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Southern Nevada Schools Ramp Up STEM

Like many school districts in the U.S., STEM is garnering much attention in classrooms in Southern Nevada. Whether it is robotics or 3-D printing, schools are making sure students are properly prepped in concentrations that represent the growing areas in the job market.

“Divided into teams of two at 18 work stations, sixth- through eighth-graders at Silvestri Junior High School tinkered with a computer-aided manufacturing machine and branded pieces of wood with their own designs,” according to ReviewJournal.

“Other students fused plastic pellets together to craft flimsy golf tees or sent small projectiles soaring through a hula hoop to test a formula on momentum and trajectory.”

The lab that the students are using to complete their projects costs $100,000 according to the report. What’s more important is that this is the first time the students have had a STEM class to introduce them to careers that are very much in demand.

STEM labs are expensive and not all districts nationwide will be able to afford them, however, student engagement might be worth the price tag. The hands-on aspect of creating with high tech tools is also much more appealing to students than lectures. It’s innovation meeting the classroom.

“'It’s my No. 1 favorite class,' said Samantha Bradley, 13, as she wired an electrical circuit at the intelligent homes station,” according to the report.

“The program also represents a fraction of the investment that K-12 schools in Southern Nevada have pumped into STEM education. Nine district magnet schools offer a STEM emphasis, with more planned in coming years.”

Nevada was at a place they weren’t sure what would of their STEM implementation.

“That was a big moment for STEM in Nevada,” recalled Mark Newburn, Vice President of the State Board of Education, according to the report.

“Suddenly, I’m watching TV, and they’re talking about STEM,” he said.

“Literally two years before, no one had ever heard about STEM, and now people understood.”

It really goes to show how rapidly things can change. Southern Nevada schools are proof that districts can create successful STEM environments for students.

Read the full story here.

Article by Navindra Persaud, Education World Contributor.

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