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Duncan has a brand new way of learning for some students

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DUNCAN, Okla_It's a class where the teacher doesn't really teach, there are no textbooks, but students at Duncan Middle School are learning and loving it.

STEM class, combines science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Duncan school administrators hope this is just the beginning of a more engaging way to challenge students and educate them like never before.

We've all been in the class where the teacher stands in the front of the room and lectures, or teaches students. You raise your hand and ask the teacher, that's old school, not that there's anything wrong with that, but all it takes is one STEM class, and you get it. It's different and different is good. The kids get it too, they are learning by doing, having fun, working with a partner, if all classes were like this, kids would love school.

The teacher doesn't really teach, she is there as a facilitator, she doesn't have to bug them to do their work either, they like it, therefore they do it.

"It is something that the kids are learning to do by themselves without somebody having to tell them how to do it. That's the biggest thing that I can think of in this classroom. It is so individualized and so fun, it's just fun," facilitator Tammy Bennett said.

What's the best way to learn? For a lot of people, it's by doing.

"You learn a lot more. You're doing it hands on. I mean you're using yourself, you're not just looking in a book or asking the teacher how do I do this?"

When you ask the students which method they prefer, old school books and teacher lectures or this method, guess what they prefer?

"I prefer this because it makes you personally have to think more, and have the teacher think less. As Miss Bennett said when this started, she is the facilitator not the teacher, so we can't just ask her for help all the time you have to resource the internet and other sources."

Students get their computer as class starts and go to work, without prompting, begging or pleading because they want to do it. A teacher for 25 years, Miss Bennett admits she's learned more than a few things since this class began.

"I've learned that the kids are more engaged with what they want to do. They get to work individually by themselves or with a partner. I've learned that they are learning to communicate well with each other."

This teaching concept, hands on learning utilizing technology could very well become something you will see at schools everywhere.

"Classroom of the future, hands on, paperless, all those things that you think of that's coming in the future.

This is not your typical classroom. Even when Miss Bennett was on the other side of the room, the time when you could try to get away with stuff, they kept working. These students are having fun, it is obvious, and it is obviously effective.

There are two STEM classes this year for eighth graders. Next year, Duncan Middle School hopes to expand the program to six classes for sixth through eighth grade students.

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