New St. Paul School STEM Center inspiring the will to experiment
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New St. Paul School STEM Center inspiring the will to experiment

Aug 19, 2023

by: Colin Roose

Posted: Aug 30, 2023 / 06:04 PM EDT

Updated: Aug 30, 2023 / 07:00 PM EDT

WEIRTON, W.Va. (WTRF) — Think back to what you wanted to be when you grew up.

If you hoped to become an astronaut, a programmer or an engineer, you likely have a teacher to thank.

The staff at St. Paul School in Weirton know this—and have a brand new way to inspire scientists and mathematicians to be.

You’ll find magnet letters, models of the human body and Play-Doh packed inside St. Paul’s newest classroom to captivate the minds and hearts of the students who pass through it.

Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston Bishop Mark Brennan stopped by to bless the space Wednesday morning, which underwent a transformation over the summer into an academic playhouse.

“We have things that normally elementary kids don’t really get to touch. And so they’ll learn how to use test tubes and pipettes and how to work the microscopes and eventually the 3D printer we’re going to work on.”

Osleger says when the after-school STEM club was formed last year, it was a hit with students.

So much so that 75 percent of them stayed for it, and prompting staff to think bigger for 2023.In the STEM room you’ll find fish bowls attached to the wall.

Models of DNA and the digestive system.

And countless items to interact with to move the gears of imagination.

“I liked how she had the different kinds of blood and how she had all of the school lab coats.”

“I like the lab tests. I like the magnet tiles. I like almost everything in here.”

But between all the cool knick-knacks…the goal is to inspire the will to try.

Osleger says she wants to see students experiment with science to see what works and what doesn’t work, to help unlock the solutions to problems decades down the line.

“We get to start really little and get them excited young. So hopefully they grow to really love all these aspects of science and technology and putting it all together.”

The school says the room will prepare kids for jobs that haven’t been created yet, giving it momentum for years to come.

Everything was funded by donations from St. Paul parents—who contributed to each part of the room one by one until it was finished.

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