13 Tennessee Schools Newly Receive STEM/STEAM Designation, 15 Tennessee Schools Receive STEM/STEAM Designated Schools Again

  • Tuesday, May 14, 2024
The Tennessee Department of Education and the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network announced Tuesday 13 new schools have received the Tennessee STEM/STEAM Designation for 2024. This honor recognizes schools across the state for preparing students for postsecondary and future career success by committing to promote STEM/STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics)learning for all students.

Since the designation process launched in 2018, 127 schools have earned the Tennessee STEM/STEAM Designation, which provides a roadmap for schools to successfully implement a STEM/STEAM education plan at the local level.

“These designations are testaments to the state’s commitment to educational excellence and preparing students for their futures,” said Lizzette Reynolds, commissioner of education.
“We commend these schools for prioritizing math and science education, ensuring that Tennessee students are prepared for the jobs of today and tomorrow.”

Each school that received the Tennessee STEM/STEAM School Designation underwent a rigorous application process, including completion of a self-evaluation, participation in interviews and hosting site visits. Schools could either apply for a STEM or STEAM Designation through the designation rubric, which includes five focus areas: infrastructure, curriculum and instruction, professional development, achievement and community and postsecondary partnerships.

"Schools that earn STEM Designation incorporate strong STEM teaching and learning experiences that rest on inquiry, technology integration, work-based learning and project/problem-based learning strategies tied to the world around us,” said Brandi Stroecker, Tennessee STEM Innovation Network director. “Each school has a unique STEM program yet incorporates a similar approach by providing cross-curricular teaching practices where students apply the concepts they are learning. The network appreciates these schools as they are providing students with learning experiences that shape their aspirations for the future.”

For the 2023-24 school year, a total 13 new schools received the Tennessee
STEM/STEAM Designation:

STEM Designation
• Arnold Memorial Elementary School, Cleveland City Schools;
• Candy’s Creek Cherokee Elementary School, Cleveland City Schools;
• Harrison Bay Future Ready Center STEM Academy, Hamilton County Schools;
• Oliver Springs Middle School, Roane County Schools;
• Rose Hill School, Jackson-Madison County Schools;
• Sea Isle Elementary School, Memphis-Shelby County Schools;
• Valley View Elementary School, Bradley County Schools; and
• West View Elementary School, Washington County Schools;

STEAM Designation
• Crosstown High School, Memphis-Shelby County Schools;
• Elmore Park Middle School, Memphis-Shelby County Schools;
• Lake Forest Middle School, Bradley County Schools; and
• Liberty Creek Elementary School, Sumner County Schools.

School leaders said they are thrilled to receive this honor, which underscores the importance of
STEM/ STEAM education.

“In the initial planning process, creating a culture of STEAM was at the forefront of our vision for Liberty Creek Elementary. Through collaboration with our community, we are exposing our students to the world of inquiry, curiosity, and creativity as we focus on creating future leaders,” said Mary Day Reynolds, principal of Liberty Creek Elementary School, Sumner County Schools. “Our students are being equipped with tools to not only be successful within the classroom but beyond the walls of our building. We are excited to see the impact STEAM can have on our students in the future.”

“We are thrilled to receive the STE(A)M designation, a recognition that celebrates our six-year commitment to transforming high school education at Crosstown High. This designation is not just an accolade; it is a testament to our innovative approach that nurtures holders of foundational knowledge, masters of fundamental literacies, and original thinkers equipped to navigate an uncertain world,” said Nikki Wallace, CoScience department chair at Crosstown High School, Memphis-Shelby County Schools. “By fostering generous collaboration and lifelong learning, we are preparing our students to excel in complex environments and solve the tough problems of tomorrow. This milestone reaffirms our dedication to rethinking and enriching the educational experience for every student.”

Once schools have reached five years of implementing and sustaining STEM/STEAM education through the designation process, schools can complete a redesignation cycle.

The following schools have successfully achieved the designation for a second time:

Two-time STEM Designation Schools
• Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy, Hamilton County Schools;
• D-B Excel, Kingsport City Schools;
• L&N STEM Academy, Knox County Schools;
• Oakmont Elementary School, Sumner County Schools;
• Prescott South Elementary, Putnam County Schools;
• STEM School Chattanooga, Hamilton County Schools; and
• Whitehaven Elementary School, Memphis-Shelby County Schools.

Two-time STEAM Designation Schools
• Jack Anderson Elementary School, Sumner County Schools;
• Jackson Christian Elementary School, Private School;
• Maxine Smith STEAM Academy, Memphis-Shelby County Schools;
• Midway Elementary School, Roane County Schools;
• Moore Magnet Elementary School, Clarksville-Montgomery County Schools;
• Overall Creek Elementary School, Murfreesboro City Schools;
• Union Elementary School, Sumner County Schools; and
• Dr. William Burrus Elementary School, Sumner County Schools.

STEM/STEAM education is an interdisciplinary curriculum in which activities in one class complement those in other classes. Additionally, it offers teaching and learning opportunities focused on inquiry, technology, and project-based learning activities and lessons connected to the real world. All K-12 schools serving students in Tennessee are eligible to receive the designation.

To read about the impact of the Tennessee STEM and STEAM Designation process,
click here.

To learn more about the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network (TSIN), click here.
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