Middle school program helps kids pursue careers in technology

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Over the past decade, educators have emphasized the need to promote and advance STEM education in the U.S. STEM, or Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, is seen as critical for students to learn at an early age – and America has fallen woefully behind other countries in providing this curriculum to children. One school is looking to change that.

At the Howard Middle School of Mathematics and Science, run by Howard University, low-performing students of all socioeconomic levels are given a rigorous education in STEM fields.

"What [Howard Middle School of Mathematics and Science] … does is looks to accelerate the education of students - not just to bring them up to proficiency, but to take them to levels of mastery by introducing extreme rigor within the STEM disciplines, as well as unique course offerings that aren’t typically made available at the middle school level with a practical component that exposes kids to hands on project-based learning," said Yohance Maqubela, the school’s executive director.

The school offers programs like robotics, architecture and mechanical engineering. Their newest program, called "Start-Up Middle School Program," teaches inner-city students how to develop technology of the future.

"We combine traditional computer science education with entrepreneurial studies," Maqubela told Fox Business’ Lauren Simonetti on FoxNews.com LIVE. "We bring in professionals from the outside world to help to teach our students how not only to start their own businesses, but how to actually develop the tools that they will need to create those businesses."

The school’s rigorous programs require dedication and hard work. Maqubela says he warns students they will have more homework than they’ve ever had in their lives. But the results have been overwhelming – more than 90 percent of the school’s students go on to college.

"We have to prepare ourselves for the fact that we’ve shifted from an industrial economy to an intelligence-based economy, and not just at the entry level, but at the highest levels," said Maqubela. "If we want our students to be able to compete with the best and brightest from around the world … we have to do this. Not just in little pockets, but aggressively across the board."

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