Baldwin Park Elementary gets new high-tech STEM lab

New addition funded entirely by donations

BALDWIN PARK, Fla. – Baldwin Park Elementary students are enjoying a new high-tech STEM lab, funded entirely by donations.

The Bobcat Fund, the school's parent-run foundation, raised more than $55,000 for the new lab. 

"I never thought I would be coding at the age of 10 in the fifth grade," said Lily Stahlman.

Fifth-grade students learn coding using special rover robots.

"They're really learning through beyond just sitting here. They're having fun and seeing what their brains can take," teacher Jessica Parker said. "They're measuring using inches and feet and also 90- and 45-degree angles. So they have to make it through mazes to make it the most accurate."

Students divide into teams, working together to determine the most accurate code for the robot.

"We all work together. It's a team effort for sure," Mason Moses said.

Learning to work together is part of a bigger lesson.

"And to work together to problem solve and what to do when it isn't right, it's a skill that kids really just need to learn and be immersed in. The collaborative learning is so huge. They're just supporting each other and making amazing results together," Principal Anna Ferratusco said.

In addition to coding robots, the lab offers a 3-D printer, virtual reality headsets, circuit boards and engineering kits. Each class spends about 45 minutes in the lab every other week.

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