STEM/STEAM School Designation for 2023
Posted on 06/09/2023
STEM/STEAM School Designation for 2023Chattanooga, Tenn. - On May 18, 2023, the Tennessee Department of Education and the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network (TSIN) announced five Hamilton County Schools had received the Tennessee STEM/STEAM School Designation for 2023. 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. 26 schools received the Tennessee STEM/STEAM School Designation for 2023.

STEM Designation HCS Schools included East Lake Academy of Fine Arts, Lookout Valley Elementary School, Rivermont Elementary School, and Westview Elementary School. STEAM Designation was recognized at Battle Academy.

In alignment with Governor Bill Lee’s Future Workforce Initiative, each school that received the Tennessee STEM/STEAM School Designation underwent a rigorous application process, including completing a self-evaluation, participating 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. As a part of the process, schools were also required to submit a plan of action for implementing and sustaining STEM/STEAM education for the next five years.

“STEM/STEAM education has reignited a passion for developing experiences that bring 'learning to life' within our school and community,” said Melanie Atchley, STEM Teacher Lead, Battle Academy. “A deeper sense of inquiry, heightened critical thinking skills, increased resilience, and a joy of teaching and learning are only some of the benefits we have seen through STEM/STEAM implementation thus far.”

“STEM/STEAM education is fundamental for students to ensure they are prepared to enter the future workforce, and each of these schools are recognized for their innovative approaches to equip students with the necessary skills to be successful in their futures,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “We at the department are thrilled to continue highlighting these schools for their focus on providing students with these opportunities for success.”

"There is no one-size-fits-all school culture model. However, the Tennessee STEM and STEAM School Designation process and rubric provide a comprehensive and flexible framework that offers the opportunity to create a personalized school culture,” said Brandi Stroecker, Tennessee STEM Innovation Network Director. “The attributes within the rubric encourage critical thinking and problem-solving through the design cycle as the school culture foundation.”

Since the designation program launched in 2018, 114 schools have earned the Tennessee STEM/STEAM Designation, which the department developed in partnership with the STEM Leadership Council to provide a “roadmap” for schools to successfully implement a STEM/STEAM education plan at the local level. All K–12 schools serving students in Tennessee are eligible.

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.

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

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

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