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New school encourges kids to think like scientists

By Paul Nelson | Posted - Jan 16th, 2013 @ 8:20am

SALT LAKE CITY — The Granite School District is getting ready to open a first of its kind school in the district. It's designed to make elementary school children think like scientists.

Last week, district officials decided to name the first STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) school after one of the most famous people in the world of science. The Neil Armstrong Academy will open in the fall of this year.

Principal Tyler Howe said their lessons won't be all about getting kids to memorize facts and figures.

"We're, of course, going to be teaching all of the Utah core standards, but we'll do so with a framework of those subjects of science, technology, engineering and math to really launch into a lot of the approach scientists and engineers would take in solving problems," he said.

He added, "It's very inquiry based. The students will be involved in helping formulating problems and collaboratively working to solve problems."

The school will teach grades K-6, as well as pre-schoolers ages 3 and 4. Howe said children that age are perfect for a school like this.

About STEM Schools
"S.T.E.M. is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. STEM schools focus on these subjects to help the nation's youth gain the skills required to succeed in today's challenging world. This includes the ability to think critically, solve complex problems, and drive advancements in science and technology."
Source: STEM

"They're naturally inquisitive about the world," he explained. "They want to learn more about the world. They're constantly asking questions like, ‘Why?' and, ‘How come it works this way?'"

Howe said students from all over the valley will be able to apply for a spot in the Neil Armstrong Academy through an open enrollment permit.

"The early window is [open] all the way through the third week of February. Then, those are accepted. As far as space allows, (it's) on a first come first serve basis," he said.

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