Project 'Lead the Way' hopes to bring STEM education to more children in Kern County

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The Kern County Museum is helping engage young minds discover the wonder of science, technology, engineering and math.

Through Project Lead the Way, a program for kindergarten through fifth grade, students learn the important, future changing lessons, that it's okay to take risks and make mistakes, while they employ critical thinking skills.

The Summer of Discovery at Lori Brock Children's Discovery Center, included science, physics, and robotics education.

"We are doing the very first Launch program in United States, which is an elementary school program. We are really excited about that because we get the start them early with robotics" said Yadira Guerrero, Kern County Museum.

The museum just completed their 10 week Summer Science Camp for kids, but thanks to a grant from the Chevron Corporation they will continue with STEM education throughout the year.

"This program supports the traditional learning system, we're not a school, we are here to have fun and engage these kids to learn while they're not in school," said Guerrero.

Educator say the earlier students develop an interest in STEM, the better.

65% of scientists and graduate students develop their interest in science in elementary school, according to one study. Engaging students now builds confidence, grows interest, and puts them on course for strong accomplishments in middle school, high school, and beyond.

Kathryn Karlen, is an educator and a parent. She got her kids involved in the STEM program at the museum, because she recognizes the importance of engaging them while they are young.

"As common core comes through the public education system, it's a lot about thinking and critical thinking and science is a great place for that to start," said Karlen.

The PLTW curriculum at the museum aligns to state and national standards.

The elementary school program was conceived to work with current standards in education. Aligning to common core state standards for maths and English language arts.

For more information about Project Lead the Way Launch at the Kern County Museum http://www.kcmuseum.org .

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