Elementary school teachers get hands-on training for Project Lead The Way’s elementary school STEM program

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – While students are still enjoying their summer, a classroom full of Huntsville City elementary school teachers have spent the past two days problem solving.

“It`s challenging. [Some teachers] are really enjoying it and others become frustrated,” said Tania McKey, a Project Lead the Way Affiliate Assistant. “But that`s really the process of the design cycle. It`s about success and failure.”

By the afternoon teachers had created free-standing towers out of pipe cleaners, egg holders, and designed their own paint brushes.

It’s all part of their training for Project Lead the Way’s elementary school Launch program – a national curriculum teaching science, technology, engineering and math.

“We want kids to know what an engineer is, we want kids to know what the design process is at a very early age, in kindergarten,” said McKey.

Kindergarten teacher Rebecca Masters says the program helps teachers stand back and let kids employ critical thinking skills at a young age.

“Teachers, we want [our students] to be successful at the first try, so we just give them the answers or tell them this is how you should do this, but project lead the way really just stretches kids to explore on their own and pushes teachers to fail a couple of times.”

Project Lead the Way teaches students that failure is okay, as long as they keep trying.

The Launch will be implemented in every elementary school in the Huntsville City School district this fall, with one module per grade.