LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Every 4th grade student in Lufkin ISD left the classroom on Thursday for a special learning assignment with students from the Lufkin High School Stem Academy.
The STEM program has grown in the district after the passing of House Bill 5 in 2013, which allows students to focus on a subject they think they want to have a career in.
"STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math," LHS STEM Coordinator Amanda Kingsley said. "In the middle school, we start to introduce STEM classes to the students and then they have a chance to join the STEM academy in high school. They can choose a path, and they have special classes with specific schedules. We partner with SFA. They go to SFA and do labs with the professors, so it is very unique for them and gives them insight to college life."
On Thursday, the students in the academy were able to teach their skills to an estimated 600 4th graders. The students were able to rotate around the different stations and learn about all aspects of the academy.
"It's starting to get them thinking and interested in the stuff," said Marin Pennington, a sophomore. "This is the next generation that is going to be working and creating things."
Pennington said the students really responded well to the learning opportunities and were able to retain what they were doing.
"It makes it more interesting because it grabs their attention, and they are like, 'Hey they're doing that. I want to do that too,'" Pennington said.
The students that will make up the class of 2024 said having the high school students teach was like having an older sibling helping them.
"It was cool," said Brookhollow student Dakavius Jones. "They really help us learn to do the things they do."
Based on the expression of the younger students, the academy teachers and students believe the future is bright for the program they love.