Look inside new STEM school opening in Midland - WNEM TV 5

Look inside new STEM school opening in Midland

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

A Mid-Michigan school district is revolutionizing the way children learn.

A brand new elementary school was built specifically for kids to explore and make a mess.

"When you got 25 first graders out making things, it's going to a different environment," said Michael Sharrow, superintendent of Midland Public Schools.

He said newly implemented STEM based learning is going to change more than just the curriculum. It's a part of a program called "Project Lead the Way."

Associate Superintendent Brian Brutyn said this is the second of a 10-year STEM strategic plan.

"There's three real areas that Project Lead the Way launch focuses on. One is engineering. One is computer programming and one is biomedical sciences. And it really has a logistical sequence to it. All students, by the time they get to fifth grade, will be able to program a robot," Brutyn said.

Elementary students are currently piloting the new curriculum in their existing buildings, but Sharrow said the newly designed Central Park Elementary will debut the program changes from the ground up.

"So often we build schools and then we adopt our curriculum. So this was an opportunity to do it the other way," Sharrow said.

Central Park Elementary is designed completely based off of the STEM curriculum with open space.

"The building itself is a teaching tool and those spaces are meant for kids to be actively engaged and moving and making things and maybe trial and error and making messes," Sharrow said.

Central Park Elementary will be ready to go by next fall, but Brutyn said it's not just the elementary getting a makeover.

"We were blessed to have a bond that was passed a couple of years back and every single one of our facilities are going to be refurbished to help facilitate this curriculum," Brutyn said.

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