LAMAR COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - Lamar County elementary teachers are learning new engaging and interactive ways to teach their students STEM subjects through Project Lead The Way’s Launch program.
"We feel like the 21st century skills that students can get from the STEM curriculum can go into English, math and all the other things kids learn and the skills that they learn by doing STEM projects,” said Lamar County STEM Director Teresa Sappington.
Project Lead The Way is a nonprofit organization that works to make learning science, technology, engineering and mathematics fun for kids.
“This program, because it’s tied to standards, helps teachers teach the curriculum they are already going to have to teach, but teach it in a way that is both engaging for students and interesting to students,” Sappington said. “We’re not asking teachers to do something extra or something they wouldn’t already be teaching, we’re just asking them to teach it in a little bit of a different way.”
The teachers became students Wednesday as they worked on different Launch projects and ways they can implement the program into their classrooms.
“I can already predict that the students will be equally excited about this,” said Lumberton elementary teacher Patrick Quinnelly. “I think they will enjoy the activities and that enthusiasm will build their learning, so they’ll learn more because they are happy about what they are learning and they’re enjoying it.”
Those with the program say it focuses on getting kids to start turning the gears in their minds and engage in critical and creative thinking while building teamwork skills, and grow as problem solvers.
"That’s when they are making decisions about and creating these attitudes and very important mindsets about what they might can do or want to do as they grow up,” said Sherry Worsham, PLTW director of school engagement,
Lamar County partnered with Cooperative Energy for this program. All elementary students kindergarten through fifth grade will begin Launch next week.