Rockingham gets update on STEM program
Dec 13, 2012 (The Reidsville Review - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
During their Monday, Dec. 10 meeting, the Rockingham County Board of Education received an update on a grant received to invest in the STEM program.
The $325,000 grant provided by the Golden Leaf Foundation allows the school system to focus on their STEM initiative, which assistant Superintendent Nakia Hardy said concentrates on science, technology, engineering and math.
RCS K-12 curriculum coordinator Daphne Wall led the board in a discussion about the initiative.
Alyssa Slater showed a slide for the elementary schools using Discovery Education. One example of the program showed children using the program to learn how to design windmills. After designing them the students tested them to see how they can improve the designs.
"One of the things we know is that hands on learning is more beneficial for students," Wall said. "It keeps them engaged."
Wall said this grant allows them to focus on hands on learning. She believes this helped increase the proficiency scores for the eighth and ninth grade-female-minority-economically disadvantage students in algebra one during the 2011-2012 school year.
Students were also taken to North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University to a robotics camp to learn how to build robots out of Legos.
"Whether they're funded by STEM, or the Golden Leaf grant or Race to the Top, no matter what funding source, you can see students are engaged in science, engaged in mathematics and engineering activities," Walls said. "They are motivated. We're increasing their motivation as Wall as exposing them to a variety of career paths."
Students will be back in robotics camp this coming June, more science kits will be ordered and Discovery Education will continue to be taught.
Board member Amanda Bell asked how many female students were participating in the STEM program. Tina Chestnut, who helped with the presentation, wouldn't commit to a number but said those over the program are looking at ways to gain more female students. She said the number is very low.
RCS is in their second year of the STEM program. The grant is intended to span three years.
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