FES receives STEM Designation

TDOE, TSIN Announce 26 Tennessee Schools Receive STEM/STEAM Designation

114 Total STEM/STEAM-Designated Schools Statewide


Nashville, TN— ON MAY 18, 2023, the Tennessee Department of Education and the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network (TSIN) announced 26 schools have 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.


“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.”  


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.


"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.” 


From the review process, a total of 26 schools received the Tennessee STEM/STEAM School Designation for 2023: 


STEM Designation 

·         Catlettsburg Elementary School, Sevier County Schools 

·         East Lake Academy of Fine Arts, Hamilton County Schools 

·         Finley Elementary School, Dyer County Schools 

·         Ingram Sowell Elementary School, Lawrence County Schools 

·         Lookout Valley Elementary School, Hamilton County Schools 

·         Middle College High School, Memphis-Shelby County Schools 

·         North Middle School, Loudon County Schools 

·         Northview Intermediate School, Sevier County Schools 

·         Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School 

·         Reeves Rogers Elementary School, Murfreesboro City Schools 

·         Rivermont Elementary School, Hamilton County Schools 

·         Sulphur Springs Elementary School, Washington County Schools 

·         Sycamore Elementary School, Collierville Schools 

·         West Collierville Middle School, Collierville Schools 

·         Westview Elementary School, Hamilton County Schools 


STEAM Designation 

·         Battle Academy, Hamilton County Schools 

·         Beech Elementary, Sumner County Schools 

·         Christiana Middle School, Rutherford County Schools 

·         Head Magnet Middle School, Metro-Nashville Public Schools 

·         Idlewild Elementary School, Memphis-Shelby County Schools 

·         Innovation Academy, Robertson County Schools 

·         Philadelphia Elementary School, Loudon County Schools 

·         Prospect Elementary School, Bradley County Schools 

·         Rivercrest Elementary School, Bartlett City Schools 

·         University Middle School, Memphis-Shelby County Schools 

·         Walker Valley High School, Bradley County Schools


“At Ingram Sowell, STEM education has been a collaborative effort between teachers, administrators, parents, and students to help create an innovative learning environment that fosters creativity and critical thinking in children,” said Tracy Marks, Principal, Ingram Sowell, Lawrence County Schools. “Through this collaboration, children have been able to benefit from an educational experience that is tailored to their individual needs and interests.”


“Our students have valuable learning opportunities through project-based assignments that incorporate the engineering design process which allows students to ask questions and then imagine, plan, create, and improve solutions,” said Julie Sartin, Principal, Finley Elementary, Dyer County Schools. “We are excited to create innovative thinkers and leaders through our STEM program in our rural community.”


"Creating a culture of STEM and bringing problem-solving, with real-world opportunities, to all of our students has been a game changer on so many levels,” said Annemarie Lampright, STEM Coordinator, Lawrence County Schools. “From rising student achievement to the close collaboration between staff members, the STEM Designation process truly brings out the best in everyone while empowering all our students to meet the needs of tomorrow's challenges."


“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.” 


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.


For media inquiries, contact Edu.MediaInquiries@tn.gov.