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Mayor's STEM project returns this summer

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Larry Forsythe, mayor of Farmington, presided over 51 Farmington fourth graders in his second annual Mayor’s STEM Project held Tuesday morning at the Farmington Public Library.

Along with Forsythe, Librarian Travis Trokey and seven teachers from the Farmington R-7 School District assisted the children with assembling a battery powered cart kit as a way to encourage kids to take up the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. Forsythe said one of his favorite things to do as mayor is to give back to the kids in the city.

“You wouldn’t believe the kids that come up to me in Walmart or somewhere and know who I am," he said. "I go to the schools every year for the eighth graders. That’s why I stay in as mayor. This is what I enjoy. I wish I could get more projects going but I don’t have enough time.

"The resources are there if we just open up and use them. Kids need to be involved and doing something besides playing video games. They need to be working with their hands. In the summertime, it’s hard to get something like this going. I got with Travis and he decided to get these STEM kits.”

According to Forsythe, the Farmington Industrial Development Authority buys the STEM kits. “Some of these kids that are here today, their parents can’t afford something like this," he said. "Why not have the city help them out a little bit.

"Maybe one of these kids will take this and run with it — ‘That was a lot of fun, that STEM thing. I want to do it again!’ Maybe they will want to go on to be an engineer or something.”

Forsythe said he had wanted to do a program where the kids build and shoot off their own model rockets — something once offered in schools, but realized schools don't allow them anymore due to liability issues.

Mark Marberry is a reporter for the Farmington Press and Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3629, or at mmarberry@farmingtonpressonline.com

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