Fort Kent K-6 students explore engineering through Project Lead the Way

FORT KENT, Me (WAGM) Meet the future engineers and scientists of the St. John Valley. For two full days, students at Fort Kent Elementary School participated in a Project Lead the Way Curriculum -- where students engage in a hands on classroom environment to develop knowledge and skills they need to thrive. Kindergarteners designed computer games..

Second graders worked to solve erosion problems.

And fifth graders made robots.

Teachers say it was emotional at times for them to watch their students learn in this way and to have them enjoy it so much.

"I had a student come up to us and say, miss, we didn't even have reading or math today...and then kinda step back and we looked and said you didn't have math or reading? And then they thought wait a minute, we did have math and reading all day today," said 5th grade teacher Crystal Jandreau.

"The staff is just as excited as the students so watching them with these programs we want to be in there and see what everyone else is doing," said 4th grade teacher Kelley Marquis.

The project was sponsored locally by Twin Rivers Paper Company of Madawaska.

"They're our future employees, hopefully. And we want to keep out kids in the St. John Valley," said Glenn Saucier, vice president of human resources for Twin Rivers.

And they really could be future employees - as it seems their enthusiasm has stretched beyond the school's boundaries.

"I had a parent text me last night and thank me, her daughter came home and told her that she wanted to be an engineer when she grew up...she said all through dinner she could," said kindergarten teacher Kellie Michaud.

Twin Rivers is also sponsoring the curriculum in Frenchville and Madawaska.