HCS Educators Selected for Innovative STEM Cohort
Posted on 05/25/2021
HCS Educators Selected for Innovative STEM Cohort

Chattanooga, Tenn. (May 25, 2021) - Nine Hamilton County Schools (HCS) high school teachers have been chosen for a six-week Research Experience for Teachers (RET) project over the summer at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC).

UTC has partnered with HCS to create “Engineering and Data Analytics in Smart Cities,” an RET site that will provide authentic experiences in smart city development for 30 high school STEM educators (ten per year for three years). This summer, participant teachers will work in teams with a multi-disciplinary research team from the College of Engineering and Computer Science and the School of Education on research and project-based learning (PBL) curriculum development to integrate Smart Cities research into high school STEM classrooms.

“Hamilton County Schools is proud to partner with UTC to bring this extraordinary professional development opportunity to some of our teachers,” said Dr. Bryan Johnson, superintendent of Hamilton County Schools. “Our district is committed to ensuring our students are future ready after graduation, and we believe this research experience will better equip teachers to prepare our students for the jobs of tomorrow.”

The PBL modules will be designed to meet the high school standards associated with the teachers’ courses and will teach students grade-level STEM concepts while demonstrating real world engineering projects. Increased participation with local and regional industry will allow the district to further leverage these partnerships, allowing for more on-campus visits, virtual discussions, and in-class experiences for students.

The 2021 cohort of RET high school teachers from HCS includes:

  • Ricky Hardaway, East Ridge High School
  • Pascale Haug, Brainerd High School, FRI: Law, Forensics, and First Responders
  • Jordyn Johnson, Soddy Daisy High School, FRI: Trojan Institute of Media and Entrepreneurship/Blue Cross Technology Academy 
  • Jasmine Johnson, Tyner Academy, FRI: IT & Networking
  • Charlton McCollum, East Ridge High School, FRI: Institute of Engineering and Design
  • Jennifer Miles, East Hamilton High School, FRI: Institute of Innovate Engineering
  • David Parris, East Hamilton High School, FRI: Personal Finance/Economics
  • Erica Rayburn, East Ridge High School, FRI: Institute of Engineering and Design.
  • Forest Shober, Brainerd High School, FRI: Aviation

RET Project Leaders:
Principal Investigators: Dr. Raga Ahmed and Dr. Mbakisya Onyango
Education Specialist: Dr. Jennifer Ellis
Hamilton County Schools Lead: Olivia Bagby, District Lead, Future Ready Institutes