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STEM students benefit from participating in the program

Perry High STEM has two options for students to chose from: Diploma and Scholar

Perry High STEM has two options for students to chose from: Diploma and Scholar

Perry High School

Perry High School

Perry High STEM has two options for students to chose from: Diploma and Scholar


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There are many different levels of education a student can experience here at Perry. There is an Honors program, an Advanced Placement program, an On-Level program, and the famous Science Technology Engineering and Math program (STEM). In STEM there are two options a student can choose: Diploma, which means that the student will only have to take honors Math and Science classes, and Scholar, which means that the student must take all honors core classes.

It was noted that in the 2016-2017 senior class, there were 54 STEM students graduating and of those, there were 29 Diplomas and 25 Scholars. The program has allowed these students to be exposed to a very extensive workload that is supposed to represent the workload found in college and in the workplace.

Fred Mann is the current STEM counselor and has been for five years. He explains that “STEM is almost like completing a major. Your major becomes math and science. It will benefit students who are going out into the medical field or the engineering field or the computer engineering field.”

However, not every student in the program sees themselves as engineers. There are many future doctors and chemists participating in the program as well. Kerry Chou, a junior in the program, sees himself as a future chemist.

“I would like to become a biochemist because I have always been interested in science. I see STEM as the program that gets you to do certain classes and also to motivate you to take those classes. I would’ve taken those classes anyway, but STEM just gave me that extra push,” Chou remarks.

More and more out-of-state colleges are beginning to recognize STEM and its graduates. Engineering schools such as Arizona State University, Texas A&M, Purdue, and more, have even created special programs within their curriculum to try and attract more future engineers to apply to their colleges.

Being an engineer does not mean that you are the person at a construction site wearing a hard hat and a reflective vest; being an engineer means you are the person who is actively working to make life easier to live whether it be through machines, medicine, electricity, construction, military service, and more.

Drew Gregory, a senior who has acknowledged the coming end to his four years of STEM, shares a laugh with fellow peers. “Why [do I want to become an aerospace engineer]? To be honest, because it pays a lot. What college do I want to go to? ASU. Which one? Which one is closer? Polytechnic it is. Why [Polytechnic]? Because it’s closer.” He does, however, comment on how STEM will help him post-graduation. “STEM will help me get to a better college and help me get a good job that will help me make a lot of money, which is most important.”

STEM does not just teach students math and science; it teaches students how to become effective communicators, how to practice good time management skills, and how to approach a problem from many different perspectives, which can be seen as crucial in the workplace.

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STEM students benefit from participating in the program