AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs are popping up more often in the area, specifically at Austintown Middle School.
The STEM students still go to their regular classes, such as social studies, math and language arts, but the courses are tweaked to fit STEM standards.
“20 years from now, 80 percent of us will have 3D printers in our home. We need people to build them, program them and work with them. It has to start here, now, at a middle school level,” said STEM Coach Danielle Chine.
Every STEM seventh and eighth grade student gets to try his or her hand in a variety of potential career paths.
“All the projects here are done by all the students in what they do as part of the STEM program,” Chine said.
Chine also said not only do the kids benefit from the teamwork, but it’s really engaging for them too.
“As they grow up and begin to learn and do new things, it’s a whole new way of learning,” Chine said.
And with these courses worked into their everyday curriculum, the middle school students are getting real world experience everyday inside the classroom.
“I knew that would give me the hands-on experience that I wanted to do, but it also introduced me to all the other cool stuff that we do,” said Isaac Robbins, a STEM student.
“I would like to be an engineer when I grow up,” said Caleb Grope, another STEM student.
Isaac and Caleb built robotic cars during their STEM courses. The middle schoolers also made six derby cars in class.
“I heard it was engineering and I heard about the lot of fun projects,” said Colin Smith, a STEM student.
“And I thought it was really cool, I want to be an architectural engineer,” said Julia Marscio, another STEM student.
The team races their cars in Cleveland.
Austintown has 25 seventh and 25 eighth grade students in their STEM courses. Chine says she gets more interested every year.