STEM based school underway in Midland - WNEM TV 5

STEM based school underway in Midland

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MIDLAND, MI (WNEM) -

A local school district is anticipating the opening of a world class school for the next generation.

The district is raising money for a STEM based outdoor playground to go with the brand new elementary school.

"It is designed from the ground up to be a STEM elementary school. Science, technology, engineering and math," said Michael Sharrow, superintendent of Midland Public Schools.

Sharrow said Midland is getting a new school for grades K through fifth. He said the new Central Park STEM Elementary School will be filled with technology, including three distinct outside play areas.

"The design itself is very unique. Each of the classrooms open up into a STEM studio or a make a space where students can do hands on project based learning," Sharrow said.

One of the playground sketches features an entire solar system popping out of the ground.

The school will also have rivers and interactive classrooms. Sharrow said this kind of learning is imperative for the future.

"I think it's very vital. We need to begin teaching students in a different way so the design of this school and how our teachers are going to teach, are going to be vastly different," Sharrow said.

Rick Vanderpoel is overseeing the construction of the school and playground. he said the design is exciting.

"It's great for the future. The way the world is turning, all of these new technologies, starting them early is fantastic. I wish I had it when I was a kid. It would help me now with building," Vanderpoel said.

Sharrow said they still need to raise $50,000 from the public for the next three interactive learning areas or playgrounds. That money will be matched with a $100,000 grant from the Midland Area Community Foundation to complete the project.

Sharrow said so many people are enthusiastic about the school. He's hoping it won't take long to raise the funds.

"We are going to have a wait list. We have had plenty of excitement that we will have lots of people that want to get in," Sharrow said.

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