Nine eLabs have been recognized
Posted on 09/22/2023
Nine eLabs have been recognized

Chattanooga, Tennessee- Hamilton County Schools proudly acknowledges the remarkable achievements of nine eLabs for their exceptional contributions to enhancing student learning. These exemplary institutions have achieved certifications at various levels, reflecting their eLab performances:

  • Battle Academy
  • Dalewood Middle School
  • Hixson Middle School
  • Lookout Valley Elementary
  • Ooltewah Middle School
  • Red Bank Elementary
  • Red Bank High School
  • STEM School Chattanooga
  • Tyner Middle Academy 

These certifications are awarded in three levels based on eLab performance:

Emerging Labs: consistently met predefined success metrics

Established Labs: supported student growth in essential skills, content, habits, and technical fluency

Leading Labs: were fully integrated into the school and community culture, enriching student learning experiences across all subjects

The journey toward this certification began with a visionary goal: to enhance eLabs for significant improvements in student learning. However, educators and administrators faced a unique challenge - there was no existing roadmap for K-12 schools to follow. The district, along side these nine schools, explored options to set a formalized certification process in Hamilton County. HCS applauds these schools for being pioneers in this examplary work.

Emily Hurst, Innovation Integration Coach, emphasized the district's leadership role, stating, "My team and I are fortunate to witness successful practices across our schools. Combining these insights with existing research, we developed a framework for enhancing the impact of eLabs.”
Furthermore, STEM education allows every student to learn with the opportunity to make personal connections to learning and their peers while practicing communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity skills.

Dara Lacy, eLab Specialist and K-5 Science Teacher at Lookout Valley Elementary, shared her experiences as her school earned a certified Established eLab, “Our students' passion for Project Based Learning at Lookout Valley Elementary led us to begin the STEM Designation Process last year. We have seen connecting what students are learning in ELA, math, science, and social studies to real world application and digital fabrication causes students to get excited about learning.”

Another notable achievement comes from Emily Moore, who lead the Leading eLab certification process at Red Bank Elementary. She expressed her thoughts on this highest level of recognition, “The Leading eLab certification affirms the mindset that our eLab is deeply rooted into the culture of Red Bank Elementary and is integrated into student learning experiences across all subjects. With this certification, we are encouraged and reminded of our mission to ensure all students learn at high levels through the provision of high-quality instruction and a positive culture where educators model and develop leadership, innovation, ownership, and grit.”

Last year, 25 schools filled out the intent to apply form, commencing their year-long certification process. They attended targeted support sessions to learn more and kickstart their work. Following this, they embarked on a trip to visit MIT's FabLab in Boston, courtesy of the Public Education Foundation (PEF). During their time in Boston, administrators and eLab specialists collaborated to complete their applications and document the remarkable work being done by students in the lab and throughout their school.