Taylorville shows off new STEM lab

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TAYLORVILLE, Ill. (WAND)- Junior high students are using a new STEM Lab this semester.

“STEM” stands for science, technology, engineering and math.

“I think the acronym STEM has been more of an initiative for our country to go back into getting students to think more creatively, looking at building potential engineers, people who can code computers, getting them into that creative thought process,” said science teacher Pam Dewerff.

The lab includes 3D printers, virtual reality systems and special technology for group work. On Wednesday, students in Dewerff’s class were working on a project to build parachutes and program tiny helicopters. Dewerff said such projects help meet state standards for science education, standards that encourage in-depth study.

“Technology’s a tool; it doesn’t replace the learning that a teacher and a school system can give in our original environment in the classroom,” Dewerff said, “but it can allow us to extend our walls outside.”

The Taylorville School Foundation helped fund the new lab, Dewerff said.

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