Paper No. 96-6
Presentation Time: 9:30 AM
THE APPALACHIAN GEO-STEM CAMP AND THE APPALACHIAN GEOPARK: A DUAL PRONGED EFFORT IN WEST VIRGINIA (Invited Presentation)
The Appalachian Geopark (AG) Project is situated in three southern West Virginia (USA) counties: Fayette, Greenbrier and Raleigh. These counties include the components of rivers, caves and coal; as well as transportation modes, including rail, and country roads. Perhaps most importantly, AG includes the heritage of the people living in the Appalachians. With this project, the Geopark concept can be linked to a revitalization effort in southern WV, offer new opportunities to develop the communities, and forge a sustainable future. Similarly, the Appalachian Geo-STEM Camp is a partnership between West Virginia University (WVU), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey (WVGES). The AGC is designed to engage high school students in geoscience-oriented STEM activities through adventure-based outdoor recreation, with an implicit goal of creating interest in STEM-based careers. These two projects have the common goal of educating people about the unique history, natural resources, and geological structure of West Virginia. Discussion will focus on three key points: 1) developing a Geopark as a community-level economic driver, 2) developing the Geo-STEM Camp to increase education levels of high-school students, and 3) focusing on the lessons learned during over the past three years regarding both the Appalachian Geopark and the Appalachian Geo-STEM Camp.