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Waukesha S.T.E.M. students see real world application for classroom lessons

Posted at 6:25 PM, Feb 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-25 19:25:34-05

WAUKESHA — We've all been sitting in a class asking ourselves, "when am I ever going to use this in the future?" Well, on Wednesday, students from the Waukesha S.T.E.M. Academy got the answer to their questions.

They toured Spancrete, a contracting firm in Waukesha.

"We want to start them early to start thinking about how they could be engineers or other things they learn in the school classroom. How it can actually work in the real-world versus waiting until college to experience some of those things," Kimberly Wacker, the Senior Vice President of Spancrete, said.

Its field trips like these that bridge the gap between homework and practical application.

Students rotated between four stations: virtual reality, coding, 3-d modeling, and video editing. Each one had its own hands-on activity.

Fifth-grader Rowan Jemok enjoyed rearranging a virtual park with 3-D modeling software.

"Design your own place, and if it doesn’t look right to you, you can just change it," she said.

It goes beyond the novel idea of creating a dream playground. Jemok said she wants to be a paleontologist when she is older. The 3-D modeling exercise and the virtual reality tour of a half-constructed building gave her ideas on how that type of software could be useful in the future.

"With how we did the playground, I could easily put together skeleton or something," Jemok said.

It's common to hear how students aren't being prepared for the real world or aren't learning practical career skills. Well on Tuesday, Waukesha S.T.E.M. students got a first-hand look at exactly how their lessons in class translate into the "real world."

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