High School Students Experience STEM Fields at Marshall


High school students from all over the region were on Marshall University’s campus this week taking classes in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.

As part of the Health Care Pipeline Initiative, Marshall University was this year’s host to high school students from around West Virginia and Kentucky. Among the sessions the students attended were classes on Pharmacy.

The students learned how to mix compounds to create drugs using a mortar and pestle. The activity was to show what it was like to mix and prepare drugs into the product we purchase in capsules at drug stores. It was just one of many activities the students took part in during the week-long experience. Students took part in classes on:

  • Pharmacy
  • Engineering
  • Health Informatics
  • Rural Health
  • Computer Science
  • Safety Technology

The camp was sponsored by the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, the Marshall University School of Pharmacy and Bluegrass Community and Technical College in Lexington, Kentucky.
Charlene Walker is Vice President of the office of Multiculturalism and Inclusion at Bluegrass Community and Technical College. She said the students have to realize they are depended on to lead.

“We want them to be able to step up to the plate to take a leadership role, to understand as Americans they have a duty to be what we need,” Walker said.

She brought many of the students with her from Kentucky. They are part of a program for underserved high school students at Bluegrass Community and Technical College. She said it’s important that students know what goes into each of the jobs on a day-to-day basis.

“They only see what’s up front, they don’t get the big picture of all the behind the scenes things that have to take place in order for you to get that pill and so these students especially when they were involved in the engineering yesterday, they saw different aspects of that, that they had really never thought about,” Walker said.

Shelvy Campbell is assistant dean for diversity at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and the Marshall University School of Pharmacy.

“The hope is that they’ll take away everything that they learn and that they utilize that to help develop, so that they can then decide what’s best for them,” Campbell said.

Keith Burs will be a senior at South Charleston High School in the fall. He said taking part in the program was important to him because he someday wants to be a pharmacist.

“I feel like I can influence my community in a positive way and make them feel like I’m giving back and I want to help people and pharmacy is a good way to do it,” Burs said.

It’s the inaugural year of the program on Marshall’s campus.