An elementary school in the Hinds County School District is one of two in the state being recognized nationally for its dedication to STEM education. MPB's Jasmine Ellis reports.
Gary Road Intermediate School is helping students excel in science, technology, engineering, and math or STEM through a nonprofit program. The National STEM nonprofit -- Project Lead The Way -- is acknowledging the elementary school as a Distinguished School for the 2018-2019 academic year.
Ashley Green is principal at Gary Road Intermediate School in Byram. She says it's important for students to learn about these subjects at an early age.
"They focus on motion and force and computer systems," said Green. "And everything that I just named is a part of our world today and it can only get better. And our students that we service now are the ones who are going to make it better. So we must do our part in the educational sector to provide them with those experiences."
All Mississippi school districts have access to STEM programs but the information might not be delivered on the same level says Jason Dean. He is chair of the State Board of Education. Dean says there's lasting value in a STEM education.
"What it does teach our students is to be analytical thinkers and to think in steps," said Dean. "And I think that's what the critical point is...is that it's not so much what algebra does on a practical application. But it's how it gives you, the student, deep analytical skills that can be practically applied as they go off into the work world."
Gary Road Intermediate School is one of only 241 elementary schools in the county to receive this STEM distinction.