Positively Jax: Twin Lakes Academy students get first-hand experience in the world of STEM

Students at a local middle school are learning more about the field of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) thanks to a partnership with CSX. It’s part of a program called “Innovation Day” where students at Twin Lakes Academy learn from professionals.

“It’s important because we need to spark the minds and create educational experiences for the students as it relates to STEM,” Christina Stallings, Senior Technical Director at CSX, said.

Dozens of students spent Wednesday rotating through different stations, seeing demonstrations on robotics, drones, coding and engineering.

“The partnership will provide resources for our kids to be more digitally literate and also use artificial intelligence in the most appropriate way,” Aurelia Williams, Principal at Twin Lakes Academy Middle School said.

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The school now has an “Innovation STEM room” where students can continue to get a better understanding of artificial intelligence.

Superintendent Dr. Dana Kriznar says this partnership with CSX is a win for the area. “I think that the more we can foster those partnerships with business, and are really connected with the community, the better the students will be in the future,” she said.

Students say having professionals show them the ropes makes them think more about their future.

“It’s making me more interested in those types of jobs more now than I was before because of everything I’m learning,” Emily Napoli, 8th grade student, said.

“I’m more interested to learn about how everything works and how it’s actually built,” Sydney Harris, 8th grade student, said.

School leaders say it’s a great start in creating bright futures for their students.

“We are so excited and so appreciative, but more importantly we are so open to whatever tomorrow brings for our students,” Williams said.

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