BEAUFORT, N.C. (WNCT) – It’s almost time to head back to class and WNCT 9 On Your Side is in Carteret County honoring its STEM Teacher of the Month.
While it’s still summer vacation for many students and teachers, August’s honoree said hosting STEM camp helps not only students but the entire community.
“I’m the guy that can answer when will I ever use this,” said Richard Coffey, who knows the importance of teaching STEM to future leaders. During the school year, he teaches 6th through 8th grade. But this summer, he’s introducing STEM lessons to a much younger audience. “So our interest really is exposure with this camp and being able to open their eyes in the future, if they can, and, hopefully, this year it would make them apply themselves better in their math and science classes with that excitement and knowing what’s coming.”
A 10-year veteran teacher, he’s had success outside the classroom as a chemist and engineer in the manufacturing world. But he knows how to capture the attention of students at any age.
“I think the teaching of the STEM programs will only be strengthened by involvement with other entities,” he said.
And even over the summer, he’s eager to share his knowledge.
“We know that kids can get super excited long before they get to my door in 6, 7 and 8th grade so we’re doing an outreach with the Downeast Library Reading Program,” explained Coffey.
He also wants to get others in the community involved in the STEM program.
“It’s a great opportunity for us,” said a library representative. “We don’t get a lot of exposure. We’re a small library and we’re so excited to offer this to our youngest patrons.”
“Once the students see that this STEM is not just a class, it’s a way of doing things and understanding, I think it’s going to have a tremendous impact for them as they begin to think about their own careers,” said Coffey.