New program at Plymouth Schools aims to get younger kids interes - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

New program at Plymouth Schools aims to get younger kids interested in STEM

Rich Schieber works with his student, Jason Doody, to build a robot Rich Schieber works with his student, Jason Doody, to build a robot

 These days you hear the term STEM a lot in education. It stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. A new effort is underway within the Plymouth School Corporation to get kids interested in STEM careers at an earlier age. It's a program called Project Lead the Way.

Jason Doody is a senior at Plymouth High School. He started learning about engineering when it replaced his eighth grade wood shop class. 

"When engineering came I was like, 'That's what I want to do,'" Doody said.

Now younger students will be able to learn about STEM in a more in depth way. Plymouth Schools are becoming a Project Lead the Way "Launch School", which means they'll have STEM classes for students from kindergarten through twelfth grade.

"It opens up so much more for our students," Plymouth High School's Project Lead the Way Teacher, Rich Schieber, said.

The community went all out...raising $270,000 dollars to match a grant from the program. They also talked to local businesses to see what they're looking for in employees.

"There's definitely an interest in seeing this type of curriculum in our schools," Marshall County Community Foundation's Linda Yoder said.

But national research from the Center for Immigration Studies shows there are more than twice as many workers with STEM degrees than there are STEM jobs in the United States. In Indiana, Ball State Professor Michael Hicks has found similar results.

"We hear from businesses throughout the State of Indiana that there are shortages in some STEM occupations, but we don't actually see that materializing in the data," Professor Hicks said.

"We're not seeing that locally," Linda Yoder said.

At Plymouth Schools they say all indications are kids with STEM skills will be in high demand.

"And that's really what it's about," Rich Schieber said.



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