STEM Program Prepares Kids for the Future

Posted at: 07/22/2014 7:11 PM
By: Hannah Tran

Photo: ABC 6 News
Photo: ABC 6 News

(ABC 6 News) -- What do you want to be when you grow up? Kids always hear this question while growing up.

Sure, it's uncertain for elementary school students, especially at their age, but a summer program at Riverside Elementary aims to generate some interest in four different areas for students. For five years now, Winona State University's Rochester branch has helped kids get some experience in four crucial areas.

"We provide them with an afternoon of STEM for a whole week. It’s science, technology, engineering, and math," said Riverside Elementary School teacher Sara Lopez.

The STEM program gives kids a hands-on feel, from kindergartners to 5th graders in many different classrooms.

"To learn what it's like to be a scientist or what it might be like to work at Mayo. We have the zebra fish program, which is run through Mayo Clinic. They get to study the genetics of the fish," said STEM instructor Guy Simmons.

Even though it's summer, Riverside Elementary isn't always quiet, especially this week. STEM volunteers and leaders had a variety of sessions, from solar energy, to archaeology, to building models of robots and developing hypothesis. Through many interactive activities and lessons, they don't just get an idea, they feel it.

For participating Riverside Elementary Schools students, it may be too soon to know exactly how their career paths will end up, but at least they get a sense of what they can become.

The STEM program runs from Monday through Thursday at Riverside Elementary School.