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Knox County school district recognized by Apple for STEM in classrooms

Knox County R-I school district is recognized by Apple for the success of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in the classroom. Every student has his or her own iPad.

STEM, or science, technology, engineering and mathematics are important parts of the curriculum for grade and high school students. However the Knox County, Missouri R-I school district has gone above and beyond what others are in the area.

On Wednesday, the school district was recognized by Apple, one of only 400 schools in the entire world. Apple representatives from Chicago and Saint Louis traveled to the Edina, Missouri school Wednesday to officially name Knox County as an Apple Distinguished School.

The recognition comes following the district's decision to incorporate iPads in the classroom, where each student has their very own iPad replacing many textbooks and pieces of paper.

"The kids take notes with the iPads, they read books on the iPads, they do a lot of things with the iPads that normally we'd be doing paper and pencil," said Knox County R-I superintendent Andy Turgeon.
"Technology is integrating into our lives in a way that's really hard to deny," said Natalie Clark, a junior at Knox County High School. " We can't live without it at this point. So it's really awesome to me that Knox County has taken the initiative to take the technology and accept it."
"Now we have it right at our finger tips," said Laura Mayer, a senior at Knox County High School. "It's much easier to do homework, with everything right here instead of carrying four books around."

Students say the way teachers have embraced technology make coming to school exciting and keep students' attention.

"Especially for the younger kids, it's really made school, fun," Mayer said. "You really want to come to school, because you don't know what you're going to do that day. It's always kind of a new adventure."
"When you're sitting above 96 percent in your high school in attendance, that means the high school kids are coming to school," Turgeon said. "Especially if the seniors are at 96 percent attendance, that says a lot."

It's not just iPads though. All facets of STEM are an integral parts of Knox County's K-12 curriculum.

From 3D printers, metal work to a functioning TV studio, Knox County is working to stay ahead of the curve.

From when students start kindergarten to when they graduate high school, the world may be completely different.

For the Knox County School District, "What's it going to look like in 13 years?," Turgeon asked. "We can't predict that. What we hope to do is give them the tools to be ready in 13 years, or maybe give them the tools to let them create what 13 years will look like."

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