.

The program is all about specifically bringing first-generation and underrepresented freshmen to the campus to conduct research, build useful skill development, make connections, and learn about college preparation and career exploration.

“I really like this program because I’m going into computer science,” says Kaleb Cole.

“This just kind of gives me a new aspect of what engineering looks like while I’m currently in college,” adds Josiah Baker, who are both students in the program.

Being centered around computer science and engineering, the program gave the new students entering the STEM program real-world experience with coding, Artificial Intelligence, and machine learning.

“The coding activities that we’re doing, I don’t have a lot of experience in coding or computer science, because my school didn’t really offer it, but here I’m realizing how much fun it actually is to use programs like Python,” says Suraya Boggs.

“We’re still learning concepts that are kind of new to us like Artificial Intelligence, I haven’t done much of that and the rest of us really haven’t either,” says Sarah Micheal, other students in the program.

After the research, the students get a chance to do recreational and team-building activities like hiking and visiting the Summit Bechtel Reserve.

This is a program that is going on at colleges across the state, and it’s a great way for students to start preparing for work in the STEM field early on, so they will have a better background of it for the future.

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