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 Rogers Park Golf Course and the Hillborough River from above. - Julie Branaman
Rogers Park Golf Course and the Hillborough River from above. - Julie Branaman | Show Photo

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Superheroes Help Kids Learn STEM Subjects, Tampa

FCAT scores got you down? Wondering whether your grade-schooler's lack of interest in science, technology, engineering and math means she won't be able to get into college much less land a job that pays a decent wage? (Really?)

Before you dismiss her chances and start investing all your hopes and dreams in lottery tickets, consider how you can introduce her and her teachers to the Scientific League of Superheroes, a new project developed by three Ph.D. candidates in USF's College of Engineering.

The students -- Samuel DuPont (MegaByte), Audrey Buttice (Sublimation),  and Robert Bair (Super Conductor) -- are working with four Hillsborough County elementary schools to pique kids' interests in STEM studies.

Wearing costumes and masks similar to cartoon action characters and making things go poof in the classroom in the middle of the day, the college students challenge their young audience members to find the fun in STEM.

Already, teachers at Tampa Palms, Robles, Chiles and Maniscalco elementary schools say their students are performing better in the classroom and expect higher test scores in the future. See this report by ABC Action News.

The Super Hero Training Network, an outgrowth of the National Science Foundation-funded STARS program, is now looking for participants for next school year.

Writer: Diane Egner
Source: Vickie Chachere, USF
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