SunTrust officials presented a gift of $25,000 to the Hamilton County STEM School on Friday.
“We know that the understanding of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills are crucial to success in the global economy,” said Michael Butler, president of SunTrust Eastern Tennessee. “Inherent in those four disciplines is the importance of knowing how to solve problems creatively, both as an individual and as part of a team. The SunTrust Foundation is proud to partner with the STEM school as they develop this set of skills in our community’s students.”
Rick Smith, superintendent of Hamilton County Schools, said that the investment from the SunTrust Foundation will benefit students and prepare them for the future. “Our district is focused on improving and innovating STEM education,” Mr. Smith said. “The SunTrust Foundation’s investment in the new STEM high school shows their commitment to helping our young people prepare for the dynamic and challenging world ahead.”
“When you visit our school, you might be surprised to see students watching videos on their iPads or working together on a project – and only after looking carefully, spot an instructor. Our students work collaboratively with their teachers to solve problems, rather than just receiving information from a book or a lecture. School looks a bit different here than it used to, but then again, so do most workplaces!” says Dr. Tony Donen, STEM school principal. “Our students, faculty and staff are deeply appreciative of the SunTrust Foundation’s investment.”
Opened in August, the new STEM high school will serve as a demonstration site for innovative practices in STEM education and eventually serve 300 students as it grows each year from the inaugural freshman class. The curriculum is focused on problem- and project-based learning, using technology and collaboration to engage students in identifying solutions to relevant and engaging problems in our world.
The SunTrust Foundation was established in 2008. Last year alone, the SunTrust Foundation supported more than 77 non-profit organizations in East Tennessee, totaling more than $655,000 in donations. The SunTrust Foundation’s mission is to support nonprofit organizations and institutions engaged in activities promoting education, health and human services, culture and art and civic and community involvement that contribute to the social and economic development of the communities we serve.