Tennessee Rural STEM Collaborative

The Tennessee Rural STEM Collaborative is a year-long cohort of educators from across Tennessee that works towards ensuring that all students have access to high-quality learning opportunities in STEM by exposing them to 21st Century Skills and local STEM career pathways.  This program is designed to develop teacher leadership capacity, strengthen innovative instructional strategies, and provide a collaborative network for educators in rural areas.

Cohort members interact with work-alike groups that concentrate on a specific area of focus: Community & Postsecondary Partnerships, STEM Integrated Curriculum & Instruction, and Family Engagement. For each area of focus, participants will engage in targeted professional development and have the opportunity to meet experts in the field.

To improve statewide access, there will be three cohorts, one in West Tennessee, one in Middle Tennessee, and one in East Tennessee.  There will be one whole group kick-off event in Nashville followed by two local convenings and two virtual check-in meetings.

Each participant will plan a targeted STEM initiative to pilot in their local context and will be provided a stipend to support the implementation of their initiatives.  Example initiatives include the planning of district wide STEM nights, partner supported instructional units, and work-based learning activities for students.

Educators will participate in the following professional learning activities: partnership development strategies, problem/project-based learning training, STEM industry tours, and leadership development strategies.

Program Outcomes

• Deepen knowledge in STEM educational issues and exercise educator voice and perspective to bring positive change within your community
• Identify assets within your community that can support high quality STEM education and work-based learning
• Expand your sphere of influence within your school, district, and region
• Develop targeted solutions that build upon assets and address current challenges within your community

Program Requirements

-Attend ALL sessions (Nashville kick-off event, two regional meetings, two virtual sessions)
-Work collaboratively to develop a STEM-focused solution to a community issue
-Present group findings at the culminating event

Kick-Off Convening – Nashville – September 10-11

Regional In-Person Sessions

West TN Cohort– November 30/March 8 – Jackson, TN

Middle TN Cohort – December 7/March 15  – Murfreesboro, TN

East TN Cohort – December 14/March 22  – Cookeville, TN

Virtual Working Sessions (all cohorts)

October 26   5:00-7:00 pm

February 7  5:00-7:00 pm

Participants will receive:
• $600 stipend to recognize their time and dedication to learning
• Ongoing coaching and support from TSIN and other STEM experts
• $300 stipend to facilitate training/implement solutions either at the school or district level
• Opportunity to build educator capacity

Application Information

Applications for Cohort 2 are open! This program is open to K-12 public school teachers of any subject interested in learning more about STEM educational issues and developing solutions to those issues specific to their students and communities. Teachers must have at least 2 years of teaching experience and submit a signed copy of the Rural STEM Collaborative Agreement Form which must be signed by their principal.

Applications for the 2018-2019 school year are now closed.  Thank you for your interest!


Innovative Leaders Institute

The Innovative Leaders Institute is a year-long training and mentoring experience for educators led by some of the top innovative school leaders in Tennessee. The Innovative Leaders Institute provides participants opportunities to network with other building-level leaders from across the state, visit innovative schools to examine different models of STEM integration, and share best practices and resources with the expectation of having an immediate impact on leader practice.

The Institute is designed to:

  • Develop concepts of innovative leadership practices
  • Enhance capacities to promote best practices across the curriculum
  • Develop strategies to promote staff effectiveness and improve teaching and learning environments
  • Prepare leaders with the procedures and policies to promote success

The Innovative Leaders Institute is a year-long training and mentoring experience for educators led by some of the top innovative school leaders in Tennessee. The Innovative Leaders Institute provides participants opportunities to network with other building-level leaders from across the state, visit innovative schools to examine different models of STEM integration, and share best practices and resources with the expectation of having an immediate impact on leader practice.

The Institute is led by experienced principals from Tennessee, who were selected because they have demonstrated positive impact on their schools through student performance, teacher retention, and creating and supporting an academically challenging learning environment for students.

The Institute’s curriculum is comprised of four strands woven together to give the participants a deep understanding of leadership to propel instructional improvement. Technology tools are infused throughout the curriculum in an effort to provide a set of sophisticated management and communication skills.

Instructional Leadership for Continuous Improvement

  • Design Principles
  • Strategic Plans
  • Adaptive Leadership

Culture for Teaching and Learning

  • Project and Problem Based Learning
  • School Culture

Professional Learning and Growth

  • Using Data to Drive PBLs
  • What does effective PD look like?

Resource Management

  • Building an Effective Staff
  • Establishing Partnerships
  • Marketing

TSIN fully supports the TDOE’s STEM Strategic Plan by guiding leaders in their design of implementing a fully integrated K-12 STEM education for Tennessee’s students.

Approved for 30 hours TASL credit.

2018/2019 DATES & LOCATIONS
Participants must attend ALL sessions.  

In Person Sessions:
Session 1: September 13-14, 2018 – Knoxville Area
Session 2: Participants will attend one of the below sessions based upon their grade band:

Middle School: October 5, 2018 – Memphis
Elementary School: October 19, 2018 – Cookeville
High School: October 26, 2018 – Kingsport

Session 6: March 28, 2019 – Chattanooga

Virtual Working Sessions:
Sessions 3-5: Virtual Days – November, December, January  – dates TBD

Who Should Apply

The Institute is open to teams of school leaders interested in or currently leading Tennessee schools or programs. Applicants must be two person teams and include a Principal or Assistant Principal plus an additional building-level leader (or a Principal and Assistant Principal team). Each applicant must complete the on-line application including uploading all required documents.

Application Details

Please read over the application before beginning and be sure you are prepared to complete the entire application including uploading documents at the end.  You will not be able to leave the application and come back to finish at a later time.

Documents you will need to complete the application:

  1. A complete CV or Resume
  2. A letter of recommendation, no longer than one page, from your superintendent (or equivalent for charter schools) indicating why you should be considered as a candidate for the TSIN Innovative Leaders Institute.
  3. The Commitment / Signature page  (click to download) completed and signed by you AND your superintendent or director of schools, scanned and able to be uploaded.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Who can apply?The ILI is designed for two member teams consisting of Principal and/or Assistant Principal and a lead teacher. Three person teams MAY be considered if space allows.
  2. Can I attend just one date? Teams must attend all dates of the ILI. The 2018/2019 dates are as follows:
    September 13 – 14, 2018 – Knoxville Area
    October – Varied Locations/Dates by Grade Band   (see above)
    November, December, January – Virtual Days
    March 28, 2019 – Chattanooga
  3. What if I can’t get the signature pages signed in time?It’s ok! Please apply anyway and send the signature pages as soon as you can. All of the forms will be required before teams can begin the institute.
  4. Is there a cost to attend the institute? Are there stipends for travel?The ILI is offered at no cost to participants. Participants are responsible for their own travel arrangements and costs.
  5. Do I have to be from a STEM school to participate?Participants do not have to be from a STEM school or have a STEM program already in place to participate in the institute.

Applications for the 2018-2019 school year are now closed.  Thank you for your interest!


Project/Problem Based Learning (PBL) Training

Whether you’re seeking to learn more on how to plan for and implement PBL lessons or are an administrator wanting to learn more on how to evaluate PBL implementation, TSIN looks forward to working with you! View our current PBL training schedule and sign up now.

Learn More


Innovative Educator Workshops

Regional Hubs are committed to giving educators the resources and skills they need to expand STEM learning both inside and outside of the classroom. Through coordination with the Network, the Regional Hubs provide targeted and aligned professional development on a variety of topics through Innovative Educators Workshops.

Previous hub training topics have included problem- and project-based learning, incorporation of engineering design concepts into everyday instruction, deployment of 1:1 technologies in the classroom, inquiry-based lesson design, planning for horizontal and vertical curriculum alignment, designing STEM lessons on a shoestring budget, and planning for assessment in the STEM classroom.

Please visit the website for the hub in your region for a schedule of workshops in your area.