WASHINGTON, Ind. (WAWV/WTWO) – There’s a new learning opportunity for students in the area.

Washington Catholic Schools announced earlier this week that Pre-K through 12th grade will become STEM schools. This will be the first STEM preschool in the area.

The school system raised funds for the STEM curriculum at their annual gala fundraiser last summer.

The program allows the students to have hands on planning, building, and problem solving experiences.

Washington Catholic Preschool Teacher Sara Vogues said STEM units were added into the curriculum back in August, and have since helped her students stay engaged.

“As a preschool teacher I don’t like work sheets because it doesn’t truly teach these kids,” Vogues said. “It’s effective to get children involved in their projects and learning their ABC’s with their hands.”

Washington Catholic Schools Kindergarten Teacher Shannon Lee said the STEM curriculum has been effective in her classroom as well.

“This year I’ve noticed such a growth in their vocabulary as far as science goes,” Lee said.

Both Vogues and Lee say the new curriculum has helped students assess their work.

Kindergartner Sadie Gilley said she loves the creativity that STEM projects provide.

“During free builds we make houses and it’s always a fun time for my friends and I,” Gilley said.

To learn more about registration for the upcoming school year or scholarships available for the On My Way Pre-K program visit wccardinals.org.