Education Commissioner Candice McQueen announced today that fifteen schools have received the Tennessee STEM School Designation, the first in the state to receive this award. This designation, developed in collaboration with the STEM Leadership Council and the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network, is designed to recognize schools that promote and implement rigorous STEM-related learning opportunities for all students that lead to postsecondary achievement and high-quality careers.
“STEM-related careers are among the fastest growing in Tennessee and right now too many jobs are left unfilled, meaning our graduates are missing valuable opportunities for their futures,” McQueen said. “I am proud to recognize these fifteen schools as STEM Designation Schools because they are providing students with the knowledge and skills to be successful in high-demand STEM careers in our state.”
Each school was evaluated through a rigorous application process. Schools were asked to complete a self-evaluation, participate in interviews, and host 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 required to submit a plan of action for implementing and sustaining STEM education for the next five years. All K-12 schools serving students in Tennessee, both public and private, were eligible to apply. From this process, a total of 14 public schools and 1 private school received the Tennessee STEM School Designation. They are:
- Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy, Hamilton County Department of Education
- DBEXCEL, Kingsport City Schools
- Dr. William Burrus Elementary School, Sumner County Schools
- Jack Anderson Elementary School, Sumner County Schools
- Jackson Christian Elementary School, 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
STEM education is a unique approach to teaching and learning that fosters creativity and innovative thinking in all students. It is focused on building critical and creative thinking and analysis skills by addressing how students view and experience the world around them. Strong STEM teaching and learning opportunities rest on inquiry, technology, and project-based learning activities and lessons that are tied to the real world.
For more information about the STEM school designation process or how to implement STEM education, contact Deborah Knoll, Advanced Manufacturing, IT, and STEM Career Cluster Program Manager, Deborah.Knoll@tn.gov. For media inquiries, contact Sara Gast at (615) 532-6260 or Sara.Gast@tn.gov.