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Fairmont State University Receives Funding through NASA IV&V ERC Partnership Impact
Fairmont State News

Fairmont State University Receives Funding through NASA IV&V ERC Partnership

Vex U RoboticsFairmont State University has received a grant totaling $2,548,265 over the next five years from the Katherine Johnson NASA Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) to extend the existence of the Education Resource Center (ERC). These funds represent the continuation of a collaborative relationship between the two agencies spanning over 20 years.

The ERC promotes NASA IV&V’s vision and mission by expanding opportunities for West Virginia’s science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) students and educators. Through the ERC, Fairmont State’s College of Science and Technology will work to strengthen public understanding of NASA missions, increase STEM literacy to build a diverse future workforce, and create unique opportunities for STEM students.

"The ERC has evolved from a small center providing teacher workshops on NASA missions and curricular materials to a center with a reputation for leadership in modeling good STEM pedagogy, increasing content knowledge, improving understanding of scientific and engineering process skills, and providing quality professional development experiences,” stated Dr. Deb Hemler, project lead and Chair of Fairmont State’s Department of Natural Sciences.

“Without the ERC, the extent of West Virginia’s engagement in robotics would not be what it is today,” Hemler said. “We have a gifted and energetic staff who have tremendous vision and willingness to tackle big and innovative projects. They constantly surprise me, and I anxiously await their next proposed project!”

Over the past 23 years, the ERC has held regional and statewide workshops for STEM students and educators; hosted major student robotics, drone, and coding events; run a Loan and Learn kit program for regional STEM classrooms; and engaged in a variety of NASA IV&V community outreach events. During the next five years of this agreement, the ERC will continue these activities and will collaborate with NASA IV&V to facilitate the use of NASA’s educational resources throughout the region.

“Fairmont State is delighted to continue our relationship with NASA IV&V through the Education Resource Center,” said Dr. Mike Davis, President of Fairmont State University. “This initiative is crucial to providing high-quality STEM education in North Central West Virginia. We’re grateful to the Katherine Johnson NASA IV&V for this grant—it allows Fairmont State to affirm and strengthen our commitment to developing innovative education that transforms individuals and communities.”