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PROPEL and Level Up Students Explore STEM Possibilities

PROPEL and Level Up students from 10 elementary schools and four middle schools experimented with robots and engaged with students and staff at the Academies of Loudoun’s Hour of Code event in December.

The goal of PROPEL, which supports fourth- and fifth-grade students, and Level Up, which serves sixth- through eighth-grade students, is to address equity through enrichment for high-achieving students underrepresented in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.

In preparation for the Hour of Code, PROPEL and Level Up students participated in after-school enrichment classes, focusing on robotics and computational thinking. These after-school sessions encourage PROPEL and Level Up students to think about a future in a STEM field. “We want to make sure that we are giving them a large scope of activities as they consider their high school pathways or college pathways and what direction they may want to go in the future,” said Tamara Morgan, LCPS’ PROPEL and Level Up Coordinator.

The goal of this event was also to encourage the PROPEL and Level Up students to consider applying to the Academies of Loudoun. “Students get so excited by coming to events at the Academies of Loudoun. They are always wondering if they could be a student at this school. Having events here lets them know that they fit in and have a chance of being a student here,” said Morgan.

Parents were also invited to attend an information session with Brian Markley, Academy of Engineering and Technology Director at the Academies of Loudoun. We are excited your children are here tonight,” said Markley. “We are excited that they can see themselves in this space. They belong, and they are welcome.”

Published January 3, 2023