STEM at Menchville – A New Year with New Opportunities


As the world dives deeper into the digital age we’ve entered, technology advancements and those who develop them are in high demand, especially programmers and software developers. What better way is there to build the future of technology than by starting with the next generation of inventors? This is the goal of Dr. Michael Shumate, Menchville’s second-year STEM lead.

As a marketing and computer science teacher, along with being the Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) Advisor and STEM lead, Dr. Shumate aims to guide his students through the technological and economical aspects of the world ahead of them. With this being his fifth year of teaching, Dr. Shumate has explored the subjects of Computer Systems Technology, Networking, and Economics and Personal Finance, while currently teaching Entrepreneurship, Advanced Entrepreneurship, and Strategic Marketing alongside AP Computer Science Principles and AP Computer Science A.

When asked about his coding experience, he replied, “My experience with coding comes from a business background. I started with languages like COBOL and RPG. In business, you often have to develop databases, interpret information, or develop using coding applications.”


Will the introduction of the new principal affect the STEM opportunities offered by Menchville?

Ms. Egolf, our principal, is very supportive of STEM opportunities. As we have exited the COVID pandemic we are starting to see more participation in Triple Helix Robotics and other STEM events and opportunities are opening back up.

When will the STEM connect page be open for students this school year?

The STEM connect survey for student interest was completed this week. I will add students who requested access in the next few days. Students can request to be added by emailing me or stopping by room 205.

What was your inspiration in starting the STEM connect page?

I wanted students to see the wealth of STEM scholarships, events, and internships available to them.

With this being the first year of AP Computer Science A being taught at Menchville and only the third year of computer science being offered here, what is your approach to teaching such a new subject?

Learning to code requires patience and practice. I like to use an online platform called which allows you to practice coding in steps. I also give practice coding labs. The use of AP classroom is also essential to preparing for the AP Computer Science A test.

How did computer science and programming become a main focus?

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) skills are in demand. Coders are needed throughout society. I think the demand for coding will increase as we see technology changes in our future. We may not know what the jobs of the future will be but I’m confident we will need coding to develop applications. Coding is a great skill to have no matter what your career path. AP Computer Science and AP Computer Science A are a great way to get experience and gain college credit.

Do you run your own coding club? If not, would you possibly consider having one?

I currently do not run a coding club. I am receptive to starting a coding club. One option to consider is joining the Triple Helix Robotics team. We have a coding team and use the Java programming language. We meet on Tuesday nights in room 301 in the Tech Building from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. If anyone is interested stop by to see me in room 205.

What is the special interactive software that you use throughout your classes? What are some of the labs you’ve done with your students?

I use and co-spaces. These platforms allow you to practice coding in steps. Recently we have been working on coding a 3D roller coaster in AP Computer Science A using co-spaces. Last year students developed games, calculators, and applications that pull data. The best part is you can use your creativity in AP Computer Science.


Dr. Shumate also shared a special message for all students interested:

Menchville will host a robotics competition on November 5th.  Students interested in joining the Triple Helix Robotics team should stop into room 205 to see me.