LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Monday was the first day of school for many across the Natural State.

In Little Rock at Forest Heights S.T.EM. Academy, Barbara Kirkpatrick, Assistant Principal for the school says the first day of school makes her excited because she wants to see how the learning will progress with students. 

Some students like 8th grader Tony Hayar said it took him two weeks to design his robot for school that will be used in competitions from scratch. 

“It takes a long time so currently the robot is in its state where it’s halfway done and it’s almost finished and we plan on attaching a claw on the front of it,” Hayar said.

Laura Gowan is the S.T.E.M Coordinator, she says through the school’s ‘Project Lead The Way’ students of all ages are gaining more this year. 

“Meaning, we offer an engineering component to kindergarten to 8th grade students so this is hands on designing and coding this like robotics video games to all different things,” Gowan said.

K-8th grade instructor Patrick Wilson says although students are young in his class, they still do creative things. 

“We do every single grade level where they receive one module of coding and one module of strict engineering,” Wilson said.

The LRSD Superintendent says he is excited for all students’ first day back and adds everyone is ready to reimagine the district and make it the best it can be. 

“We have lots of exciting things planned. Our state has updated our standards,” Dr. Jermall Wright said.

With learning top of mind for many, some parents say what is also important about the first day of school is all the memories they make like father Chris Harris whose son plays football at the school.

“It was fun getting him ready in the morning. We have to get up early and get him here on time but yea it was a fun experience,” Harris said.

Fitzpatrick says she hopes the excitement and momentum will stay strong for the rest of the school year.