Chattanooga Firm Launches Online STEM Curriculum For Middle Schoolers

Monday, December 3, 2012
Dane and Shelia Boyington and Zach Wamp
Dane and Shelia Boyington and Zach Wamp

A Chattanooga-based media company has launched an online STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum designed for middle schoolers across the country.

Shelia Boyington of Thinking Media said six states have agreed to take part in a pilot program starting in January. They include Tennessee, Georgia, New Mexico, Alabama, Ohio and North Carolina).

She said the full launch of LearningBlade will take place next fall.

Former Congressman Zach Wamp, who heads a prestigious advisory board for LearningBlade, noted that Ms. Boyington and her husband, Dane, earlier started a similar educational software program and eventually "sold it for a lot of money." 

Ms. Boyington said LearningBlade is designed with various "missions" that students can embark on to grab their attention. She said they will receive credits for completing various tasks and their grades are posted so that can compete against classmates. Some sample missions are helping an injured dolphin, building an orphanage after a major earthquake or solving energy and transportation needs in a new city.

She said the material is designed to link to "common core standards" educational established by 47 states.

Ms. Boyington said teachers will need very little training in order to utilize the software.

She said the firm currently has 16 programmers at work fulltime on the project, which is constantly being refined.

Ms. Boyington said the product will be sold to states and to individual school districts. She said it will be affordable - "costing just dollars per student." 

Former Congressman Wamp said the development responds to "an urgent need for the U.S. to develop workforce proficiency in science, technology, engineering and mathematics." He said it introduces students at an early age "to potential career pathways."

Officials said Learning Blade "provides an entertaining, game-based format that is uniquely student-ready."   

Thinking Media is collaborating with BattelleEd.Org, a subsidiary of Battelle Memorial Institute, to help accelerate the rollout of the software program. Dr. William Madia, former director for Battelle of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is on the advisory board and was at the Chattanoogan hotel for the announcement.

Others on the board include Dr. Tim Anderson chemical engineering professor at the University of Florida; Jamai Blivins, president of Innovate+Educate; Cheryl Carrier, program director for Ford's Next Generation Learning; Dr. Dean Evasius, vice president of Oak Ridge Associated Universities; Jennifer McNelly, president of the Manufacturing Institute; Dr. Merrilea Mayo, founder of Mayo Enterprises; Darlene Miller, president of Permac Industries; Dr. Elaine Swafford, director of the Girls Leadership Academy, and Daniel Traynor, TVA chief information officer. 

Advisory board members
Advisory board members

Walker County Arrest Report For Jan. 14-20

Get Emailed Headlines From Chattanoogan.com; Like Us On Facebook, Twitter For Instant News

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report


Here is the Walker County arrest report for Jan. 14-20: HARRY AMBER NICOLE B/F 22 LPD OFFICER WORLEY DRIVING WHILE LICENSE SUSPENDED 1ST OFFENSE ALLEN VASSEL THOMAS B/M 25 LPD OFFICER WILSON ... (click for more)

We send out headlines each week day of the latest Chattanooga news. Our news headlines have links that take you to the stories with a click. We also send out special emails if there ... (click for more)

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BLAIR, DANNY CURTIS 10135 E. BRAINERD RD CHATTANOOGA, 37363 Age at Arrest: 57 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County ... (click for more)


Breaking News

Walker County Arrest Report For Jan. 14-20

Here is the Walker County arrest report for Jan. 14-20: HARRY AMBER NICOLE B/F 22 LPD OFFICER WORLEY DRIVING WHILE LICENSE SUSPENDED 1ST OFFENSE ALLEN VASSEL THOMAS B/M 25 LPD OFFICER WILSON VIOLATION OF GEORGIA SUBSTANCE CONTOLL ACT – FELONY, DRIVING WHILE LICENSE SUSPENDED WITHDRAWN, FLEEING OR EVADING POLICE OR ROADBLOCK CARRINGTON TIFFANY HOPE W/F 28 OFFICER BETHUNE ... (click for more)

Get Emailed Headlines From Chattanoogan.com; Like Us On Facebook, Twitter For Instant News

We send out headlines each week day of the latest Chattanooga news. Our news headlines have links that take you to the stories with a click. We also send out special emails if there is a highly significant local news story breaking so you will be aware of it quickly. To be added to the email headline list, just email us at news@chattanoogan.com. In addition, ... (click for more)

Opinion

Senator Alexander: A Reasonable Proposal To End The Government Shutdown

A government shutdown is always the wrong idea. It is the wrong idea under President Trump, just as it was the wrong idea under President Obama. Members of Congress should first remember that when a president who has been duly elected by the people of the United States -- whatever you may think of him or her -- has a legitimate objective, it is our responsibility to do everything ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Swimming With Jim Morgan

I’ve never talked much about this – it is too close to bragging – but in my teenaged years I was a good swimmer. I loved being in the water and maybe the greatest compliment back in the day was when new UT swimming coach Ray Bussard offered me a ‘full ride’ with the Vols. Are you kidding me … by then I was into tobacco, alcohol, convertibles, and girls in angora sweaters - there ... (click for more)

Sports

Vols Climb To Top Spot In AP Rankings As Duke Falls To #2

Riding a 12-game win streak and fueled by one of the most efficient offensive attacks in the nation, Tennessee ascended to the top spot in Monday's updated Associated Press Top 25 rankings. It marks the second time in program history that the Volunteers have earned the top spot in the AP poll. The first came on Feb. 25, 2008. As of Monday's rankings update, Tennessee ... (click for more)

Fast-Starting UTC Wrestlers Whip VMI

Chattanooga wrestling coach Kyle Ruschell set a few pretty specific goals for his UTC wrestling team on Sunday afternoon at Maclellan Gym and the first-year head coach was more than pleased with the results. Getting off to a fast start and winning the first six matches, the mat Mocs improved to 3-5 overall and more importantly 1-0 in Southern Conference action with a commanding ... (click for more)