Planning for 2018-2019 STEM School Designation

Prescott South Elementary School from Cookeville, TN celebrates their Tennessee STEM School Designation at the Tennessee STEM Innovation Summit

The Tennessee STEM Designation process recognizes schools that promote rigorous and experiential learning opportunities for all students. This spring, the Tennessee Department of Education, in conjunction with the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network and Tennessee STEM Leadership Council awarded STEM Designation to 15 geographically and demographically diverse schools across the state. The 2017-2018 STEM Designated Schools include:

Union Elementary in Gallatin, TN, engages students in project based learning through an outdoor classroom.

  • Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy, Hamilton County Department of Education
  • D-B EXCEL, Kingsport City Schools
  • Dr. William Burrus Elementary School, Sumner County Schools
  • Jack Anderson Elementary School, Sumner County Schools
  • Jackson Christian Elementary School, Jackson-Madison County Private School
  • L&N STEM Academy, Knox County Schools
  • Maxine Smith STEAM Academy, Shelby County Schools
  • Midway Elementary School, Roane County Schools
  • Moore Magnet Elementary School, Clarksville-Montgomery County School System
  • Oakmont Elementary School, Sumner County Schools
  • Overall Creek Elementary School, Murfreesboro City Schools
  • Prescott South Elementary School, Putnam County School System
  • STEM School Chattanooga, Hamilton County Department of Education
  • Union Elementary School, Sumner County Schools
  • Whitehaven Elementary School, Shelby County Schools

The STEM School Designation process also seeks to provide a roadmap for schools to implement an integrated STEM approach. The STEM School Designation rubric denotes five key attributes of a successful STEM school:

  1. Infrastructure: To effectively implement STEM strategies, a strong strategic plan, designed by teachers, leaders, and community partners, is executed with integrity across the school year.
  2. Curriculum and Instruction: Students are exposed to rigorous, hands-on curriculum, with a strong emphasis on Problem and Project Based Learning (PBL) and the integration of the Engineering Design Process.
  3. Professional Development: All staff members have the opportunity to engage in targeted professional learning opportunities that promote innovative teaching practices.
  4. Achievement: Student learning targets are rigorous and standards-driven. Student mastery is frequently assessed and data drives teacher decision making.
  5. Community and Post-Secondary Partnerships: Community organizations and post-secondary partners provide opportunities for students to make connections between classroom learning and the outside world.

    Maxine Smith STEAM Academy in Memphis, TN, engage students with community partners through a Lunchbox Speakers program.

Schools interested in applying for Tennessee STEM Designation in the 2018-2019 school year are encouraged to complete a Self-Assessment. The Self-Assessment tool is designed for school leaders to determine readiness for designation and to highlight areas where further support is needed.

Summer planning is an ideal time to build on identified areas of strength and address growth areas. TSIN is dedicated to providing support for schools interested in STEM Designation through our professional development programs, classroom opportunities, and student focused experiences. We also encourage interested schools to connect with their local STEM Hub for upcoming opportunities for professional learning. TSIN congratulates our 2017-2018 STEM Designated Schools and looks forward to recognizing the 2018-2019 STEM Designated Schools!

For the complete STEM School Designation timeline, steps, and rubric please visit our website. TSIN is hosting a Tennessee STEM Designation workshop on June 26th at MTSU. Contact Brandi Stroecker with any questions about the workshop or 2018-2019 STEM School Designation.

Principal Shanna Hensley and Digital Arts Instructor Sara Shaffer from D-B Excel in Kingsport, TN, receive their STEM School Designation banner from Tennessee Commissioner of Education, Candice McQueen.

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