Katie Ledecky Promotes STEM at DC School

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Students at Eliot-Hine Middle School in Northeast D.C. got a special lesson from Olympian Katie Ledecky Monday.

The swimmer from Bethesda, Maryland, has racked up 10 Olympic medals over the years, but Monday she traded in the swimsuit for a lab coat to help kids appreciate science and math.

She helped found a program called STEM Forward, which gives students online resources for learning.

“I think every field uses technology, uses science, uses all of these things,” Ledecky said.

That includes swimming. Ledecky said when she’s in the pool she’s doing things like measuring her stroke angle and calculating the water pressure. 

“Because I’m at this level, I have to look for every small detail that I can to try to get just a little bit better, because that can be the difference between first and second,” she said.

That incredible drive that made an impression on students like eighth grader Maiya Silver.

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“She talked a lot about persistence and being persistent in her goals and how you can push yourself to make yourself better in whatever you wanted to do,” Maiya said.

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