JOHNSTON, Ia. - Think back to your school days— taking notes, studying them, and then hoping to score a high grade on the test.
But for some Johnston kids, the school day at Summit Middle School features so much more.
They're taking electives in engineering, and using their skills to solve real-world problems. Sixth and seventh grade students are learning basic engineering skills through Summit's "Project Lead the Way" program.
"It's an environment where students are able to be hands-on and actually learn and develop in their own paths.", says Rob Robison, their teacher.
The knowledge they gain is then applied to situations in the real world.
"We get always a problem, and we have to find the solution for it, and the procedure to find the solution for it," says Edina Suljic, a 7th grader at Summit.
In this case, it's to make building toys less complex for someone with cerebral palsy.
"Instead of having it full, making it a plastic piece for people with cerebral palsy to be able for them... to be able to make it easier for them to remake it.", says Sam Frampton, another 7th grader in the class.
Even at a young age, these kids are striving to have a positive impact on the world around them.
"Having it modified in a way so that it's easier for them would make it so then, it makes it seem a lot...makes me feel happy about myself in that someone else is able to accomplish something.", says Sam.
"You want to help people as much as you can, and I feel like, if this is the way you can help people, then it'll make a good impact.", adds Edina.
Going beyond just pencil and paper, thinking outside the box, and paving the way toward a brighter future.
"When they get done in this classroom, when they're posed a problem, whether it's in life, in school, wherever-- they can solve it. It's just a problem, it's just a stepping stone. If you take the right steps, and if you try, you can solve it.", says Robison.
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