Local fifth graders SURGE into learning

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The classrooms and labs of Gulf Coast State College were "surging" with excitement as some Bay District Schools fifth graders learned STEM-related skills.

"SURGE" stands for Students Understanding the Research and Groundwork of Experiments.

Katie McCurdy, STEM Administrator for Gulf Coast State College and Bay District Schools, said 130 students from Springfield Elementary, Oakland Terrace School for the Visual and Performing Arts, and St. Andrew School rotated between hands-on stations about rocketry, unmanned vehicles, cybersecurity, and origami.

The classes were under the direction of GCSC faculty and a retired Navy base engineer.

"It is definitely a partnership, because, again, we're trying to get our students immersed in the different STEM fields, as well as see the different careers that are out there that they could go into once they finally finish their K-12 educational path and really expose them to what's here on Gulf Coast State College's campus," McCurdy said.

This is the third year of SURGE events, with the fall event being held at GCSC and the spring event at FSU Panama City.