Cool Schools: UMS Wright STEM Program
MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) This week's Cool Schools highlighted UMS Wright Preparatory School, where they have started incorporating all the major STEM subjects - Science, Technology, Engineering and Math - into one learning experience.
In the 7th grade STEM class, students design experiments from start to finish themselves. To simulate the struggle of COPD and measure the effect of tobacco use, the students designed an experiment where they had to run in place while breathing through a straw and measuring their heartrates.
"You get to experience it yourself instead of having to see it from someone else's perspective," explained Katie Faggard, a 7th grader in the class.
"It's a multimedia, web-based curriculum that uses real world, hands on activities to introduce content. But really, it's more than a curriculum. It's a different way of learning," said Jeff Kinard, the 7th Grade STEM teacher.
Gone are the days of textbooks and memorization, even the desks. Instead, the students are learning together through group projects.
"I think it's great, all the projects we do and working with the partners. It's just a fun time for me, a class I really look forward to," added Jack Lambert, 7th grader.
"It's different. And it's great way to do science. I think it's definitely better than textbooks," agreed Isabella Williams, 7th grader.
The new age of learning is ultimately aimed at preparing students for the future.
"I tell them 80% of the new jobs that they'll be competing for are STEM related. And 8 of the top 10 paying jobs were stem related," explained Kinard.
"I want to grow up and be an architect, so I'm enjoying this here," said Lambert.
The STEM program is offered to every grade level at UMS Wright.