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Taft summer program accelerates with S.T.E.A.M

On the go STEM learning is here for Taft Elementary School students, thanks to the Westside Rec and Park District's Full S.T.E.A.M ahead program.
Posted at 10:07 AM, Jun 22, 2024

TAFT, Calif. (KERO) — On the go STEM learning is here for Taft elementary school students, thanks to the Westside Rec and Park District's Full S.T.E.A.M Ahead program.

  • Taft schools are going full S.T.E.A.M ahead with summer program.
  • 59 people hired for STEM summer program teaching roles.
  • 6 week summer program for Taft Elementary School students.


This summer program is going full steam ahead with Taft's elementary school students. I emphasize the pivotal role of new hires in expanding these educational opportunities.

“I wake up every morning and I feel great knowing that I’m gonna help a kid hopefully find their passion in the future, lead them in the right direction,” says Jose Valenzuela-Torres.

Jose Valenzuela is one of the new hires in this six-week program, joined by 59 others who are dedicated to guiding Roosevelt elementary students through activities in science, technology, engineering, art, and more.

I came during an activity day at the Taft community garden where students explored environmental awareness… but Jose shared with me what a typical Monday through Thursday involves for these students.

“4th through 7th graders that I’m with, they have 3 stations to go to and they have a different activity, it’s either hands-on or learning” continues Jose.

Elijah Johnston also has a passion for stem activities. He tells me he has a background in music and is excited to share his expertise with the students during an upcoming music-themed day...

“I’m proud to show them that music is a path you can choose, it’s a career, people do it all the time, and it’s a choice, and it helps you express your emotions in so many different ways,” says Elijah.

Johnson mentioned that he has already taught students how to build robots, explore biology through various stations, examine organisms, and most recently, experience virtual reality firsthand.

“We’re having them all learn about all these different things because, in reality, these are what make up the jobs, make up our world, and some kids don’t know these are paths you can choose” continues Elijah.

Next week these students will go to the Taft natatorium for another stem-related activity.

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