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First Year Study on State's STEM Program

CENTRAL CITY (CBS 2/FOX 28)--Iowa issued a report card today on its a push to get kids interested in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.

Nearly 90 percent of students say they are now interested in at least one of those subjects.

Nearly 95 percent believe science and technology are making our lives better.

It's the first day of classes at central city and these students are building a scooter.

Its an electric robotic scooter.

"We have a lot of different programing classes and a virtual reality class where kids are actually doing programing and creating video games, said Central City High School principal, Jason McLaughlin.

As part of the school's stem program, they blend technology into everyday learning, like one-on-one laptops in class and at home.

According to a new report 62 percent of urban parents believe their children are well prepared in STEM subjects. That's compared to 37 percent of rural parents."

One year into stem, the state says it's working. More parents know about the program, more kids want in the classes, but theres a disconnect between large urban districts and smaller rural ones.

"I think it's about access because when you have smaller school districts you can offer only so much, said Senator Liz Mathis.

In fact, of the 38,000 students participating in STEM the majority come from bigger districts.

"I think they haven't given it the same attention. I would agree with that, said McLaughlin.

One parent says the challenge is getting smaller districts to give classes like this a try.

"Central City is fairly unique, but the opportunity is there for the other school districts. Maybe we just need to educate them better, said parent Craig Martinson.

That means one-on-one conversations with administrators and students.

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