STEM students enjoy life-changing experience

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 11, 2008

WINDSOR – The Bertie STEM School has been a success.

In addition to the excitement of the school’s principal and the district offices, it is a hit among the students who have attended the school.

Robert Smallwood said he chose to attend the STEM school because of his future college plans.

“I came to STEM because it has a wonderful class dealing with engineering and I was hoping to go to North Carolina State and become an engineer,” he said.

Bria Rowe said she came because of the opportunities that would present themselves after her graduation.

“They said there would be big achievements and big opportunities,” she said. “Also, you would have a choice of colleges.”

The hard work was part of the reason students were drawn, but the small atmosphere was another.

“I came to the STEM school because it’s a smaller environment and everyone thought that would be better for me coming from a home school environment,” Kayla Ewell said.

The freshmen year for each student had its own highlight.

Smallwood said he was appreciative of the environment provided at STEM.

“I liked the fact that our teachers took time out to explain things to us instead of just showing us one time and expecting us to already know it,” he said.

Jonique Stafford said her favorite part of the first year was the trips to the colleges while Ewell enjoyed her English class and Rowe was pleased with the challenges presented by the honors classes.

All four students said there were differences in the STEM school and the regular school.

“The school is a big difference,” Stafford said. “You don’t get out much and we have all classes together with ninth graders.”

Ewell said, “I’d say the difference is the smaller classes and the people/teachers.”

Smallwood agreed.

“I believe the difference is because we have smaller classrooms and that allows us to be paid more attention to,” he said.

As students in the future decide about whether or not to attend the STEM school, the students had suggestions.

“I think it would be good so more people would be able to have the same experience,” Ewell said. “There are more difficult classes which give you more learning experience and I believe it looks better on a college application.”

Rowe said she felt the STEM school allowed students to learn differently.

“There are a lot of group activities and projects and working together,” she said. “You are also able to visit colleges.”

Smallwood said there were more opportunities for those who chose STEM.

“I would encourage anyone to come to STEM because there are a lot of opportunities and possibilities here,” he said. “It can really change your life because it sure did change mine and I never thought that would happen to me.”