What do 50 middle school students, Carbon Career & Technical Institute, Lehigh Carbon Community College, the SHINE after-school program and hover crafts have in common?
The answer is the new Carbon County STEM Career Academy.
Rachel Strucko, coordinator of the career academy, explained that beginning on Sept. 26, 50 sixth, seventh and eighth graders from Carbon County's five school districts chosen by the schools' guidance counselors will participate in the first ever career academy at CCTI in Jim Thorpe. The four-week course, hosted through a partnership by LCCC, CCTI and SHINE, will focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). The classes will be held Monday through Thursday.
Strucko said students will arrive at CCTI around 3:30 p.m. for a three-hour, hands-on learning experience. Each week will include homework help, a full meal, and lessons on a different focus area, including green energy, logistics/transportation/mass transit, engineering, and advanced manufacturing information systems.
Students will be instructed by CCTI teachers. They will then apply the lessons they learn on projects based on STEM in CCTI's state-of-the art labs.
"We're going to concentrate on academics mixed with real life hands-on application with some soft skills," Strucko said. "There are a lot of programs out there but we're coupling everything we le