HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Looking around this cafeteria, a familiar scene is unfolding at New Century Technology High School.
Students gathered and chatting in groups, huddling over computers and phones…
… But look again. These are no ordinary high school students. These kids are presenting their school projects during the third annual STEM Showcase.
STEM stands for ’science’, ‘technology’, ‘engineering’, and ‘math’. Many jobs in the future will rely on students learning concepts from these fields today.
And that is the mission for New Century Technology High School — to prepare students for jobs in computer science, engineering and biomedical science as Huntsville’s only STEM magnet high school.
“[During the STEM Showcase] the students were showing off projects that they worked on. The goal is to educate people on what we do differently than other high schools because we’re a magnet school," explained Sheila Roby, principal of New Century Technology High School.
"We found that even parents didn’t know what was different about our school, so we wanted to show it off. And every teacher is responsible for showing off something that’s been done in their classroom that’s related to STEM. So even English has projects related to Science, Technology and Engineering; every course," Roby said.
“The goal is to just show off our kids, and what they’re able to do and what they do on a daily basis while they’re here at school."
"And we just want to keep finding more ways to show that — like this year, we added what we call the “Falcon Focus” that’s very much like a Ted Talk — so they got to talk about something that they were comfortable with and familiar with and help educate the parents," Roby concluded.
But when you work that hard at such a young age, it’s natural to want to put it on display!
“We want to show off our students because they are so intelligent, they are so hard working, and they are passionate about the STEM fields," explained Julie Summers, a math teacher and Magnet Coordinator at New Century Technology High School.
“STEM Showcase came about because our students have so much to show, they have done so much research within the stem fields, and they get excited,"
"Doing the STEM Showcase was a way to 'showcase' what they’re doing.”
And it’s important to know that this work is done by high school students — the future is bright indeed.
Meteorologist Christina Edwards interviewed three different groups during the STEM Showcase. Below are their stories.