The Franklin News-Post|
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Colleen Ernandes, Brooklyn Ward and Amarissa Stennis perform a skit, detailing the hardships of women in Afghanistan.
Monday, January 14, 2013
By STACEY HAIRSTON - Staff Writer
Students at the Gereau Center recently reviewed presentations from their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) projects, which the students worked on all semester.
The STEM curriculum is a product of 18 months of development, including community input and information from teachers and students, according to Keith Pennington, director of curriculum and instruction for Franklin County schools. The project introduces students to long-term, research-based activities within a group.
Students were given a multitude of topics from wellness, lifestyle, environmental and travel to relationships, technology and finance, Pennington said. Each student chose a topic of interest and joined a team to begin working on their respective projects.
Teachers served as mentors and guided the students through the research and problem-solving process.
"The projects were an effort by the students to identify, research, investigate, identify solutions and present information related to a wellness problem," Pennington said. "The problems identified by the students were all applicable to topics in the community."
Presentations included topics such as bullying, ways to avoid stress, exercising and even kayak safety. A drunk driving topic gave students a chance to sign a pledge card, promising to not drink alcohol, use other drugs or get into a vehicle with someone who has been drinking alcohol.
Each of the 21 presentations was three-five minutes long and was videotaped by the Gereau Center's television production module for viewing on the school's TV system.
The Gereau Center introduced the new STEM curriculum this year, focusing on problem solving through scientific research.
"Wellness Wednesday," as the program is called, took place every Wednesday morning for an hour and 45 minutes. Students learned to integrate math, science, research, problem-solving, technology, media and team work into a project or problem-based learning experience, said Pennington.