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TJHS pioneers new science, tech program

TJHS pioneers new science, tech program

Turlock Junior High students enrolled in the STEM program this year will participate in the Future City Competition, using math, science and engineering skills to design the ideal town.

POSTED August 19, 2013 12:03 p.m.

The Turlock Unified School District is offering a new program this school year that will give students the leg-up they need to compete in high-demand science and technology fields.

The STEM program, a systematic approach that integrates the content and skills of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, will be integrated over the course of three years and be offered to 30 seventh grade students as an elective program at Turlock Junior High School this fall.

“Right now we’re in the process of mounting the projector Wi-Fi,” said TJHS Principal Dave Kline. “We have 17 laptops for our students to work in pairs with and six modules ready to go. We also have a standard 3D modeling software to create a virtual image of their design and produce a portfolio to showcase their creative solutions.”

The STEM program will expand to eighth grade students in 2014-2015, along with a pathway for the current seventh grade students.

“Eventually, the program will serve approximately 100 students per grade through a lottery system,” said Kline.  “A STEM Club would be created as well.”

Students participating in the STEM program will be working with electronics and robotics and be asked to create solutions at an integrated level.

“Our students will also be participating in the Future City Competition,” said Kline. “They’ll be working in teams and apply math and science concepts to real world issues. They will also be developing writing, public speaking and time management skills.”

The STEM Program will cost the district up to $70,000 from one-time general fund reserves. On-going costs include $21,500 from the TJHS General Education and categorical funds.

“We are very grateful TUSD is giving us the opportunity for our students,” said Kline. “STEM is the pathway for jobs in the future. With this program in place, the opportunities are endless.”

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