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First elementary STEM academy opens in Jefferson City School District

Jefferson City School District

Thorpe Gordon Academy reopened as Thorpe Gordon STEM Academy Monday, making it Jefferson City's first STEM school in the district.

Elected officials and school representatives gathered in the gymnasium for a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the summer-long process of renovations.

The district spent around $6 million for the new transformation.

"We're always working to bring more opportunities for STEM and really wanted to put that importance of science, especially at the elementary level. So this is a way of us to showcase those efforts," Deputy Superintendent Heather Beaulieu said.

The school began planning the new addition last year. The project's construction was carried out over the summer and finished for the first day of school.

Teachers worked to incorporate all STEM-related topics into the curriculum over the summer. Their goal is to make sure the students are able to receive more hands-on opportunities related to science, technology, engineering and math with the new curriculum.

"I love watching students do hands-on projects," Beaulieu said. "They love science and sometimes in the elementary grades we haven't devoted as much time to science as we do to reading and math, so I am excited to come in and see the kids just loving it and loving the STEM lab."

KOMU 8 is a full-powered NBC affiliate operating as an independent commercial property. As such, KOMU 8 is the only major network affiliate in the United States that acts as a university-owned commercial television station utilizing its newsroom as a working lab for students.
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