Kecoughtan High gets STEM program

Jordan Crawford | 8/4/2014, 11:49 a.m.

It’s commendable and even recommended for students and schools as a whole to be academically competitive. Recently, Kecoughtan High School was approved by the Virginia Department of Education to launch an Architecture and Applied Arts Governor’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Academy and the Hampton School Board.

The school division is boasting that academy graduates will have the foundational skills to enter corresponding programs at Thomas Nelson Community College and Old Dominion University.

The academy will enroll more than 480 students in grades 9 through 12. About 100 students will be admitted for the first year this fall, according to Hampton City Schools. The academy will offer programs in design/pre-construction, engineering and technology, visual arts and merchandising.

“We are delighted that Kecoughtan High School has been approved as an additional Governor’s STEM Academy in Hampton City Schools,” said division superintendent Linda Shifflette. “The Architecture and Applied Arts Governor’s STEM Academy continues our important work toward preparing our young people for college and careers.”

“The need for graphic designers will grow 13 percent, and modeling and simulation is growing in multiple career clusters such as health sciences, STEM, transportation, distribution and logistics,” the school division said in a news release. “Additionally, according to Virginia Labor Market Information, arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media careers are projected to grow more than 20 percent.”

The cost of starting and operating the academy is expected to be about $53,000 for the first year. It’s not clear whether additional staff will be needed.