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Zaneis students explore coding, esports in STEM lab

Zaneis Public School unveiled a $54,000 computer lab for students to explore learning through...
Zaneis Public School unveiled a $54,000 computer lab for students to explore learning through STEM: science, technology, engineering, and math.(KXII)
Updated: Aug. 22, 2021 at 5:12 PM CDT
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ZANEIS, Okla. (KXII) - Zaneis Public School unveiled a $54,000 computer lab for students to explore learning through STEM: science, technology, engineering, and math.

Zaneis STEM teacher Jaysa Jenkins said kids are already excited about the new course.

“It’s refreshing to see them come in excited to learn, be creative, be innovative,” Jenkins said.

She’s been learning about how 21st century computer skills are important in today’s workforce, but lots of students don’t have them.

“Some of my 8th graders in 6th grade when they used Chromebooks, they weren’t comfortable using those and were typing with one finger,” Jenkins said. “So even just coming in and logging in or doing simple tasks on a computer helps build that confidence.”

So when the superintendent told her he had extra funds just for technology, she started building a lab. She handpicked everything from headphones, to lights, to high speed computers.

Student Ava Forsythe said she’s proud that Zaneis has the STEM lab.

“I thought it was cool that we had something different than everyone. We can just play games and learn things,” Forsythe said. “I’ve learned how to better use everything on the computer.”

But it’s not all fun and games.

“I couldn’t just let my kids come in and play games every day all week although I feel like that’s what they’re most excited about,” Jenkins said. “So I wanted to expand on that and turn it into a STEM lab that allowed them to play esports occasionally too.”

Students are also learning coding and other computer science skills, and collaborating on projects.

Maximo Dunn said the class helps him prepare for the future.

“I’m excited about getting to learn about technology that will help me later in life as well as my classmates,” Dunn said.

Emmajo Phelps wants to work in a STEM field.

“Not a lot of people around here know how to do some of the stuff we’re learning,” Phelps said. “I wanna learn how to code and make apps.”

Layla Montgomery is excited to learn engineering.

“Part of engineering can be making stuff,” Montgomery said. “And I’m really creative. I feel like part of engineering can be like architecture, in a way. And that’s something I really wanna do when I’m older cause I like building.”

Jenkins said the STEM lab lets kids get involved with the school, and work together on projects.

“We have a lot of students here who maybe don’t participate in sports, which is kind of our only elective,” Jenkins said. “It gives a fun space to the students who aren’t involved in that, and gives them a way to be involved in the school outside of sports.”

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