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New high school program offers advanced math and science
Most of us have heard of honors and AP or advanced placement classes. Well, there's a new accelerated program gaining momentum across the country. It's called Project Lead the Way and it focuses on math and sciences.
News 5's Lauren Conley visited Kearney High today to get a first hand look at how the program is shaping students' futures.
Kearney High introduced Project Lead the Way last year. Expecting only 48 students, the school had to make room for more, when 90 signed up.
"They're going to keep building on the next couple years and I, unfortunately, won't be able to take it," said Derek Zimmerman.
It's a four year, optional program offering extra math and science courses. Derek Zimmerman is a senior at Kearney High. He's got aspirations of becoming an agricultural engineer.
"So any engineering and math that I can get in, I wanted to take it," said Zimmerman.
We were once a nation that set worldwide standards for education.
But, in recent years we've fallen to just average compared to other countries.
Programs like Project Lead the Way may be a step towards bettering our nation's education.
"Highly rigorous and relevant curriculum," said Principal Dr. Jay Dostal.
Classes focus on hands on learning, so today's lesson on the flow of electricity, involved building a circuit.
"If we can do our part as a school to develop those skills in students we're actually, it's actually an economic development piece," said Dostal.
Principal Dostal hopes this program can help shape the future of Kearney.
"There are jobs right now that are open, but employers can't fill them because the skills, kids don't have the skills to do it," Dostal said.
Putting an emphasis on engineering may be the key.
"If they come back knowing that Kearney's got jobs for them, that's good for our community," said Dostal.
Principal Dostal says they're hoping to keep growing the program.
Recruiting at middle schools and especially the female population.
Those kids who are already a part of it say they know they're a step ahead.
"Compared to the people that don't know how to draft at all or can't figure out certain problems...yeah, that'll just help," said Zimmerman.
Kearney High recently received a grant from Baldwin Filters. $60,000 over the next three years to help fund Project Lead the Way.
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