Charter school program teaches about science, technology, engineering, and math

Some students at one new charter school in Phoenix are getting some hands-on experience, and while learning they're helping the community.

It is a community garden, thought of and created by students. It's part of a program at Western School of Science and Technology; STEM stands for Science Technology Engineering and Math.

"I didn't really know about tools, and how I was capable of building a little swing, and when I did I really felt proud of myself and the teachers, because they gave me a lot of support," said Sandra Guerra.

Students say the program has opened up their creative side.

"It helps me for my future, and helps me learn more about engineering," said Guerra.

They think of different projects that will help the community and strive to make those projects a reality. The community garden they created is now a gathering place outside a Phoenix church.

"We do prototypes out of small things, and bring them into medium things, and that's when our ideas come out to make them bigger," said Allison Paul.

Allison Paul is the STEM coordinator; she says the program will help students in the real world.

"Give students the opportunity to use their hands and actually build projects, a lot of schools talk about changing their community or talk about projects, but they don't actually do them," said Paul.

And though it is summertime they are looking forward to their next potential project.

"We're hoping to build a path in our school since we didn't finish it this year, so we are looking for next year to actually do it," she said.

The school opened in 2014, this August the school will have 7-10th graders, eventually going all the way through to 12th grade.
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