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Pine Bluff School District wants to motivate kids with a new STEM program



Pine Bluff, Arkansas – The goal of the Pine Bluff School District is to keep pupils engaged and motivated throughout their education.

The launch of “Star Academy,” a STEM initiative aimed at assisting kids to excel both inside and outside of the classroom, is one method school administrators are attempting to accomplish this goal.
Administrator Thaddeus Pearson of Star Academy stated that their goal is to motivate more pupils.

“We hope to inspire more students by giving them a different option of learning, teaching them how to do more hands-on learning and looking at things from a different perspective,” Pearson said.

According to Pearson, the academy was only open to a limited group of eighth graders and started in January of this year. There are presently eighty pupils there, he added, divided into four groups.

“Those students were vetted and deemed to be fit for the program based on their performance in the classroom and possibly had attendance issues, problems, so this was given as another option to fix all of that,” Pearson said.

“They’re actually being able to use models and create different types of scenarios to problem solve, so it’s really changing and enhancing their critical thinking skills.”

According to him, the academy will integrate real-world experiences with what students learn in the classroom.

“It’s tying that in because students are actually able to see the things that they are learning, it’s not just taking the information from the teacher,” Pearson said.

He claims that the academy will combine classroom instruction with real-world experiences.

“When our students are struggling in a module, those teachers get the opportunity to pull those kids out in a small group setting,” Pearson said.

For them to succeed in the future, he stressed that each pupil will learn at their own pace.

“I think in the future you will start to see those students excel and get ready for college and get,” Pearson said.

Because they hope the program is here to stay, Pearson said they will be extracting data at the end of May and comparing that data for the students coming in next year. In addition, he mentioned that a queue already exists.


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