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B-CU Pathways to STEM Summer Academy Attracts Largest Program Participation Since Its Inception

stemMore Than 135 Students Enrolled in the 2016 P-STEM Summer Academy

The 2016 B-CU Summer Academy: P-STEM, for children in elementary schools enjoyed a four-week learning experience engaging in fun activities related to STEM fields. This year’s program was the largest with 135 rising third through sixth graders from local and surrounding schools. “While most of the children were from local schools in the area, about 20% were from schools in other districts and states,” said Albert Bouie, Assistant Vice President of Youth Affairs. “The goal of the program is to offer instruction in reading, mathematics, and science to assist students with maintaining and advancing their skill levels in these subject areas, and encourage an interest in the STEM disciplines,” President Jackson shared.

The students had discussions and guest speakers that shared information on careers in STEM. Each day the children would use creativity to engage in the summer curricula. The students visited the Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Foundation, and participated in her 141st birthday anniversary. Physical development was also a component of the summer program and program facilitators used recreational time to take the students outside for fun activities. The children also went on a field trip to Lego Land.

Along with engaging activities, the academics in the program took the students through a rigorous instruction in reading, mathematics, and science each day by Florida certified teachers. Bouie mentioned, “The STEM science class is taught in a hands-on approach, and is most exciting for the students. Most of the teacher assistants in the program are education majors and high school volunteers.”

Parents with youth enrolled in the program were required to participate in the student/parent orientation. The youth was assessed in the beginning and end of the program to measure skill level gains. Teachers used a variety of conventional and unorthodox techniques to encourage the students to continue learning and engaging in STEM activities. “Having the teacher assistants working in the classrooms allow the teachers to organize the children into small groups for appropriate skill level instructions. The instructional materials used in the program parallel to those used in the local school district, and allow for a more reliable system of measuring student growth,” said Bouie. Students and parents were pleased with the outcomes of the program and eligible students plan to return next summer.

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Keisha Boyd
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About Bethune Cookman University:

Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement.  B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000.  For more information, visit www.cookman.edu.