A new virtual program STEMming from the UNT College of Engineering is helping K-12 students get caught up on science, technology, engineering and mathematics lessons they missed due to school district closures during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Leticia Anaya, principal lecturer, along with her fellow faculty in the Department of Engineering Technology, Maurizio Manzo, assistant professor, and Huseyin Bostanci, associate professor, established the UNT K-12 STEM Catch Up Summer 2020 Program. The initiative is funded by the Nuclear Power Institute and involves providing summer mathematics and science classes during a 10-week period from June 1 to August 7, 2020.
Since March, very little academic learning by students enrolled in K-12 schools across Texas has been observed because of the pandemic, which is why we wanted to create this program,” said Anaya. “By helping these students get caught up on their lessons, they will be better prepared to tackle the next academic year.
Ten high school teachers were hired to teach algebra, biology, pre-calculus, physics and geometry at the high school level. Students in middle school will be able to take general science and general mathematics courses. All teachers within the program are certified by the State of Texas and have experience with teaching STEM classes within Denton and its surrounding areas. UNT students, too, are part of the effort, attending the classes and assisting as graders.
This camp is one of the few UNT summer camps that has been able to continue through this summer due to its virtual delivery,” said Manzo. “COVID-19 will most likely change our future way of life, but it also provides us opportunities to think about new ideas or ‘to think outside the box.’ The UNT K-12 STEM Catch-Up Summer 2020 Program is one of those ideas. In spite of Covid-19, there are always opportunities to do activities that benefit our community.