UNION COUNTY — A lesson as old as humanity itself is at the heart of a pilot program now under way at Sims Middle School.
The Union County School District is conducting a summer pilot program focused on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) criteria. The program, which is being held at Sims Middle School, began Monday, June 12 and will run for four four weeks, Monday-Thursday, through Tuesday, July 4. The program is serving 15 rising seventh and eighth grade students at Sims who have been identified by their teachers as needing additional instruction in math and science to keep them at grade level.”
The students participating in the program spend two days a week using science and math skills to build robots. The other two days are for educational activities, including workshops about nutrition and exercise, soft skills instruction, presentations about workforce opportunities in the STEM fields, and field trips to tour local companies which offer jobs in the STEM fields.
On Thursday, the students participating in the program went to the Union Campus of Spartanburg Community College where teacher Rick Washburn showed them a video and talked to them about robots being used at BMW and in other industries.
While the technology of the 21st century and its place in the workplace of today — and tomorrow — is being studied by the students, they are also learning an even deeper and older lesson, one that, if taken to heart, can help make their future a bright one indeed.
“It’s important for them to understand the value of working hard in school and how gaining skills in science and math can lead to very successful occupations,” Alice Lang, Upstate Workforce Board Executive Assistant and Grant Writer, said.
While the focus of both their classroom activities and their field trips will be robotics, Lang said students will also have the opportunity to meet people who achieved great success through hard work.
“They are going to be visiting companies and learning how people from Union County became very successful by applying themselves in school and other training,” Lang said. “The hope is to give them a goal to work towards. We hope to open their eyes to their own potential and all the possibilities that are available to them.”