CHARLESTON, W.VA. — The Future Is You!, a program created in collaboration between the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) and West Virginia Public Broadcasting (WVPB), won first place in the Educational Resources for the Community category – Division 2, during the 54th Annual Public Media Awards. The recognition was a part of the 2022 National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) conference.
The Future Is You! is a 10-part video series featuring West Virginia native Emily Calandrelli, a West Virginia University alumna and Massachusetts Institute of Technology-educated aerospace engineer. She is passionate about empowering women and girls in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, and encouraging them to join the ranks. Calandrelli also hosts the television show Exploration Outer Space and the Netflix series Emily’s Wonder Lab.
As a part of The Future Is You!, Calandrelli travelled the state speaking with women working in aerospace, aviation, engineering and computer coding industries and students pursuing higher education degrees in these fields. Her mission was to highlight opportunities available in these fields. The video series is also a part of an awareness campaign promoting non-traditional pathways for career technical education (CTE) students.
“We are honored to have The Future is You! recognized by NETA,” said West Virginia Public Broadcasting Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director Butch Antolini. “There were hundreds of submissions from across the country that were entered for this award, and to know our peers have chosen this program as the nation’s best for providing educational resources for the community is exciting and humbling.”
“The Future Is You! showcases many career and technical pathways available for K-12 students seeking careers in CTE industries in West Virginia,” said State Superintendent of Schools David L. Roach. “This program demonstrates the impact CTE programs make in the state and assists students in fulfilling their career goals. I am thankful that such a program was recognized on a national stage.”
The program has also been used in middle school classrooms as part of the WVDE’s Discover Your Future initiative. This initiative is a course designed by elementary and middle school teachers in collaboration with the WVDE Office of Career Technical Education to introduce students in grades 6-8 to the 16 national career clusters. The highly interactive/hands-on curriculum is delivered in two-week modules totaling 32 weeks of instruction.
Production of the second season of The Future Is You! will begin in October and be available to viewers in late December.