A new era has begun for middle school students as STEM classes focus on problem solving and technology.
It looked like a scene out of TV’s CSI as eighth graders in lab coats looked at the taped outline on the floor, examining ang gathering evidence. This was their “crime scene”.
In another classroom, sudents designed and built a mechanical assembly line, after building a miniature moving bridged, and sequenced traffic light.
Students in both classes were given challenges and the tools and know how for solving problems related to technology and engineering.
Classes such as these are very different from the typical science class that most adults remember, which usually are lectures, with maybe some lab work to demonstrate an experiment.
In Mayfield City, Ohio, 160 middle schools eighth graders began their STEM experience studing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
The problem solving classes are hands on, and ephasize teamwork. Employers are seeking and will continue to seek the skills that are taught in those small groups, wher learning is fun.
“They eat it up,” science teacher Vicki McGarry said of students in her Automation and Robotics class. “They’re intense when they’re working on their projects. They’re focused.
“They don’t want to leave class when it’s over. I have to tell them they have to leave because I have another class.”
Once they get to high school, students will be able to choose a path for engineering or biomedical research. They can take classes that pertain to their specialized field the entire school year.
STEM will be introduced to seventh graders next year, so that their eighth grade year will be spent preparing for their chosen career path.
“We opened STEM to all of our eighth graders this year,” Magyar said. “We anticipated about 100 kids signing up. We got 160 who signed up.”