Cedar Hill

Cedar Hill School, PTA Work to Fund STEM Projects During Pandemic

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Kellie Burchfield's Science class at Collegiate Prep Academy in Cedar Hill tackled force and energy on a cloudy Wednesday afternoon.

"They're going to build a basketball goal, it has to stand by itself, and then it has to be able to stand with a ball going towards it," Burchfield, a seven-year teaching vet, said.

Normally it's a two-person job to work on this activity, but with COVID-19 restrictions in place, she's had to give each student more responsibility.

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Teaching STEM is the new hallmark in many schools, as science and technology jobs grow, but students historically haven't shown interest.

 "High-profit jobs," principal Heath Koenig said. "We don't want to preclude our kids from being involved in that, right? Because we don't take the initial steps that can be done in the classroom."

Burchfield said teaching these hands-on science experiments during a pandemic has been tough.

"I can't just say, 'Read this passage and tell me what you got from it,'" she said. "They've got to see and touch and it science you can't stop because they quit learning."

The PTA at Collegiate Prep Academy in Cedar Hill pitched in to help secure grant money to help teachers buy more supplies, and design more ways to keep STEM going throughout the pandemic.

"Many times they won't pursue STEM as they get older as they're not exposed to it," PTA President Rhonda Black said. "We thought this was a great opportunity to expose them early."

The school's all in -- trying to find ways to score in science and beyond.

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