San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

April 8th, 2010
Saturn V getting ready to blast off


Saturn V sounds a little bit like a movie about NASA engineers and in a way, it could be. A new pilot magnet program in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), Saturn V will open with Hays CISD’s two newest schools, Ralph Pfluger Elementary and Carpenter Hill Elementary for the 2010-2011 school year.

The program will be based on state curriculum standards with a focus on project-based science and engineering education. Two classrooms of fourth grade students and two classrooms of fifth grade students, 176 students in all, at both of the elementary schools will participate in Saturn V.

“A high priority will be placed on the students’ ability to communicate their understanding through written, spoken and multimedia platforms,” said Dr. Ellen Lyon, Hays CISD instructional strategist-STEM. “This means a commitment to building 21st century skills such as critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration, creativity and innovation.”

Approximately one half of the participating students will be from within the attendance zones of the new schools, and the other half will be open to fourth and fifth grade students from any elementary school in Hays CISD.

“There are several reasons for investing in Saturn V. First and foremost, it is our moral imperative to educate our students in a way that realizes their potential and maximizes their choices in life,” Hays CISD Superintendent Jeremy Lyon said. “Having rich experiences in technical fields in elementary school will help some students see their future earlier and motivate them to pursue coursework that they may not have otherwise considered.”

Students will need to apply to participate in the program. The deadline for submitting the applications is April 30 at 5 p.m. Applications are available online at and may be dropped off or mailed to Hays CISD, 21003 Interstate 35, Kyle, Texas 78640.

Parents are invited to learn more about the Saturn V program by attending a meeting Thursday at 6 p.m. at Lehman High School cafeteria. A Spanish translator will be available.

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