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RCBI’s 3D Printing and Maker Camps being offered virtually

HUNTINGTON — Adapting to change and using critical thinking are concepts taught at camps hosted by the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) at Marshall University each year. This summer, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, RCBI is putting those concepts into practice as it continues to offer its series of annual 3D Printing and Maker Camps virtually.

Students ranging in age from nine to 16 will learn about 3D design and printing, laser cutting, computer coding and electronics through on-line instruction, live video chats and video demonstrations.

In addition, robotics instruction, programming and resources will be shared with assistance from the NASA IV&V Education Resource Center.

“It’s been challenging, but we have put together vibrant content using robust open-source online platforms and tools to create fun challenges and hands-on activities for our campers,” Deacon Stone, coordinator of RCBI’s Maker Vault and Innovation Center, said in a press release announcing the camps.

Stone says participants will need access to a stable internet connection capable of streaming and a computer, netbook or Chromebook capable of running Google Chrome and Zoom.

Although virtual, RCBI is dividing the camps into regions to ensure a geographically diverse group of students get to participate. Dates and locations for the 2020 camps, which run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily include South Charleston, July 6-10; Huntington, July 13-17; Bridgeport, July 20-24; and Williamson, Aug. 3-7.

The cost is $25 per camper and immediately following the close of the camps, participants will receive their custom 3D print, 2D laser cut, camp T-shirt and certificate of completion by mail.

Space is limited. To register, go to

For more information about the 3D printing and maker camps or any of RCBI’s STEM activities for young people and their families, contact Stone at 304-781-1659.

Virtual supply chain expo to connect Steel of West Virginia

HUNTINGTON — Advantage Valley and The Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) will sponsor a virtual expo July 14 to link small suppliers with Steel of West Virginia and Steel Ventures Inc.

Attendees of the Manufacturing Supply Chain Expo will learn about the processes to become suppliers to Steel of West Virginia and Steel Ventures, learn about the expressed needs of the companies and have an opportunity to submit request for qualification forms to secure virtual one-one-one meetings, according to a join press release from the two organizations.

“Our previous expos resulted in several small local businesses securing contracts with large state manufacturers,” Derek Scarbro, director of RCBI’s Appalachian Hatchery initiative, said in the release. “These focused events are win-win situations because they introduce small businesses to contracting opportunities while connecting large manufacturers to potential suppliers closer to home.”

“Small local businesses are the largest employers nationally and create two out of every three new jobs,” Terrell Ellis, executive director of Advantage Valley, said in the release.

“Not only do independent businesses employ more people directly per dollar of revenue, they also are the customers of other local businesses such as printers, accountants, wholesalers, attorneys, etc., in turn expanding opportunities for local entrepreneurs. Nurturing locally owned businesses that use local resources and employ local workers at decent wages means that a community can become more self-sufficient and less dependent on imports.”

The expo will run from 1 to 2 p.m., Tuesday, July 14 via TEAMS teleconference. Preregistration is required. The event is free and open to the public. Register at

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