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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Fax: 540-483-8013

Local STEM program named ‘innovative’ and ‘successful’

Friday, March 29, 2013


The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) program at the Gereau Center has been featured in a statewide directory of innovative and successful programs in public schools compiled by the Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA).

The STEM program is included in the 2013 edition of Showcase for Success, which highlights more than 110 school programs in 52 school systems statewide that were submitted by superintendents and staff.

The Showcase for Success publication includes "successful programs in public schools throughout Virginia," said Barbara Coyle, executive director of the VSBA.

The goals of the STEM program are to teach students how to identify and solve problems, research a topic and communicate findings, while using research techniques, journaling and proper citation methods. Students also learned to test hypotheses when appropriate.

"An important part of this activity is that the students are learning to listen to each other and to effectively communicate their thoughts and opinions," said Gereau Center Principal Kevin Bezy.

The students learned many uses of technology to both conduct their research and to present their findings.  They conducted internet searches, telephone surveys, personal interviews, student surveys and active learning to discover more about their area of study.

Students were divided into groups of approximately 13 according to their expressed interests. Each group met with their mentoring teachers 90 minutes a week over the course of a semester to investigate their problem.  Their investigations involved the use of scientific method and engineering design.

Each group made a formal presentation of its findings and solutions to their problem. Students reviewed all presentations and offered feedback to each group in writing. 

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