Athens Drive STEM program guides students into STEM fields, holding online guest speakers for virtual learning

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Jack Armstrong, News

The Athens Drive STEM Academy is a program within the school that offers students a chance to supplement and focus their education on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts and skills. Students in the STEM program can choose multiple pathways to pursue in order to focus on the particular areas they are interested in. These pathways include audio visual arts, computer programming, engineering, sustainable agriculture, science and math. 

Guest speakers with professional experience in the STEM field also share their expertise with the students to further solidify and expand on the real world connections and applications of what they are learning. In order to complete the program students take cohorted classes with the required courses in their chosen pathway, complete STEM projects and earn STEM points by participating in out of class academy events. The program helps students to gain real world skills that they will be able to use in their future careers. 

“Science and technology are going to be the way that we solve the big problems in the world. Athens is trying to get you to do more project based things, to start thinking about these problems and about how they can be solved- Trying to move away from that traditional approach where you get presented something and spit it back out. More classes are doing more project type things.” said Michael Wood, computer science teacher at Athens Drive.

The STEM program is an innovative method of getting students interested in science, math and technology. It implements a method of learning that is more interactive and less traditional. It also helps students to gain experience that could help them in their future careers.

Due to COVID-19, the stem program has been affected which limits student’s ability to interact with each other in person. 

“I’d say it’s been pretty positive. It’s difficult making connections with people, as it’s hard having one on one interactions or even group interactions with people over google meet.” said Daniel Hoffman, freshman, on his experience with joining the STEM academy.