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Jones County Elementary School's STEM program shows success

Last school year's 5th graders had above average science scores on the Georgia Milestone test.

GRAY, Ga. — They have several science, technology and engineering and mathematic (STEM) related courses at Dames Ferry Elementary School

The current fifth graders are using hands-on learning material to understand their work. 

Last week, at the Jones County school board meeting, it was reported that the fifth grade students had one of the highest science scores. Teachers says it's because the success of their STEM program. 

"It makes me feel very proud of them, and I take delight in knowing that they do so well on the test," fifth grade teacher Allison Oller said. 

The current sixth graders took the Milestone test during the 2021-2022 school year. According to the Georgia Department of Education, they scored a 92.3% in the Developing Learner and Above category, putting them in the top 8%. 

These Dames Ferry Dragons are very hands-on. 

Lola Montgomery and Chrislynn Holmes are best friends and met in fourth grade. They are using the skills they learn in class for their future jobs. 

Montgomery wants to be a social worker, and Holmes says she wants be a nurse like her mom. Both agree more girls should be in STEM.

"Usually people judge people just because of their gender because they assume girls can't do what boys can do," Holmes said.

The Georgia Milestones test scores show the girls and boys can do anything. Overall, 67.3% of fifth graders scored above average. 

Oller says the hands-on approach is the reason for the students success on the test.

"The state test seems like it's a lot of application and so that's kind of how I teach," she said.

The Dames Ferry Dragons learn about bats, the Earth, different animals and technology. Students are learning how to care for goats and plants too.

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