Quad Cities students line up to join after school program

Posted on: 10:23 pm, November 12, 2013, by , updated on: 11:35am, November 13, 2013

Many kids might see staying after school as a form of punishment, but there’s a waiting list for some kids in Rock island to do just that.

It’s the end of the school day and the majority of students at the Rock Island Center for Math and Science are heading home, but some still have some learning to do.

Some students stay two hours after school every Tuesday, all on their own free will.  It’s part of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy‘s STEM-based program called Fusion.

“They don’t have time in the normal class day to necessarily cover all of the concepts that we expose them to in Fusion,” said teacher Charlotte Johnson.

The schools that participate picked students in the top 20 percent of their class.  

“It’s usually just right at my level. It’s never too hard, but it’s never too easy,” said fourth grader Joe Brune. 

All of the activities the students do are hands-on.

“You really get to see how it works instead of just reading out of a book,” said sixth grader Ashley Johnson.

The classes are made up of fourth through sixth graders, and they all challenge each other. 

“They play off each other. They’re like little sponges.  It’s neat,” said teacher Amy Moffitt.

The teachers who are involved in the program spend their summertime getting trained on the curriculum.    

“We are actually the students, we sit down and do the exact same activities they’re doing,” said Moffitt.

The program helps students bounce new concepts off each other and dive into deeper thinking that will help them later in life.    

“I think the payoff is incredible,”said Moffitt.

The program is a statewide program in Illinois. Other area school districts participating include East Moline and Galesburg.