The Innovation Summit features interactive learning sessions designed to stimulate participants’ thinking around a broad range of strategies used to integrate STEM in the classroom. The learning sessions are intended to provide attendees opportunities to interact with educational leaders and practitioners that are seeing success with STEM practices designed to raise student interest and achievement in STEM education.

We are excited to announce some of the Learning Sessions at the 4th Annual Tennessee STEM Innovation Summit!

Learning Blade for Exciting STEM Engagement
Leanne Albert and Megan Criner
Lakeland Middle Preparatory School, Lakeland
Audience: Middle School Educators
Learning Blade is a multi-disciplinary online learning tool that connects STEM career exploration and academic standards in thematic units. In this interactive demonstration, participants will see how Learning Blade is a helping hand in the middle school classroom, across subjects. Bring your devices to play along!

STEM Inquiry Activities Yield Students Prepared for a Competitive Job Market
Tracy Anderson, Northwest Middle School, Knoxville
Claudeen Denning, Rose Park Magnet Middle, Nashville
Recommended Audience: Middle School Educators
Children are our future employers and employees! Sample favorite hands-on, inquiry-rich STEM activities that excite students (including 3-D printers, Science Olympiad, and other competitions), and reveal possibilities for their future careers. Take away several lessons you can use right away in class, and ideas to infuse more inquiry and career connections into your lesson plans.

Stop Bogus Science Before It Erodes STEM Thinking
Lea Bartch and Cherry Ross
Overall Creek Elementary, Murfreesboro
Recommended Audience: Elementary and Middle School Educators
Need ideas for banning bogus science and promoting authentic discovery and understanding? In this session, learn how one school re-designed professional development to be based in genuine science practice and crosscutting concepts, resulting in deeper conceptual understanding for all.

Special Ed and General Ed STEM Collaboration
Natalie Beach and Angie Bilbrey
Prescott South Elementary School, Cookeville
Recommended Audience: Elementary and Middle School Educators
Gain tried and tested tips (in communication, visual supports, classroom structure, and academic scaffolding) for planning a STEM project to make it more accessible for students with disabilities, while highly effective for all learners, and more manageable for teachers.

The Future Is Female…Coding for Girls!
Michelle Bettis, East Hamilton Middle High School, Ooltewah
Recommended Audience: All Educators
Is the lack of female representation in STEM classes at your school noticeable? What can you do to encourage females? Teach them to code! Successful skill-building in coding, combined with role models, hands-on opportunities, and real-world career connections, has been shown to increase girls’ confidence in math and science classrooms, develop their growth mindset towards all things STEM-related, and in turn raise the enrollment of females in STEM classes across the board. Bring your devices to play along!

Incorporating Geospatial Technologies into the Classroom
Kurt Butefish, Tennessee Geographic Alliance, Knoxville
Michael Camponovo, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Recommended Audience: All Educators
Humans have been making maps for thousands of years, but geospatial technologies have grown by leaps and bounds in our lifetime, and now permeate our daily lives. Learn what they encompass (Get the pun? A compass is a mapping tool!) and how to effectively incorporate geospatial tech into your classroom using problem-based learning tools designed for K-12 education, Story Maps and GeoInquiries. These tools are particularly effective for cross-curricular learning in English Language Arts. Bring your devices to play along!

Hometown Pride: Inspiring Rural Students to Explore Local STEM Careers
Sharon Clark, East Side Intermediate School, Brownsville
Recommended Audience: Rural Educators in All Grades
In this session, we will explore ways to overcome a common challenge for rural communities: finding local STEM career connections to make STEM personally relevant and engaging. By the end of the session, teachers will be empowered to help their students learn more, achieve more, and be more.

Getting Creative with Chromebooks: Boosting Student Engagement through Technology
Mary Coulter, Midway High School, Kingston
Recommended Audience: All Educators
As technology becomes more and more ubiquitous in our classrooms, it’s essential that teachers have unique strategies for engaging students. In this session, we will demonstrate how to incorporate programs such as WikiPages, video software, and simulations into your classroom environment. Bring your own device to practice using the apps discussed.

Out of the Library & Into the Classroom: Building a Maker Culture
Heather Henderlight and Callie Painter
Jefferson Middle School, Oak Ridge
Recommended Audience: All Educators
Makerspaces encourage learning through experimenting and creating, but have been traditionally constrained to school libraries. This hands-on session will inspire you to embrace the maker culture, and provide strategies for developing standards-supported maker activities in your classroom.

Dream It, Design It: Teaching the New TN Academic Science Standards through Design Challenges
Adrema Higgins and Jenni Mason
Sam Houston Elementary, Lebanon
Recommended Audience: Science Teachers in all Grades
Learn strategies to implement a STEM Design Task into your classroom using the new TN Academic Standards for Science. See how a Kindergarten teacher and a Fifth Grade Teacher incorporate STEM challenges in both of their classrooms, and how each teacher used different criteria, constraints, and rubrics to assess their students.

Purposeful Partnerships: Engaging Community Members in Family STEM Nights
Lynn Hodge and Frances Harper, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Recommended Audience: All Educators
In this session, we will share lessons learned in designing and implementing Family STEM nights. Learn practical tips to build sustainable university and school partnerships through community events, and explore activities that make STEM more accessible to students and families!

From Reaching to Reality: Developing a Sustainable STEM Culture
Catherine Jones and Kattie Nash
Prescott South Elementary STEM School, Cookeville
Recommended Audience: School Leaders
Learn an easy process to guide development of a STEM implementation plan at your school, resulting in a strong STEM school culture! Layers of STEM practices will be shared to spark ideas to use at your own campus.

Assets Matter: Developing Sustainable Financial Partnerships
Sylvia Pastor and Diane Ward
Roane State Community College, Harriman
Recommended Audience: All Educators
Learn how community partnerships brought about the “Rural Communities STEM Initiative: Lab-in-a-Box” project. Then brainstorm your own asset map, and formulate your approach to work with business partners in your community to incorporate hands-on STEM learning in your classroom.

The STEAM Book Cafe and Makerspace
Cristol Kapp and Beth Wilson
Red Bank Elementary, Chattanooga
Recommended Audience: Elementary Educators
The STEAM Book Cafe and Makerspace invites you to experience a fabulous selection of curated STEAM themed picture books. Participants will network and collaborate, to generate a bounty of fresh ideas for using picture books in your STEAM curriculum. Participants will also see a wide variety of maker activities to encourage creativity and writing.

TeamUP 2 GreenUp: Promoting a Sustainable School Culture
Tracy Leaks, Shelby County Schools, Memphis
Recommended Audience: All Educators
Participants will explore innovative strategies to engage students to lead sustainability efforts at school, and with a toolkit, learn to conduct an energy audit of a school facility. This session will also discuss utilizing community partnerships to increase students’ environmental literacy.

The Role of Youth Engagement Programs in the STEM Pipeline
Elizabeth McClain, Adventure Science Center, Nashville
Chris Radek, Nashville Zoo, Nashville
Recommended Audience: High School Educators
Youth Engagement Programs in informal learning environments aim to better prepare teens for STEM career pathways by directly involving youth in education, interpretation, and career exploration. This session will focus on two Middle Tennessee programs, and will provide program outlines, example activities, and training strategies used in the Adventure Science Center “Youth CR3W” and Nashville Zoo “ZooTeen” programs.

Putting the Sizzle in STEAM
Cindy Moss, Discovery Education, Charlotte, NC
David Williams, Metro Nashville Public Schools, Nashville
Recommended Audience: All Educators
In this session attendees will learn how MNPS is using research-based STEAM strategies with middle schools to engage all types of learners and infuse fun into classrooms. The compelling data, lessons learned so far, free digital resources, and plans to scale this initiative will be shared. Experience a short STEMersion to understand how STEM/STEAM relates to all content and grade levels.

Computer Coding in the Elementary Classroom
Kattie Nash and Carolyn Fox
Prescott South Elementary STEM School, Cookeville
Recommended Audience: Elementary Educators
The ability to code and understand the power of computing is crucial for a student’s success in our hyper-connected world! Understand the “how and why” to include computer coding in the elementary classroom, and have fun experiencing both unplugged and plugged coding activities.

Business Partnerships Bring STEM to Life with Modular LEGO Builds
Rob Porter
Cummins Filtration, Cookeville
Recommended Audience: All Educators
Cummins Filtration shares how they partnered with the Millard Oakley STEM Center, Prescott Middle School, and Cookeville High School to advance STEM learning over the past 5 years. The Cummins Filtration STEM program uses Lego based hands-on STEM activities, which are easily paired with simple, industry-relevant demos for students. Leave with ideas about working with business partners in your community.

SOLE-Student Organized Learning Environment
Nikki Russell and Mary Avans
Barger Academy, Chattanooga
Recommended Audience: All Educators
Find it difficult to incorporate projects into your instruction because there’s just not enough time? See how the SOLE (Student Organized Learning Environment) strategy will help you provide problem/project-based learning (PBL) units for your classroom with start to finish projects in under one hour. Learn how this process can be customized to fit your needs.

Roadmap to Tennessee STEM School Designation
Brandi Stroecker and Sandy Watkins, Tennessee STEM Innovation Network, and Deborah Knoll, TN Department of Education
Recommended Audience: All Educators and School Leaders
Tennessee STEM School Designation was developed to provide a “roadmap” for schools to successfully implement a STEM education plan at the local level. The tools and resources define the attributes necessary for a school to create a comprehensive STEM learning environment for its students. Learn about the process to become a designated Tennessee STEM School, recognized by the Tennessee Department of Education.

The Tennessee Rural STEM Collaborative
Brandi Stroecker and Evan Curran, Tennessee STEM Innovation Network
Recommended Audience: All Educators
The Tennessee Rural STEM Collaborative is a year-long personalized professional learning experience for educators across the state. Participants identify issues surrounding STEM education at the local level and develop targeted solutions to address those needs at a classroom, school, or district level. Hear from current Collaborative members and learn how you can become involved in 2018-19.

Partnerships for Innovation: Our School. Our Community. Our Future.
Sara Shaffer and Shanna Hensley
D-B EXCEL, Kingsport
Recommended Audience: All Educators
“It takes a village to raise a child” and therefore it takes a community to raise a school. Learn effective strategies to engage your community with student projects and work-based learning, then brainstorm activities with colleagues to utilize community partnerships to achieve your vision.

Get Your Class Flowing with Technology
Christy Shepherd and Tera Brooks
Northeast Elementary, Cookeville
Recommended Audience: All Educators
Want students to take ownership of their learning and be excited about it? Integrating technology works wonders! During this session we will be using ClassFlow, Quizlet, Quizizz, Edpuzzle Google Classroom, and Kahoot! Bring your device to play along.

Our STEM-task-tic Journey to Becoming a STEM School
Tressa Sander and Erin Thurston
Jack Anderson Elementary, Hendersonville, TN
Recommended Audience: Elementary and Middle School Educators
Jack Anderson Elementary staff will lead you on their journey to becoming a STEM-focused school. Learn the key design elements that support project-based, interdisciplinary STEM instruction through a four-phase immersion process. This session will prepare you to start your own STEM-school journey or enhance your existing elementary STEM program.

A Student in STEM: The Student’s Point of View About STEM Education
Hanna Selph, TSA Student Officer Coach and Junior at Hardin Valley Academy, Knoxville
Recommended Audience: Middle and High School Teachers and Administrators
Meet Hannah Selph, a junior at Hardin Valley Academy in Knoxville. Her STEM story began when she found a Career and Technical Education community in middle school, and continues as she pursues state and national STEM leadership opportunities in high school. Get a first-hand look at the Tennessee Technology Student Association and its benefits for both students and teachers. Hannah personally experienced how STEM and TSA positively affects and motivates students. She will offer ideas about how to attract and retain students in STEM, and why it is so important, all from a high school student’s perspective.

Beauty and the Beak – An Engineering Design Project Using Informational Texts and 3D Printing
Leslie Suters and Kristen Trent, TN Technological University, Knoxville
Recommended Audience: All Educators
This hands-on session uses engineering design to address a real-world problem/opportunity to design prosthetics for animals. Bring your own laptop to research and design a prototype of a prosthetic limb using the online CAD program Tinkercad. We will 3D print your completed design, and after the session, you can pick up your product in a designated area and test it on a stuffed animal toy.

“Learn by Doing” the 4-H Way!
Lisa Vasser, University of Tennessee W.P. Ridley 4-H Center, Columbia
Daniel Sarver, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Recommended Audience: Middle School Educators
Catapult youth into lifelong learning with the 4-H “Learn by Doing” philosophy. For over 100 years, 4-H educators have inspired youth to learn STEM principles by doing fun projects designed to actively inspire them to learn more. Do you know what the “Game of Thrown” is? Find out the STEM principles behind this and other exciting hands-on 4-H STEM activities!

The Extraordinaires: Leveraging Student Creativity in Engineering without Technology
Claire Williams McGee, Metro Nashville Public Schools, Nashville
Recommended Audience: All Educators
Join the ranks of the Extraordinaires!, a design studio that engages students in engineering with open-ended guided questioning. The design studio lends itself to paper and pencil design that students take to the next level using basic makerspace items, found (free!) materials, or structured materials such as clay. Leave with integrated lessons that can be implemented with zero cost to the classroom, as well as guides to assist in planning. The Extraordinaires! lessons align to the new Tennessee State Science Standards and are cross-curricular in ELA and Math.

Learning Communities for Manufacturing Careers
Sally Pardue, Millard Oakley STEM Center and Tennessee Tech – Details coming soon!

From Concept to Scale: How to Develop, Incubate, and Share Innovative Practices
Michael Stone, The Innovation Hub at the Public Education Foundation, Chattanooga
Tony Donen, STEM School Chattanooga, Chattanooga
Recommended Audience: All Educators
In 2017-2018, Hamilton County Schools opened 8 digital fabrication labs, dubbed “Volkswagen eLabs,” with a $1 million investment from Volkswagen, in partnership with the State of Tennessee and the Public Education Foundation. Learn how the TSIN Southeast Tennessee STEM Hub works with STEM School Chattanooga to develop, incubate, and scale innovative practices from a platform school to the rest of the region. From virtual reality to digital fabrication, gather specific strategies to integrate these exciting new practices in any setting.


STILL TO COME! More exciting learning sessions from around the United States presented by experts from the National STEMx Network!