Middle Tennessee students share best projects at STEM Expo

More than 100 Middle Tennessee high school students will convene in Nashville May 11 for the first regional STEM Expo, sponsored by the Middle Tennessee STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Innovation Hub, housed at Metro Nashville Public Schools. The Expo will be held at the Curb Center on the campus of Belmont University and will open to the public at noon with a recognition ceremony scheduled for 2 pm. Viewing of projects is from 3-4 pm.

High schools from the 20 Middle Tennessee school districts that are part of the STEM Innovation Hub will participate. Expo projects represent one of five categories, including:

· STEM Research: Science, mathematics, engineering, biotechnology or medicine/veterinary medicine

· Engineering I: Mechanical, industrial, civil, aerospace or automotive

· Engineering II: Environmental, biomedical, chemical or electrical

· Technology: Computer programming, computer games programming, designing computer applications, or designing websites

· Agricultural STEM: Farming and animal husbandry.

The STEM Expo is not a competition.  It is a showcase for the most outstanding projects created by individual students and student teams from participating schools and districts. Each entry will be scored and eligible for an award, with recognition levels of Gold, Silver, and Bronze.

“The quality of projects students have prepared is inspiring,” said Vicki Metzgar, director of the Middle Tennessee STEM Innovation Network. “The STEM Innovation Hub has encouraged students to develop projects in response to complex questions, problems or challenges, as a way to learn academic content and develop communication, collaboration and critical thinking skills.  One of the primary benefits of Saturday’s Expo will be students coming together to learn and share with each other.”

Schools from the Middle Tennessee region are turning to STEM education to engage students in rigorous and relevant learning and to prepare them to make informed decisions about their careers and college aspirations.

To learn more about the Middle Tennessee STEM Innovation Network and the STEM Expo, visit <www.Midtnstem.com>.

In addition to Metro Nashville Public Schools, the STEM Expo is sponsored by Aegis Sciences Corporation, Belmont University, Tennessee State University, Deloitte Services, Texas Instruments, the Vanderbilt School of Engineering, the American Society of Civil Engineers, MTSU’s Tennessee STEM Education Center, and Volunteer State Community College.

The Tennessee STEM Innovation Network (TSIN) is a unique, public-private collaboration between the Tennessee Department of Education and Battelle Memorial Institute designed to promote and expand the teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education in K-12 public schools across Tennessee.

The TSIN comprises six Regional STEM Innovation Hubs and six STEM Platform Schools. The schools are designed to encourage local educational innovation by investigating and creating new STEM teaching and learning best practices to be shared throughout the state, all while providing their students with the skills necessary to succeed in the 21st century workplace. In addition to supporting the platform schools, the hubs are the nucleus of regional STEM activity, representing a formal partnership among school districts, post-secondary institutions, STEM businesses, and community organizations.