STEM session wraps up at Selma High

Published 9:32 pm Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Selma Links Chapter will bring the spring session of its Stem Career Academy to an end Tuesday. The last meeting for the academy will be held at Selma High School in the library at 3:30 p.m.

Since March, students from area schools who have an interest in pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math have been attending the academy, which usually meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Selma High School.

Selma Links Chapter President Charlotte Griffeth said she believes the program has given many children guidance and helped them to be college ready.

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“We take them through different engineering disciplines so they can experience what it would be like to work in the actual fields of work,” Griffeth said.

The academy has partnered with Wallace Community College, Tuskegee University, Alabama State University, Hobb Engineering Company, International Paper and others to bring professionals in STEM related fields to mentor students.

Griffeth said that although the spring session is about to end, the academy would soon start matching students with professionals to shadow over the summer. Some will experience STEM programs at different universities in the state.

This is the second year the academy has been offered in the area. It has about 30 students from city, county and private schools including Southside High School, Meadowview Christian School and Selma High School to name a few. All of the students are ninth through twelfth graders.

Griffeth said the Selma Links Chapter has plans to eventually start a bridge program for middle school students as well. Specifically, they would like to start off with R.B. Hudson Middle School and work their way through other schools in the Selma City School System.

“The academy is good for students who want to have jobs and make good money, and want to pursue careers of science, technology, engineering and math,” Griffeth said. “It helps prepare them to be career ready as they transition from high school to college and then into the workforce.”

She said students have had hands-on training, including projects with density and water purifying. Griffeth said the Alabama Department of Environmental Management has brought equipment so students can experience what they will work with in STEM fields.

Any students who are interested in participating in the fall STEM Academy need to speak with their high school counselor and submit written permission signed by their parents, a math teacher, a science teacher and also write a brief essay that answers questions about their knowledge of careers in the field and why they want to be a part of the program.

“These students are truly impressive. I think the academy has gone extremely well so far,” Griffeth said.