Nixon: STEM heading to 350 more elementary schools

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COLUMBIA - Governor Jay Nixon plans for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM, to be implemented in more schools. 

Nixon announced in his State of the State address Wednesday night his intention for "Project Lead the Way's" STEM program to be expanded to another 350 elementary schools across Missouri. 

Benton Elementary School in Columbia is the only elementary school within 100 miles of the city to currently have the program. 

"It's just a hands on approach to teaching integrated science, literacy and engineering skills," Benton STEM Specialist Dr. Heather Mccullar said. 

Mccullar said the program's learning style is very unique. 

"Tomorrow our third grade, for their forces and interactions, will be building out of lego robotic pieces," Mccullar said. "They're going to be building wheel and axles."

Mccullar said she's seen success with the program at Benton Elementary school and is excited to see "Project Lead the Way Launch" head to other elementary schools across the state. 

"Our teachers and students really enjoy the engineering challenges that they do," Mccullar said. "It's not the traditional way that kids are used to learning."

Nixon said he would fund the expansion with start-up grants that he has included in his Fiscal Year 2016 budget proposal. 

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