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St. Peterís School in Waldorf recently implemented a challenging curriculum in first, sixth and seventh grades that fosters studentsí knowledge in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math.

The STEM program allows students to explore opportunities in robotics, engineering, computer programming and environmental engineering.

The program also prepares students for advanced classes in high school and introduces them to possible career opportunities.

In keeping with the forward-thinking at St. Peterís School, the administration introduced a program called Engineering is Elementary for the first grade, according to a news release from the school.

Students examine specific issues such as invasive species, deforestation, earthquake-resistant structures and wind and weather.

After researching a problem, students use the engineering design process to develop solutions to the problems they have identified.

During the research phase of the program, students learn about other cultures and enhance their reading skills.

Sixth-graders at St. Peterís are participating in a regionwide program offered in collaboration with the College of Southern Maryland.

Through the program, students examine a specific environmental issue that affects their community.

They develop a solution to the identified problem and then test the solution.

Students will present their findings April 13 at a regionwide competition at CSM.

In conjunction with the U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program, the seventh-graders are part of a virtual science fair called eCybermission.

Working in three- or four-person teams, they will use U.S. Army Web resources to collaborate with their teammates, prepare mission folders, and upload data and graphs to support their conclusions.

Each team will have its projects evaluated by science teachers and scientists from all over the country.