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MakerMinded FAQ

MakerMinded is preparing students to fill the growing demand in STEM careers by providing widespread access to interactive world-class STEM and manufacturing education experiences.

Q: Who is the partner of MakerMinded?

A: MakerMinded is designed and orchestrated by LIFT-Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow, a Detroit-based Manufacturing USA institute funded in part by the U.S. Department of Defense. LIFT partners with state entities like the WVU Center for Excellence in STEM Education to expand students' access to world-class advanced manufacturing and STEM learning experiences.

Q: What is the value of MakerMinded to West Virginia?

A: Over the next decade, nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will be open and available across the nation, just when today's K-12 students are entering the workforce. Without educating today's students to be innovators who can become part of a tech-savvy, adaptable workforce, particularly in the advanced manufacturing sector, some 2 million of those jobs are projected to go unfilled.
We must prepare students for those jobs of the future while encouraging them now to pursue pathways in STEM disciplines.

Q: Why is this a natural partnership with the Center for Excellence in STEM Education?

A: The Center engages in STEM K-12 initiatives that aspire to make WVU a national model of high-quality STEM education and encourage more students to study STEM disciplines that will open more doors to successful STEM careers. MakerMinded offers unique opportunities for students to gain 21st century skills that can pave pathways to in-demand STEM careers. In West Virginia, the average  salary of jobs in the advanced manufacturing industry is already over 1.5 times the average salary, and is increasing. This program is a way to prepare West Virginia students to fill these openings.

Q: What is an example of a MakerMinded program or activity?

A: School activities may vary, but can include participation in nationally vetted high-quality STEM learning, visiting a Challenger Learning Center, participating in a MATHCOUNTS Math Club, attending a career fair, screening of a STEM movie, taking part in an Hour of Code or creating something new using Maker technology.

Q: What is the goal of MakerMinded?

A: To provide schools with more opportunities to engage students in STEM and advanced manufacturing education to cultivate the knowledge and skills needed for the manufacturing careers of the future.

For more information about MakerMinded, contact Vanessa Licwov-Channell, 304-293-5030, or email