Danville Public Schools launches new AIM STEM academies for K-12 students

Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 4:48 PM EST
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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - Danville Public Schools recently announced its new AIM STEM program for students of all ages.

AIM stands for Activate, Innovate and Motivate.

The Activ8 Academy will allow elementary school students as early as kindergarten to explore careers in hospitality and tourism, law and leadership, health and more at I.W Taylor.

“The ability to explore different careers available in the region will be relatively new for DPS elementary students,” said Olivia McCraw, Science Curriculum Coordinator for Danville Public Schools. “We want them to know what things are available to them more than just what they see every day.”

“That will afford elementary school children an option,” explained Dr. Angela Hairston, Danville Public Schools Superintendent. “Because of our focus on reading and those kinds of things, oftentimes they have minimal time to really learn about the things that most excites, them which is the science curriculum.”

Innov8 Academy will allow middle schoolers to dive deeper into several STEM pathways and will eventually take place at the renovated Langston campus.

“I think those necessary skills and competencies opens so many doors and prepares them for whatever success may be for them. It also provides for the region, as well, because they’re meeting the needs of all the new things that are coming to Danville,” added McCraw.

Motiv8 Academy will provide additional career programs for high schoolers such as fashion, welding, marketing and more.

Motivate will take place at the current Career & Technical Education building after renovations are complete.

“We wanted to expand upon the really great things we already have in place, but we also wanted our students at a very young age to know what’s available to them. That was why we wanted to introduce it in elementary school, build some capacity in middle school, and then really open the doors for our kids in high school.”

The pathways will begin next school year and the renovated labs for each academy will open in 2025.

There will be an application process for each program.