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Last updateThu, 19 Nov 2015 8pm

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Local students attend STEM Academy

Richard Leggitt

Students from King George County were privileged last week to be a part of a demonstration project focusing on increasing the interest of middle school students in Science, Technology, Engineering And Mathematics (STEM).
The effort, labeled the STEM Academy, took place at King George Middle School and was designed to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.  
The one week King George STEM Academy was staffed by engineers and scientists from the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren and educators from the College of William and Mary.
“The students displayed excitement and were engaged in all of the STEM events,” said Jane Bachman, the STEM Academy Director.  “It was our first year at King George Middle School (KGMS) and our first year hosting a ‘Parent Day’ for parents to see first-hand what their child is experiencing during the STEM focus week.”
The King George STEM Academy was attended by middle school students from the Dahlgren School, the city of Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania and Stafford as well as King George.
“Sometimes students think they have to be good at something before they can choose a career,” said Katie Green, a project specialist from William and Mary. “Summer camps like this one are perfect for showing the possibilities of careers they might not have considered.”
The students participated in activities designed to stimulate their interest in science, technology, engineering and math.The goal of the STEM Academy was to present possible careers in science and engineering in a positive fashion.
And, according to Bachman, that mission was accomplished. “On behalf of the VDP [Virginia Demonstration Project] STEM Dahlgren Academy Planning Team, we thank all of the students, parents, VIPs, mentors, behind-the-scene workers and KGMS for their participation and encouragement in our STEM program as we highlight STEM careers,” Bachman said.
The King George STEM Academy was one of two sites in Virginia where students gathered to determine their interest in science and engineering. A similar academy was being held in the Norfolk area.  
Around the country, other STEM programs were being conducted in Indian Head, Md., Philadelphia, Pa., Panama City, Fla., San Diego, Calif., Honolulu, Hawaii, Rome, N.Y. and Charleston S.C.

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