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West Feliciana Parish Schools takes new approach to STEM programs
West Feliciana Parish Schools takes new approach to STEM programs
Danielle Uliano
Monday, October 15, 2018

WEST FELICIANA, La. (LOCAL 33) (FOX 44) - Over the years, STEM programs have become a huge part of schools as society advances and science becomes more prominent and over the past two years West Feliciana Parish Schools have incorporated STEM into the curriculum. 

Superintendent Hollis Milton is proud to say their STEM program is top notch and continues to grow. 

"We’re following the research and trying to be a leader with the knowledge that’s out there," Milton said.

The schools focus on thinking outside the box while they introduce these new skills that the students might not get in a regular classroom setting.

“This is that missing link. It’s amazing how my kids that are just not able to participate upstairs in my regular classroom are my first ones to raise their hand down here. They just really get it," West Feliciana Middle teacher Emily Hurst said.

West Feliciana Parish Schools have two cutting edge programs that focus on STEM. The first program starts the students off young with a STEM class for Pre-K, Kindergarten, and 1st Grade students. This program focuses on building, experimenting, and creating new things by rotating through different stations.  

"Station one is where we use the boxes to make animals and houses and stuff," 1st grad lab assistant De'Caryous Dixon said.

They also have stations that focus on coding and building robots.

The STEM teacher at Bains Lower, Natasha Hayes, explained how her students start the year off timid and hesitant to make mistakes. However, she said as the year goes on, the students grow a sense of confidence and test their limits. 

"It’s a very interesting dynamic seeing both of the children coming together and teaching each other different skill sets," Hayes said.

The STEM program doesn't stop there, the program advances as the students get older. Mrs. Hurst, over at West Feliciana Middle School incorporates a virtual reality lab into her lesson plans. The lab allows students to look away from the text book, put on a pair of 3D glasses, and see objects and creatures in a new way. For instance, they can look at a human heart and look at all the intricate pieces that work together.

Superintendent Hollis Milton believes that these programs are the future, especially with where society is going with science and technology. He said he hopes the program continues to grow. 

“When students get engaged to their work and they can connect to it, they’re going to stay on task, they’re going to stay focused, and they’re going to amaze us with what they can come up with," Milton said.