Fewer than 1 out of 5 high school seniors is proficient in science.
But one southeast Iowa school is trying to reverse that trend.
Teachers at Central Lee High School in Donnellson are trying to spark student interest in science fields, like engineering.
They offer a club that gives students real world challenges to solve.
And students said their participation in the club has made them want to study engineering in college.
Senior Taylor Doyle and his fellow classmates completed an engineering project that took them hundreds of hours to complete.
But Doyle and his group didn't even get graded on this project.
It was part of a Real World Design Challenge they competed with on a state level in Des Moines this last weekend as an extra-curricular activity.
"It was kind of nice to see our hard work pay of, so it is kind of a celebration of what we have all done," said Taylor Doyle.
Central Lee science teacher Jameysue Smith, who started the program, said her hope is to give students a glimpse into the career field.
"I as a teacher, often hear that students want to be an engineer when they go to college so I stopped and thought what can I do to make sure they know what it means to be an engineer and presented this program to the students," said Smith.
And that's exactly what senior Christopher Krebill said the club did for him.
Krebill has been accepted into an engineering program at Iowa State University, and he says he thinks participating in the engineering club has given him an edge over the competition.
"It helped me see how engineers use the programs and how drafting and engineering processes work, so I knew a little bit more before I went into college," said Krebill.
Doyle also wants to study engineering when he graduates and said, like Krebill, the club has increased his interest in the field
"Textbooks can only teach you so much, but actually doing it teaches you more," said Krebill.
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