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Senior trio raves about STEM education

RINCON — The STEM program at Effingham College & Career Academy received excellent grades from three of its top seniors.

During a Feb. 6 Effingham County Board of Education meeting, Micah Nix, Andrew Ji and Nick Palefsky raved about how their STEM experience has enhanced their educational pursuits. They are members of what will be STEM’s initial graduating class in Effingham County.

Nix thinks her STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education will benefit her greatly even though she has chosen to major in pre-law and political science. She said it has boosted her critical thinking skills.”

“I believe it one of the best decisions I have ever made,” she said.

Nix, an Effingham County student who has been accepted at Mercer and the University of Georgia, lauded the STEM Academy’s staff, including the administrators, teachers, custodians and cafeteria workers.

“Everyone there is so positive and encouraging,” she said.

Ji, a South Effingham STAR student who has been accepted at the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech, echoed Nix’s sentiments.

“The teachers and administrators are some of the friendliest and best people I’ve ever met,” he said.

Nix said STEM administrators and teachers are open to student ideas and are always looking for creative ways to teach. She said students working together also enhance the STEM experience.

“It is inarguably certain that STEM has prepared all of us for college in both rigor and responsibility,” she said. “Every student in the program has gained experience in public speaking, drafting scientific papers and conducting scientific experiments and research. Of course, many students at STEM aspire to do great work in science and the STEM fields so it is very beneficial for them to have that experience at such a young age.”

Nix said STEM’s greatest asset is challenging environment. 

Palefsky, inclined toward science, agreed.

“All of these classes have benefitted me because, not only have I learned to study from my ninth grade at year at South Effingham, I’ve also learned how to talk to people and present myself,” he said. “(In my) ninth-grade year, I definitely couldn’t do what our students are doing now. I can almost get through it now.

“... All the opportunities that we were given have really shaped us into the people we are today and I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity in our sophomore year.”