A different and better kind of spring break

Study after study shows children in the United States lagging behind those in other countries in terms of education, especially the so-called STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

While many are content to wring their hands over the situation or bask in denial, it was gratifying to see Michigan Technological University actually do something about the problem.

Last week was spring break for most local school districts and we imagine many students spent the week on vacation with their families in warmer climes, or used their free time to watch TV and play video games. But not all. Some local elementary students spent part of their break learning about science and technology.

As Gazette writer Meagan Stilp reported in her Page 1 story Friday, Spring Break Camp was held last Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday giving students in grades one through six instruction from Michigan Tech students, staff and faculty.

Topics such as transportation, wildlife, electronics, exercise science and chemistry were taught during the three days.

Hats off to Tech’s Education coordinator Joan Chadde for her leadership in this endeavor. It was an ambitious undertaking that not only involved classroom activities but the logistics of outside-the-classroom events such as a field trip to the Nara Center.

Chadde and the Tech students and staff certainly went the extra mile for the youngsters, planting seeds of science and technology that will hopefully grow to not only enrich their lives but the lives of all of us.

Events such as the Spring Break Camp aren’t easy to pull off. It takes commitment, a commitment that Michigan Tech is obviously serious about.

With such commitment and future inventive activities, we’re confident American students will soon return to their place among the finest in the world.