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Coaching champions

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The expertise of WVU, the experience of community mentors and the minds of West Virginia high school students created a winning formula at the world’s largest event for STEM students. 

The Mountaineer Area RoboticS, or MARS, team received the Chairman’s Award at the annual FIRST Robotics Competition Championship in St. Louis, Missouri, in April 2017. The highest honor given at the championship, the award recognizes the team that the organization thinks “best represents a model for other teams to emulate and best embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST.” 

Earl Scime, the Oleg D. Jefimenko Professor of Physics and Astronomy and chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, has coached the team since helping to create it in 2008. 

“I stay involved because these kids restore my passion for teaching,” Scime said. “They show up eager to learn and are self-motivated and incredibly focused. Every time I work with them, they restore my hope that we can build a society that values creativity, professionalism and diversity.” 

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MARS student drilling

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