Reported By Regina Raccuglia
Parents have an opportunity to learn about a Metro Nashville Public Schools program that's getting national attention.
Video: 3 Metro Schools Converted To Focus On Key Areas
Metro is converting three schools to STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) schools. They will focus learning on key areas and are open to students no matter where they live.
It's specialized education that begins in kindergarten and stays on that path through high school.
In the fall, three Metro schools -- Hattie Cotton Elementary, Bailey Middle School and Stratford High School -- are converting into STEM magnet schools.
Teachers at the STEM magnet schools will use a more hands-on and technology-based approach in the classroom, and they will get help from scientists and engineers.
Thanks to a $1.2 million federal grant, Hattie Cotton teachers are partnering with the pros at Vanderbilt University to create lessons that offer real world experience.
"It's great because you know when they turn in their work, they're not just turning in their work. They're turning in, not to sound cliche, but they're turning in their future," said fourth-grade teacher Greta Knudson.
Educators said the best part of all of this is that now students have a direct line to high-paying jobs. For example, the students who go to Hattie Cotton can go through the STEM program at that school and then Bailey Middle and then Stratford High School. And then, hopefully, they make it to college and their dream job.
"We're preparing our children for jobs that haven't even been created yet," said Hattie Cotton Principal Karen Hamilton. "So STEM really puts these children on the right path."
Metro school leaders are having a showcase night Tuesday about the new STEM schools from 5:30-7 p.m. at Stratford.
Copyright 2011 by WSMV.com. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.Got a story idea? E-mail newstips to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the newsroom 24/7 at 615-353-2231.