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LTU and TRAILS team up to promote STEM education in Royal Oak

Release Date: February 16, 2022

Royal Oak students learn about circuits from Jay Jessen, assistant director of LTU's Marburger STEM Center. 
Royal Oak Schools photo

SOUTHFIELD—Lawrence Technological University's Marburger STEM Center is working with the Royal Oak Schools to bring science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education to a group of uniquely abled young adults.

Marburger STEM Center staff conducted an educational outreach program for Royal Oak's Transitioning Responsible Adults in Life Skills (TRAILS) program. TRAILS is for students ages 18-26 with disabilities who require special education services beyond high school.

Under the guidance of Jay Jessen, assistant director of the Marburger STEM Center, the TRAILS students built paper circuits that made an LED light bulb light up.

“The students from the TRAILS program were engaged in the STEM learning from beginning to end,” said John McAskin, TRAILS teacher. “Students were able to engage in meaningful discussions related to how they use electricity leading up to the hands on lesson. This workshop was particularly successful in that it was able to be accessed by students of all functioning levels. The students were amazed with what they were able to accomplish with the simple circuit project. They were equally excited to share their learning with their families as soon as they got home.”

Barb McCutchen, TRAILS paraprofessional, added that “seeing the students participate in the simple circuit workshop was such a great experience. The instructor did a great job explaining it to them. Each student enjoyed the process. I absolutely loved seeing their faces when it actually worked. They were so excited.”

McAskin said the TRAILS students and staff are looking forward to their next LTU workshop.

The Marburger STEM Center workshops are designed to coincide with the TRAILS academic program, which concentrates on functional academics, community based instruction, and worksite based learning skills. Other examples of TRAILS activities include visiting a local grocery store, preparing food in the program's kitchen, checking out books from the Royal Oak library, and visiting a Royal Oak gym for an exercise program.

LTU's Marburger STEM Center acts as the clearinghouse for the University's K-12 educational outreach efforts. For more information on how the center can bring STEM education experiences to a K-12 school, contact Jay Jessen, assistant director of the Marburger STEM Center, at (248) 204-2662 or jjessen@ltu.edu.  

Lawrence Technological University, www.ltu.edu, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Business and Information Technology, and Engineering. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 11 percent of universities for alumni salaries. Forbes and The Wall Street Journal rank LTU among the nation’s top 10 percent. U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best in the Midwest. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include more than 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.


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