SCRIPPS RANCH, Calif. (KGTV) - Students at Jerabek Elementary School have a new way to get hands-on learning in the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts and math.
The school recently opened a brand new STEAM Lab.
"It helps kids learn things that are important for the real world in a way that's exciting for them," says Terra Norine, a mother at the school who also volunteers in the lab. "It's way more hands-on and group-oriented to really prepare them for what's to come in the workforce."
Traditionally, STEAM Labs have been found in middle and high schools within the San Diego Unified School District. This lab is the first one in an elementary school, giving kids as young as kindergarten a chance to immerse themselves in STEAM.
Parents approached the school with the idea in 2017. Since then, $150,000 worth of donated equipment helped make the lab a reality.
Students begin learning the basics of robotics in kindergarten. By 5th grade, they're able to design, build, program and operate a robot.
Parents who volunteer often come from STEAM careers in the community, giving students a chance to interact with and learn from professionals in the fields they study.
"We want the kids to feel a sense of ownership and to feel empowered to come in here and start taking challenges and risks and do things that will enhance their skill set," says Norine.
While students have already begun to use the lab, the school will hold a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 2 at 4:30 pm.