FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – Some Cumberland County Schools are making learning fun for students.

Cumberland County Schools’ Choice Programs are challenging minds while keeping students engaged.

“We had kids come into this not even knowing what a screwdriver was,” said Jayla Harper, a student at Westover High School.

Students are now building robots with those tools. It’s part of what students like Harper are learning at the Academy of Engineering Technology at Westover High School in Cumberland County.

“Looking at it now, we get a lot of opportunities we wouldn’t get at a normal school,” Harper said.

The stem program is 1-of-3 choice academies offered at Westover. There are also auto collision and nursing programs.

“It allows our students to know that learning can be very hands-on,” said Vernon Lowery, Principal at Westover High School.

There are more than choice 20 academies at select Cumberland County Schools. They start in elementary and go up to high school.

Between basic courses, like English and math, these students learn things like coding or repairing a bumper on a car — all while earning college credits.

“We have students who are finishing high schools with enough credits to equate to an associate’s degree. So, therefore they are set up for success to finish their college careers on a much earlier path,” said Mellota Hill, Assistant Superintendent at Cumberland County Schools.

“If this is something you want to do as a future job, do it because you will get a lot of experience, a lot of opportunities that can push your future in life,” Harper said.

Applications for choice programs for next school term are due on Monday. Visit the school system’s website to learn more about the programs.