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Instilling a growth mindset in West Virginia's youth.


STEMCARE - Turning possibilities into opportunities for West Virginia youth. STEMCARE is a collaboration between Mylan-A Viatris Company and West Virginia University to develop and implement programming to instill a growth mindset in West Virginia’s youths through personal application of problem-solving skills gained from science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). No matter the issue at hand, students will grow in their confidence and intellect, ultimately making them more curious, active, resilient and engaged (CARE). 

What is growth mindset?

Growth mindset is the understanding that people can improve their abilities and intelligence through dedication, practice and hard work. It refers to growth and development, such as learning from mistakes, not just “trying harder.”

Why is growth mindset important?

Children’s beliefs about their intelligence directly affect their success. Children with a growth mindset understand that challenges are opportunities to grow and making mistakes is an important part of learning. Because of this, they are much more likely to enjoy learning and reach higher levels of achievement.

The good news is research shows that the brain changes and develops throughout life, a concept called neuroplasticity. We can generate and strengthen connections in the brain when we work hard to solve a problem or learn something new.

Watch a video of Ohio County 4-H'ers exploring STEMCARE growth-mindset activities.

Parents and teachers can instill a growth mindset in children in several ways ...

  • Model a growth mindset. It is important for adults to model a growth mindset and use growth mindset terminology.
  • Intelligence is like a muscle; it grows stronger with training. Explain to children that the brain can get stronger and smarter, the more they work it.
  • Celebrate mistakes. It turns out that making mistakes, reflecting on the thinking behind the mistakes, trying new strategies, asking for feedback or additional resources and correcting our mistakes is one of the very best ways our brains learn.
  • Harness the power of the word “yet.” If a child says, “I can’t figure this out,” reply with “You haven’t figured it out yet. What could you try next?”
  • Praise the process (not the person). When we focus our praise on the learning process, children are empowered to keep trying. Try saying, “Great job! You must have worked really hard on that.” or “I like the way you tried different strategies to solve that problem.”

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Why is Mylan-A Viatris Company involved?

Mylan and Upjohn combined in 2020 to form Viatris, a new global pharmaceutical company formed that sees healthcare not as it is, but as it should be. Viatris believes it has a unique opportunity to actively play a part in advancing positive change that benefits a large span of stakeholders - not only as it relates to access to high quality medicine but beyond. This includes providing for West Virginia's children to embrace a brighter tomorrow and make a difference in their home state. Colleagues at Viatris tackle problems every day and believe that similar problem-solving skills can help students face challenges in school, at home or in their community. 

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STEMCARE Lessons with Videos

A STEM activity making UV bracelets.

Looking for fun and educational activities for classrooms, camps or kitchen tables? Search no further. Each activity includes instructions, a step-by-step video, and a full lesson with educational standards.


Whether you're just starting high school or that episode is about to end, you're going to hit graduation day with a ton of options in front of you. Curious about which episode you'll play next? There one where you take a job? The one where you go off to trade school or college?

Next Up makes it easy to engage with experts all over West Virginia to ask anything you want to know about life after high school. It's a project designed to help teens like you take an active approach to exploring their future with knowledge, confidence and resiliency. Submit a question or watch experts answer other teen's questions.

Recent 4-H STEMCARE News

Annette S. Boggs STEAM Education Center

Annette S. Boggs STEAM Education Center

In June, the new Annette S. Boggs STEAM Education Center at WVU Jackson's Mill opened as more than 500 youth from across the state participated in various hands-on STEAM activities throughout the summer. The 6,000 square-foot facility will serve as the new home to year-round programming and hands-on activities that focus on science, technology, engineering, art, and math. The building was designed by VanNostrand Architects PLLC and features a science classroom, a makerspace classroom, and a technology room that houses 3-D printers, laser cutters, and other specialty equipment. The building is open year-round for group visits from schools and youth organizations to provide hands-on science lessons, design-based learning activities, coding and physical computing lessons, innovative maker space projects, and other unique learning opportunities for youths and educators from all 55 counties. If you are interested in booking a visit to the Annette S. Boggs STEAM Education Center, contact Suzanne McDonald.

Free Engineering Design Kits for K-2nd Grade Teachers

Here's the Scoop Kits

Do you want to teach engineering to your K-2nd graders but don't know where to start? Let us help! Here's the Scoop, Engineering Trash Collectors is an engineering design unit designed by the Museum of Science, Boston for students as young as kindergarten. Students are introduced to engineering through a design challenge and a story of a duck named Danny. They must help Danny by designing a trash collector that removes trash from a model pond. Teachers need no prior experience teaching engineering to teach this unit. STEMCARE is offering training, resources, and usage of these kits to WV educators. If you are currently teaching in a public West Virginia elementary school (K-2nd grades only) and you would like more information on how you can use Here's the Scoop, Engineering Trash Collectors in your classroom at no cost to your or your school, contact Suzanne McDonald.

STEMCARE Partners with Energy Express and WVPB

A STEM activity making balloon cars.
For the last two summers, STEMCARE partnered with Energy Express to bring numerous STEM-related videos to West Virginia Public Broadcasting. From balloon cars to oobleck, the series offers many hands-on STEM activities for the entire family. Visit the Energy Express on WVPB website view all of the episodes from Season 1 and 2.

STEMCARE Newsletter 2019 - 2020 STEMCARE Newsletter 2020 - 2021
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Upcoming STEMCARE Events

A collaboration between West Virginia University and Mylan.


This initiative continues to reach a growing number of youths and teachers. Here are some STEMCARE facts that may surprise you.

A person hands a STEM book.

3,127 Youths Reached Through Energy Express

More than 3,000 youths participated in fun and engaging STEM lessons around engineering design and growth mindset during the 2020 and 2021 Energy Express program, a summer literacy and feeding initiative.

A student with a backpack with a transistor chip in the background.

825 Youths Reached Via CS Clubs and Classes

Over 800 youth from across the state participated in computer science events in 2020 and 2021. The events included a variety of virtual and in-person camps, clubs, and classes that taught both coding and physical computing.

People look at a tablet with multiple STEMCARE multimedia icons.

1,212 Youths Reached at Virtual and In-Person Summer Camps

More than 1,200 youths participated in STEMCARE classes at state and county 4-H summer camps between 2019 and 2021. On average, each student participated in more than 5 hours of direct programming.

A hand holds a cog.

55k+ Try this at Home Kits Distributed

Over 55,000 STEMCARE supported Try This at Home experiment kits were distributed to counties in 2020 and 2021. County Extension Offices distributed the kits to youth at camps, fairs, festivals, food distribution sites, and backpack programs.

A cow, pig, and award ribbon.

14k+ Youths Reached at the State Fair

Over 14,000 West Virginia children and their families participated in hands-on STEMCARE learning activities at the West Virginia State Fair in 2019 and 2021.

A student with a backpack and STEM book with cogs in the background.

559 Youths Reached During In-School and Afterschool Programming

Between 2019 and 2021, more than 500 youth from across the state engaged in week-long engineering design classes that incorporate growth mindset.

A person hands a box of STEM activities.

783 Professional Educators Trained

Nearly 800 educators have been trained to foster a growth mindset through engineering design lessons since 2019.

A box of STEM activities represented by an atom, screen, sun, and compass icon.

925 4-H STEM Challenge Kits Distributed 

Nearly 1,000 4-H STEM Challenge Kits were sent to Schools, Extension Offices, Libraries, and After School Programs between 2019-2021, reaching 12,047 youth from across the state.