A ribbon cutting was held Tuesday at the new S.T.E.A.M. Academy at Lillie Burney School in Hattiesburg. S.T.E.A.M. stands for science, technology, engineering, arts and math.
The sixth grade academy actually opened at the beginning of the school year, but the ribbon cutting was held now to show school and public officials what the kids have learned since they have arrived at the new school.
“I like it, we get more options here instead of just having to go to core classes,” sixth grade Mason Cathey said. “I like how it’s all the sixth graders from the district instead of just spread out in different classes.”
Cathey said the S.T.E.A.M. Academy offers classes that not many other schools have in the area such as project “lead the way” class, design and modeling class and robotics and engineering class.
“We in robotics and engineering. We are putting stuff together, but in design and modeling we are working on the computer to design things and then we will switch next semester,” Cathey said. “It prepares us for higher grades and college and most school districts they don’t start that kind of stuff until high school.”
Initially, educators were hopeful that the program would expand the list of career options for the sixth graders as well as getting them accustomed to school with a broader class schedule.
Sixth grader Nathanial Headley said the S.T.E.A.M. Academy seems to have more electronics and is more hands-on compared to other schools he has attended in the U.S.
“I like all the sixth graders here,” Headley said. “(The) electronics, just everything about (the academy) is better than the other schools.”