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Cario students benefit from new STEM curriculum

jASonCario Middle School Interim Principal Bryan Coleman and teacher Torie Hargis (Cario’s Teacher of the Year) are grateful for a recent donation by Charleston Steel and Metal (CSM). The company contributed to the purchase of JASON Learning curriculum to use in eighth-grade science classes.

CSM has been giving back to the Lowcountry since its inception in 1893 and prides itself on being deeply invested in municipal, business, and charitable organizations.

Barry Wolff, Executive Vice President, and General Manager said that CSM partnered with JASON Learning which is a hands-on K-12 STEM curriculum that connects students with real-world experiences. The curriculum is also designed to create equity and help bridge the gap between students, careers, and the community.


The JASON Project gets its name from the Greek myth of the Argonauts, a group of adventurers who traveled with a hero named Jason to explore the far reaches of the ancient world in a ship called the Argo. Dr. Robert Ballard, JASON’s founder and a famous modern-day explorer, gave the organization its name when he dreamed of creating an educational program to spark the imaginations of students with real-life science.

“The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) partnered with JASON Learning in 2013,” said Wolff who is President of the Southeast Region. “This partnership presents a unique curriculum to not only spread the recycling message to youth, but also to inspire America’s students to think about careers in the scrap and recycling industry, and give them the scientific and technical background that such jobs require.”

Dr. Matt Sieloff, Vice President of Implementation and Development of JASON Learning said that JASON Learning and ISRI have been partners for 10 years.

“The focus has been on teaching the benefits of recycling to our environment and our economy,” said Sieloff. “Last fall, Mrs. Hargis reached out for access to JASON's library of STEM articles and activities, while Mr. Wolff from Charleston Steel and Metal had reached out in the hopes of sponsoring a teacher or school in their local Charleston City community. It was a perfect match!”

Due to COVID-19 Hargis said she had to change her whole style of teaching science. She researched several online platforms and found that Jason Learning offered free, online simulations that could not be replicated in the classroom.

“It worked perfectly when we were learning and teaching remotely,” said Hargis. “When we returned to the classroom, I realized that the online activities were more in-depth and truer to life than anything we could set up at school.”

Hargis wanted to expand on what she was offering her students and asked Principal Coleman for permission to purchase additional JASON Learning resources.

“I trust my teachers to know what they need to support their students and I gave her the permission to pursue the purchase,” said Coleman. “We then learned that CSM was looking to donate this curriculum to a CCSD school. We are overwhelmed by the generosity of Charleston Steel and Metal. This is an invaluable donation to our students and the students that come after them.”

“We are so excited to support Ms. Hargis and CCSD students learning about real-world STEM careers and opportunities to build their future with businesses in their community," added Sieloff.

Hargis has received positive feedback from her students. They were especially motivated to complete a recycling project and activity through the JASON Learning curriculum that resulted in extra credit.

“Recycling is bigger than the blue bin we have at home,” added Wolff. “That’s part of what they’re learning in these activities.”