Plattsburgh, NY – 10/24/2011 – A special report on the unique science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) opportunities will headline Mountain Lake Journal EXTRA on Thursday, October 27th at 8:30pm, and will be available online at video.mountainlake.org. This segment is accompanied by lesson plans and resources designed to bring STEM learning to the classroom and home, and are available at mountainlake.org/stem.
The PBS program Need to Know invited PBS stations across the country to produce segments illustrative of how a specific national issue is having impact on local communities. Mountain Lake PBS was one of eight public television stations across the country selected to receive a grant of $6,250. Nationally, STEM skills have suffered among students. Mountain Lake PBS is addressing this issue locally by exploring one unconventional way students are getting hands-on STEM experience.
This segment features twenty-three year old student Nick Heywood, who is just one of many young people who have found a unique path to learning essential STEM skills in this small community - stock car racing. He races every Saturday night at Airborne Speedway, supported by a close-knit pit crew - his mom, his dad, his sister and her fiancé.
Nick is currently a third-year student teacher at SUNY Plattsburgh with hopes to teach the next generation workforce after graduation. When he incorporates his race car into classroom lessons - even at the early childhood level - the children take notice.
Nick says, "I got technical skills at the raceway that I never learned in high school… geometry, math, and finances… even fuel consumption. There are a million lessons with racing." Nick aims to take these experiences into the classroom - particularly with older children who can get the most from the science of racing.
The children of raceway families are receiving in-depth, hands-on learning in a supportive environment that gives them critical 21st Century skills when they most need it. This broadcast paired with the online and outreach components will make a compelling case for incorporating STEM education initiatives into the fabric of our community through some non-traditional partners like the local raceway.
Mountain Lake PBS has already begun filming, and will air this segment on Mountain Lake Journal EXTRA on Thursday, October 27th at 8:30pm.