Creating a planet

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Colleton County Middle School teacher Samuel Crews is proud of his February STEM class projects.

Students were given a project assignment that fused science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), as well as history, English and critical thinking while working as a team.

Teams that had to create a planet, design a government, write rules for the leaders, write a preamble to a unique constitution and bill of rights, use measurements to design certain aspects on the planet and other various criteria. Then the class projects were put on display during school on February 11.

“These kids surprised me,” said Crews. “I didn’t expect them to enjoy the project so much or for them to do as well as they did.”

Crews pointed out several displays, remarking on two in particular. “These were phenomenal; the group designed the same planet display board twice, one in English and one in Spanish because some group members are Hispanic and the group wanted to include everyone. I was very impressed,” said Crews.

Schools across the United States have been emphasizing STEM education for the last several years. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, STEM occupations are growing at 17%, while other occupations are growing at 9.8%. STEM degree holders have a higher income and play a key role in the growth of the U.S. economy.

Most jobs in the future will require a basic understanding of math and science. Despite knowing these facts, mathematics and science scores on average among U.S. students are lagging behind other developing countries. That is why teachers like Crews who push STEM learning are so important in the educational system.

Parents can help their children excel and prepare for the future by researching STEM activities and working on them in the home.

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