Posted Date: 05/26/2021
The Tennessee Department of Education and the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network (TSIN) announced 13 schools received the Tennessee STEM School Designation for 2021.
The honor recognizes schools for preparing students for postsecondary and future career success by committing to promote STEM and/or STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) learning for their students. The designation program is aligned to Governor Bill Lee’s Future Workforce Initiative and goal to triple the number of STEM-designated schools.
“STEM-based education helps prepare students for future success in both their academic education and in their careers,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “Governor Lee and the department are committed to providing students with STEM learning experiences to enrich their education, and we are thrilled to see the number of the STEM designated schools continue to grow.”
Since 2018 when the program began, 61 schools have earned the Tennessee STEM Designation, which was developed in partnership with the STEM Leadership Council to provide a “roadmap” for schools to successfully implement a STEM and/or STEAM education plan at the local level. Schools that receive this honor also serve as models from which others may visit and learn. All K–12 schools serving students in Tennessee are eligible.
"Schools that earn STEM Designation incorporate strong STEM teaching and learning experiences that rest on inquiry, technology integration, work-based learning, and project/problem-based learning strategies tied to the world around us,” said Brandi Stroecker, Tennessee STEM Innovation Network director. “Each school has a unique STEM program, yet incorporates a similar approach by providing diverse, transdisciplinary teaching practices where students become the drivers of their learning. The network appreciates the hard work and passion that each STEM Designated school pours into their educational community. These schools consistently provide students with learning experiences that shape their aspirations for the future.”
Each school awarded the Tennessee STEM School Designation was evaluated through a rigorous application process including a self-evaluation, interviews, and hosting site visits with the Tennessee STEM Designation review team. The designation rubric included five focus areas: infrastructure, curriculum and instruction, professional development, achievement, and community and postsecondary partnerships.
As a part of the process, schools were also required to submit a plan of action for implementing and sustaining STEM and/or STEAM education for the next five years. From this process, a total of 13 schools received the Tennessee STEM School Designation for 2021:
District and school leaders and elected officials are thrilled to congratulate these schools for receiving this honor and to emphasize the importance of STEM education.
“I want to congratulate Fort Loudon Middle School and Lenoir City Intermediate School on receiving this designation,” said State Rep. Lowell Russell. “Their commitment to providing top-tier, innovative education through STEM teaching and learning experiences will give our students many opportunities to succeed beyond the classroom.”
STEM and/or STEAM education is a diverse, interdisciplinary curriculum in which activities in one class complement those in other classes and offer teaching and learning opportunities focused on inquiry-, technology-, and project-based learning activities and lessons connected to the real world.
For Tennessee Department of Education media inquiries, contact Edu.MediaInquiries@tn.gov.