May 29, 2014 | Vol. 118 -- No. 6

Medical Lake School District unveils STEM lab

Medical Lake School District looks to share their resources with other schools as they opened their new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics lab at the high schoolschool at an open house, May 22.

Al Stover
Medical Lake High School students Logan Earl (left) controls one of the robotics featured in the STEM lab open house while Mikal Deiatrick (right) watches.

The development of the lab was paid for with a $100,000 grant the district received from the Cornelius E. Hagan Foundation.

The lab allows students from Medical Lake and other schools in the West Plains to explore engineering and features industry standard equipment that was refurbished by local engineers.

The $100,000 will be allotted over the course of three years, $25,000 each will be used in the first two years and $50,000 in the third year.

The lab will have curriculums for fourth-grade, seventh-grade and high school students and will have a three-year focus with the first being the engineering design process, the second robotics, and the third being computer integrated manufacturing. The lessons will fit within the Common Core standards.

STEM director Ann Everett said the lab would give students the skills to find jobs in the engineering field if they can't afford college.

"We should be preparing these kids for these opportunities," Everett said. "Every child that visits this lab can get the skills that will help prepare them for employment."

Medical Lake Superintendent Dr. Pam Veltri said the students are excited to see this vision come to life.

Freshman Mikal Deiatrick is excited at the prospect of working in the lab in the next school year.

"It's awesome to have a building full of equipment to build robots," Deiatrick said. "It's much more than what you think it would be. It's amazing what you can do with little parts and how you can replicate small parts."

Medical Lake High School teacher Bernie Polikowsky, said he was "looking forward to kick this off for students next year."

Everett said the lab would have never come into fruition without STEM and Career and Technical Education teachers, as well as the support of the community.

"It really takes a whole village that makes this work," Everett said. "Everybody has a vested interest in this. It's that resource of sharing that brings opportunity."

Al Stover can be reached at al@cheneyfreepress.com.

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