NASHVILLE— Tennessee Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn announced today that 11 schools, including Prescott South Middle School in Cookeville, have received the Tennessee STEM School Designation, bringing the total number of STEM designated schools to 26. This designation, developed in collaboration with the STEM Leadership Council and the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network, is designed to recognize schools that promote and implement rigorous STEM-related learning opportunities for all students that lead to postsecondary achievement and high-quality careers.
“Gov. Lee set a bold vision to triple the amount of STEM designated schools in the state of Tennessee during his first term, and with this announcement we are well on our way to meeting that goal,” Schwinn said, adding “Careers in STEM fields, particularly information technology, engineering and advanced manufacturing, and healthcare are among the fastest growing in Tennessee and we owe it to our students to prepare them for the jobs of the future.”
The department is proud to recognize these schools as STEM Designation Schools because they are providing students with the knowledge and skills to be successful in high-demand STEM careers. Each school was evaluated through a rigorous application process. Schools were asked to complete a self-evaluation, participate in interviews, and host site visits with the Tennessee STEM 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 required to submit a plan of action for implementing and sustaining STEM education for the next five years. All K-12 schools serving students in Tennessee, both public and private, were eligible to apply. From this process, a total of 11 public schools received the Tennessee STEM School Designation. They are:
- Carmel Elementary School, Clarksville-Montgomery County School District
- Charleston Elementary School, Bradley County School District
- Croft Middle Design Center, Metro Nashville Public Schools
- Discovery School, Murfreesboro City School District
- Farragut High School, Knox County Schools
- Hickerson Elementary School, Coffee County School District
- Oliver Springs High School, Roane County School District
- Park View Elementary School, Bradley County School District
- Prescott South Middle School, Putnam County School District
- Elk Valley Elementary School, Campbell County School District
- Station Camp Elementary School, Sumner County School District
STEM education is a unique approach to teaching and learning that fosters creativity and innovative thinking in all students. It is focused on building critical and creative thinking and analysis skills by addressing how students view and experience the world around them. Strong STEM teaching and learning opportunities rest on inquiry, technology, and project-based learning activities and lessons that are tied to the real world.
For more information about the STEM school designation process or how to implement STEM education, contact Deborah Knoll, director of student success, Deborah.Knoll@tn.gov. For media inquiries, contact Jay Klein at (615) 406-1046 or Jay.Klein@tn.gov.