Science comes to life in Wake County Students’ Real-World Projects

First-grader Kezia Montague from Wake County Public School System has been actively involved in a project aimed at improving the drainage and environmental sustainability of her school’s courtyard. She, along with her classmates, presented their findings at the annual STEMposium organized by WakeEd Partnership in downtown Raleigh. This event showcased various student projects, including the creation of scented body scrubs and an app for addiction recovery.

WakeEd Partnership, a nonprofit that collaborates with the business community, facilitates these projects under its SummerSTEM program. This program integrates project-based learning in K-12 education, where students apply their academic knowledge to real-world projects. This approach not only makes learning more engaging but also demonstrates practical applications of academic concepts, enhancing student understanding and interest.

The project Kezia worked on involved reimagining the school courtyard to improve drainage, including plans for a rain garden and better soil management. This initiative highlights the benefits of project-based learning, providing students like Kezia with a platform to apply their learning in tangible ways and explore potential career paths.

This type of learning is praised for its ability to make education more engaging and relevant, though it requires significant support to implement effectively. WakeEd Partnership aids teachers in planning and executing these projects by partnering with companies that help bring these educational projects to life, fostering a more creative and fulfilling educational experience for both students and teachers.