Houston County has two STEM schools, Northside Elementary and Eagle Springs Elementary, that focus on subjects like science and math.
Thomson Middle School in Centerville is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel on the track to STEM certification. Madison Cavalchire found out how the school's using solar, to stay focused on STEM.
The future of STEM schools in Houston County just got a little brighter, after Flint Energies and Green Power EMC donated a solar panel to Thomson Middle School in Centerville.
"What better way, then to put a solar panel at a middle school to teach kids about solar energy and about renewables in general," says Marian McLemore with Flint Energies.
"Science is my favorite subject because it's a hands on experience," says D'Alessandro Sandoval.
"Science is my favorite subject because I learn more about the world around me," says Nazaria Mitchell.
Thomson teacher and STEM coordinator, Terra McMillan, says she has a lot of learning planned, using the solar panel. She says the solar panel is powering some of the lights in the school building.
"Students are going to learn how to design and build solar panels that are cost efficient and self-cleaning," McMillan says.
McMillan says the school is about two-and-a-half years into the three-year process of becoming STEM certified.
"A committee comes down, they come through your school, they interview the students, they interview the teachers, and they pretty much look at what all you have in place, and they make a decision and determine whether you will be STEM certified or not," McMillan says.
The solar panel's just part of the school's STEM-based curriculum. Thomson also has a greenhouse, a fish hatchery, goats, ducks, chickens, and they're raising money to build a barn.
"We got to get their interest in STEM related fields early, and Middle School is the perfect age for that," McMillan says.
McMillan says Thomson is aiming to get STEM certified sometime during this school year.