Murfreesboro City Schools (MCS) is thrilled to announced that Black Fox, Hobgood and Salem Elementary were named Tennessee Designated STEM/STEAM Schools during the Tennessee STEM Innovation Summit in Nashville Tuesday, May 10. These schools were three of only twenty-seven schools in Tennessee to receive this designation in 2022.
Black Fox, Hobgood and Salem join Overall Creek, Discovery, Bradley Academy, Cason Lane and Erma Siegel Elementary in achieving the coveted STEM designation making MCS one of the leading districts in STEM accreditation in the state. STEM or STEAM is the acronym for science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics.
The Tennessee Department of Education and the STEM Leadership Council developed this designation to identify and recognize schools in their commitment to teaching STEM and integrating strategies that ultimately prepare students for success in the 21st century. The Tennessee STEM School Designation denotes that a school meets the highest standards of science, technology, engineering, art, and math instruction and is a model for schools across the state.
“I am delighted that these three schools received this well-deserved honor. This achievement is the result of hard work and planning by our administrators, teachers, and students,” says Dr. Trey Duke, Director of Schools. “The schools are engaged in real-world learning across content areas connecting today’s STEM learning to our future workforce.”
STEM education is a unique approach to teaching and learning that fosters creativity and innovative thinking in all students. STEM is focused on building critical and creative thinking and analysis skills by addressing how students view and experience the world around them.
“MCS educators are incorporating the STEM model into their daily teaching. Ultimately, our five-year goal calls for all thirteen MCS schools to receive this designation,” says Duke. “As a district, we are committed to ensuring our schools are preparing students for the jobs of tomorrow, today.”
To receive this momentous designation, Black Fox, Hobgood and Salem successfully completed the designation rubric including five focus areas: infrastructure, curriculum and instruction, professional development, achievement, and community and post-secondary partnerships. As part of the process, schools were required to submit a plan of action for implementing and sustaining STEM education for the next five years.
“The teams that led this application process were diverse and diligent in making the STEM process individualized for their school’s success,” says Lea Bartch, MCS Science Coordinator. “No two STEM schools look alike. Strong STEM teaching and learning is grounded in inquiry, technology, and project-based learning activities.”
Murfreesboro City Schools is a proud district of 13 schools serving over 9500 students.
TDOE, TSIN Announce 27 Tennessee Schools Receive STEM/STEAM Designations
88 Total STEM/STEAM-Designated Schools Statewide
Nashville, TN— Today, the Tennessee Department of Education and the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network (TSIN) announced 27 schools have received the Tennessee STEM/STEAM School Designation for 2022. Starting this school year, schools could either apply for a STEM or STEAM Designation through the designation rubric. Schools that sought to apply for the STEAM Designation emphasized the integration of the arts in their STEM application.
The honor recognizes schools for preparing students for postsecondary and future career success by committing to promote STEM and/or STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) learning for their students. In alignment with Governor Bill Lee’s Future Workforce Initiative, the designation program is working towards his goal to triple the number of STEM/STEAM-designated schools in Tennessee.
“With strong momentum for STEM and STEAM education being seen across the state with the number of designated schools continuing to grow, we are thrilled to continue highlighting the state’s emphasis on ensuring students are prepared for future success in their educational pathways and also in their careers,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn.
Since the designation program launched in 2018, 88 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 and/or STEAM education plan at the local level. Schools that receive this honor also serve as models to inspire and teach others. All K–12 schools serving students in Tennessee are eligible.
"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.”
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 with the Tennessee STEM/STEAM Designation review team. The designation rubric included 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 and/or STEAM education for the next five years.
From the review process, a total of 27 schools received the Tennessee STEM/STEAM School Designation for 2022:
· Barret's Chapel School, Memphis-Shelby County Schools
· Black Fox Elementary School, Murfreesboro City Schools
· Blythe-Bower Elementary School, Cleveland City Schools
· Bolton High School, Memphis-Shelby County Schools
· Bradley Central High STEM Academy, Bradley County Schools
· Brown Academy, Hamilton County Schools
· Cleveland Middle School, Cleveland City Schools
· Clinton High School, Anderson County Schools
· Green Magnet Academy, Knox County Schools
· Isaac Litton Middle School, Metro Nashville Public Schools
· Memphis School of Excellence Mendenhall, Memphis-Shelby County Schools
· Millersville Elementary School, Sumner County Schools
· Northview Middle School, Dyer County Schools
· Parkway Village Elementary School, Memphis-Shelby County Schools
· Smyrna Elementary School, Rutherford County Schools
· South-Doyle High School, Knox County Schools
· White House High School STEM Academy, Sumner County Schools
· Arlington High School, Arlington Community Schools
· Arlington Middle School, Arlington Community Schools
· Carter Lawrence Engineering Magnet, Metro Nashville Public Schools
· Decherd Elementary School, Franklin County Schools
· Ethridge Elementary School, Lawrence County Schools
· Hobgood Elementary School, Murfreesboro City Schools
· Howard Elementary School, Sumner County Schools
· Portland Gateview Elementary School, Sumner County Schools
· Salem Elementary School, Murfreesboro City Schools
· Spring Hill Middle School, Maury County Public Schools
School leaders are thrilled to receive this honor, which underscores the importance of STEM/ STEAM education.
“This designation carries three important messages with it for our school. First, it’s an acknowledgement that the hard work of our students, faculty, and staff is exemplary and worthy of recognition at the state level. Because of the designation, we know that we have done and will continue to do top-notch STEAM learning at Salem and that our high standards matter. Second, it gives us the opportunity to collaborate with other STEM-designated schools, to learn from their work and experiences and continue to improve our own,” said Kimberly Kahle, STEM Lead Teacher at Salem Elementary School, Murfreesboro City Schools. “Our folks believe that a mindset of continuous improvement matters – a lot – and we’re thrilled what we can learn from the new connections we’ll make because of the designation. Third, this designation allows us to share what we have learned with other schools who are interested in providing similar experiences for their students. We are both thrilled and humbled to be a part of a network of like-minded schools and have the chance to help scale out this type of learning for more students in Tennessee.”
“We are so excited and honored to receive the STEM Designation. It is a recognition of the commitment, work-ethic, and dedication of our district, community, and especially our staff to enhance the educational experience for our students while attending Northview Middle School,” said Lynn Garner, Principal at Northview Middle School, Dyer County Schools. “We feel this process has heightened our awareness to the skills and mindset needed to prepare our students for an ever-changing world.”
“The STEAM Designation solidifies that we are doing what is best for student learning. It reinforces the programs, lessons and learning at Arlington High are aligned with what is best for students,” said Shawna Segerson, STEAM Lead Teacher at Arlington High School, Arlington Community Schools. “The Designation showcases that every classroom in our building is providing the opportunity for the Thinking Process to be used and encourages our students to become thinkers. Obtaining the STEAM Designation means we will continue to be a STEM hub for others in our community to share our successes, learning moments and resources.”
STEM/STEAM education is an interdisciplinary curriculum in which activities in one class complement those in other classes. It also offers teaching and learning opportunities focused on inquiry, technology, and project-based learning activities and lessons connected to the real world.
For Tennessee Department of Education media inquiries, contact Edu.MediaInquiries@tn.gov.