Faine Elementary offers new STEM program

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -- After all of the consolidation, school closings and remodeling some Dothan City School students finally got a chance to meet their teachers and check out their school.

“I'm excited to see their faces especially the ones that went to school here at Faine last year. When they walk in it's going to look different, smell different, feel different, so can't wait to see them,” says Principal Jeff Torrence.

Faine Elementary is the only school in Alabama that is partnered with Pitsco Education.

“They came out about two weeks ago and put these stickers up for us and I think it just screams technology and STEM in this building,” says assistant principal Nikki Burns.

The school now has a technology hall with two STEM labs.

“If you're learning about bridges in your classroom, you're going to be learning about bridges. You're going to be building bridges. Tectonic plates... there is so much they can do -- earthquakes and volcanoes. If you think about it in science, they're going to be doing it in STEM lab,” says Burns.

All of the lessons will be hands and minds on.

“We didn't learn that way. You sat in a desk and you answered a question. This is the children asking the questions with their peers,” says Burns.

Even if you're not a teacher at the school, there might be room for you to get involved.

“If you have any knowledge about anything in science, technology, engineering, mathematics we would love to have your help because nothing is better than real-world experiences for our kids,” says Burns.

The staff and students are excited about the new things happening at their school.

“Change is good. I feel like the changes we've made in Dothan City Schools are for the best interest of our students, I’m excited about the changes,” says Torrence.

“I'm looking forward to learning a lot about science, technology, and math,” says 6th grader Latina Thomas.

For the first time, Faine and all other Dothan City Schools will have a Spanish program.

It's a program teachers say will pay off in the future.

“With careers, being bilingual can help you with job applications, as well as pay and it gives you better opportunities than I would say those that only speak one language,” says Spanish teacher Hilary Smith.

Even with a new STEM and language program, Principal Torrence says the main goal is to make sure students are reading at a high level before they leave elementary school.

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