EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSS.T.E.A.M. CAMP
from Eyewitness News Online
Kids Learn Through Robotics
Reported by: Darrah Wilcox
Videographer: Chris Mazi
Web Producer: Darrah Wilcox
Reported: Jul. 26, 2012 3:06 PM EDT
Updated: Jul. 27, 2012 10:51 AM EDT
Huntington , Cabell County , West Virginia
A new 2012 Kids Count report ranks West Virginia 47th in the nation when it comes to education. Education officals say the state needs to invest more in early childhood education, and one unique program at Marshall University is trying to do just that.
Kids going into kindergarten or first grade are taking part in S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) camp that's being offered through the June Harless Center for Rural Educational Research and Development at Marshall University this week.
The kids are tinkering with some of their favorite toys. Holly Moore, June Harless Center developmental officer, says, "They're learning about what's inside different toys, things that they use in their everyday life, what's happening inside of those to make the lights come on, the sounds happen, and then using that and translating that into programming."
Moore says, "We wanted to introduce them to robotics. This is something that really excites kids and gets them engaged in all five of these components."
Programs like this are working hard to change statistics like the 2012 KIDS COUNT report that ranks WV 47th in the country for education. Those numbers show 79 percent of the state's eighth-graders aren't proficient in math.. and about three-quarters of fourth-graders aren't proficient in reading.
Places like the June Harless Center are being proactive, helping kids get better and earlier access to those subjects. The state currently ranks in the top five for preschool access. June Harless Center professional development coordinator Tarabeth Brumfield says, "There is access for children and families who are interested in putting their child in some type of program to develop these early learning and their early learning development that they need."
It may just take a little more homework for parents to get their kids matched in the right program. Brumfield says, "We need to get the word out we need to talk to families we need to talk to community about what is available because there are engaging programs like you see here this week that children can get in there and be excited about."
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