Marshall University’s Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) has announced Friday, Oct. 6, as the date for the 10th annual West Virginia Makes Festival, the state and region’s largest maker fair. Officials say this year’s event will be bigger and better than ever, thanks to a sizeable STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) grant from the American Water Charitable Foundation.
The foundation, the charitable arm of American Water, parent company of West Virginia American Water, has awarded $14,000 to the Marshall University Foundation to support RCBI’s annual community-based event that promotes innovative West Virginia-based STEM entrepreneurship.
“Our future leaders in West Virginia are significantly better off and will be more prepared for their careers with strong STEM skills, thanks to access to the outstanding programming provided by community partners such as RCBI,” said Robert Burton, president of West Virginia American Water.
The annual Makes Festival attracts hundreds of students and innovators of all ages from across the region, providing them the opportunity to demonstrate their own creations, compete for prizes and engage in STEM-focused activities during the annual celebration of creativity and ingenuity in all forms.
“Thanks to the tremendous generosity of the American Water Charitable Foundation, people of all ages will have the opportunity to demonstrate their creations and ingenuity, engage in hands-on STEM activities and revel in the joys of discovery during the 2023 West Virginia Makes Festival – our 10th anniversary – set for Oct. 6 on the campus of Marshall University,” said Derek Scarbro, RCBI deputy director. “This support is another example of the American Water Charitable Foundation’s and West Virginia American Water’s commitment to strengthening our communities by investing in those they serve.”
Registration is now open for makers of all ages, exhibitors and groups that want to attend the free event this fall. Details may be found at www.rcbi.org/wvmf23.
Photo: Pictured are Derek Scarbro, RCBI deputy director; Jenny Vance, program director of grants at the Marshall Foundation; Megan Hannah, government and external affairs at West Virginia American Water; Kara Mullins, STEM coordinator at RCBI; Deacon Stone, director of the Center for Innovation at RCBI; and Mike Friel, RCBI director of communications.