Niagara Gazette — Hyde Park Elementary’s halls are mosaicked with a rural scene, but the mentality of the teachers and students is decidedly technical.
The school wraps up its STEM science camp today, a program teachers and administrators alike have deemed a great success. The school conducted the week-long camp with the sponsorship of the Niagara Area Foundation and DuPont.
Sheila Smith, principal at Hyde Park Elementary, is excited about the program. “It’s a wonderful thing in education,” she said, “STEM allows students to make conceptual connections with common core standards in science and math.”
STEM is a national initiative for the advancement of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics education. It aims to elevate scientific learning in the classroom in order to foster an entrepreneurial and forward-thinking spirit in American youth.
This local manifestation is one part of a larger, national commitment. In a world increasingly governed by technological advancements, STEM is an effort to recall the momentum that America once held in these fields.
In order to facilitate these federally proposed measures, Niagara County residents voted in September 2012 to allocate $66 million in capital projects to finance STEM education and the construction of STEM classrooms in Niagara County schools.
The school is calling this iteration of STEM ‘Camp Invention.’ Children move throughout a variety of classrooms that focus on a range of scientific topics: atomic bonding, natural and living designs, and code breaking. Students are encouraged to work collaboratively in efforts to build structures and solve problems.
As the children filed from classroom to classroom, workers laid wiring in the ceilings to prepare for the opening of the school’s STEM classroom.
The new STEM labs will modernize aging science programs in Niagara schools. According to the district’s website, each classroom will boast “lab equipment, interactive whiteboards with 3-D capability, virtual field trip capability, math manipulatives, and more.”