Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

A Love of Discovery Fuels Futures ; Opportunities Abound for Students Aspiring to Study in Scientific Fields

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

A Love of Discovery Fuels Futures ; Opportunities Abound for Students Aspiring to Study in Scientific Fields

Article excerpt

As a young boy growing up in rural West Virginia, I loved discovery. I was fascinated by the idea of putting two things together and getting something entirely new, how things worked and why frogs croaked in the spring. So I was drawn to science. Scientific research is profoundly fascinating. Something starts as an idea, and with analytical powers, deep study and experimental creation, you end up with a problem solved, questions answered or a discovery made.

Students from across our state who are at the Capitol today understand how exciting that is. As part of the annual Undergraduate Research Day at the Legislature, they are showcasing research projects in areas ranging from biochemistry to geosciences.

For these students and young people across the state, we must continue making progress toward an economy fueled by innovation and discovery.

Thats why we are encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship through advancements like the Regional Technology Park in South Charleston and the I-79 Technology Park in North Central West Virginia places where high-tech businesses converge with higher education, research and new opportunities.

We are supporting entrepreneurship by encouraging students to hone their business skills and building creative communities across West Virginia.

And under the leadership of Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, West Virginia continues working to spur early interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), while also attracting investments in our state investments that lead to new, high-tech careers and sustained economic growth.

To take full advantage of these burgeoning opportunities, we need young people with an innovative spirit. We need the students at the statehouse today and many, many more.

If West Virginia is to grow economically, then we need creative, strong minds to make it happen. And we must support those minds.

Our merit-based financial aid program, the PROMISE Scholarship, has done just that by providing more than $400 million to more than 35,000 West Virginia students from all 55 counties. West Virginia also offers the Engineering, Science and Technology Scholarship, which is available to qualified students interested in pursuing an education in these critical fields. …

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