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Service Day at Gateway STEM School

Brad Choat (Twitter: @choatsnews )
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Former President Bill Clinton talks solar energy with representatives from Brightergy outside the Gateway STEM School in St. Louis on April 7, 2013 (KMOX/Brad Choat)

Former President Bill Clinton talks solar energy with representatives from Brightergy outside the Gateway STEM School in St. Louis on April 7, 2013 (KMOX/Brad Choat)

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Cafeteria walls painted orange, purple, light blue, and light yellow. That’s what students at the Gateway Science Technology Engineering and Math School in St. Louis have had to endure for years — but not anymore.

Principal Beth Bender says Washington University students and volunteers from the weekend’s Clinton Global Initiative University got out the brushes and paint buckets, Sunday, to make a change for her students,”They’ve already seen the primer, and they’re pretty stoked about that. But, when they come in tomorrow, it’ll be painted and looking like a whole new place. That is so profound for students who, too often, don’t get what they deserve.”

Dr. Bender says 100 solar panels were also being installed on the roof to make the school more energy-efficient. Representatives from Brightergy were there to describe their system to former President Bill Clinton and his daughter, Chelsea.

During his closing remarks of the CGIU on Sunday, Mr. Clinton talked about the need for more schools like the Gateway STEM school.

Speaking in that building’s auditorium, he said students who graduate from schools of science, technology, engineering, and math tend to make higher salaries than those who do not— and, there are jobs readily available.

Principal Bender says one field in particular, however, needs extra light shined on it, “The biggest challenge we have is engineering. Kids just don’t know what engineering is. As I was mentioning to Chelsea (Clinton), there aren’t shows about engineering like ‘Who’s Going to Build the Best Sewer?'”

At 1,125 students, Gateway STEM has the largest enrollment among St. Louis Public Schools.

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