MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Arlington Community Schools is launching the next phase of its STEM program, the Academy of Engineering and Innovation at Arlington High School.
The academy will open in Fall 2019 for entering freshmen.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, employment in STEM is projected to grow to more than 9 million jobs between now and 2022.
The new Arlington program will allow students to focus on curriculum geared toward, not only STEM, but also coding, welding, and cybersecurity.
STEM and coding courses are already offered but the Freshman Academy will expand on more creativity and collaborative projects.
Educators believe it better prepares students to enter college or directly into the workforce.
"Kind of get a real world experience, whereas we are still connecting back to community because that's important but we also stress doing well but at the same time for engineering we have to experience risk and failures and how learn from that and communicate with groups," said Arlington Middle Coordinator Jason Winkler.
Those groups are also inclusive.
"We do want more girls involved and obviously you can tell that we don't have a lot of girls but we do want to put that out there that girls have that mindset," Arlingotn High STEM Teacher Casey Sandlin.
The academy curriculum is funded through the district's current budget.
Students say they are ready to join the wave of the future.
“I really like the prospect of being able to work on things while in high school rather than having to wait til I graduate from college,” said Arlington Middle School Student Nathan Richards.