Merced school officials opened the doors to Steam Building to the community

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Merced students are freezing the technology of today for the students of tomorrow. (KFSN)

As science moves forward, Merced students are freezing the technology of today for the students of tomorrow.

These inventions are ones educators are hoping Merced students will one day create as students get hands-on with science at the Merced Steam Center.

"It really marks the next era of education system and what we can provide to our students," said Paula Heupel.

On Wednesday, past students and present local leaders came together for the official dedication of the new state of the art building.

True to its initials, the program provides a three-day course where students dive into science, technology, engineering, art, and math--each trip focusing on one topic.

"Our main topic was thermal energy so we learned about like heat absorption. Thermal energy transfer--two ways of transferring, and a thermal scavenger hunt," said Nikhil Parikh.

Six grader Nikhil Parikh is one of the lucky ones to have already visited the Steam Center as he shows his peers around the building. He is excited the center is sparking interest.

"It's nice. A lot of people are like science, ugh--so then they like science more," said Parikh.

Students start their hands on learning from day one at the center.

As science continues to evolve so do the classrooms, tables, and chairs can be rearranged. Students can even write on the walls--creating a unique learning experience.

"They don't realize they're working as hard as they are, and that's the best kind of learning is when learning is kind of fun," said Adrienne Nau.

For future scientists who have not experienced the steam experience yet, they say their time cannot come soon enough.

"This would be my laboratory if I was a scientist--it looks cool," said fifth-grader Hennessy Sotelo.

The learning does not stop with the students. Merced City School District officials say teachers are also being trained in science instruction.

Similar to the items in the capsule, educators say the way students learn is constantly evolving for Parikh, the Steam Center is just the first step to a future goal.

"I want to be a doctor so I can treat people and help them get better or be a biochemist so I can create a cure for a disease that's life-threatening," said Parikh.
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