Dear Parents & Community Members,
Getting children excited about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM subjects) can be a challenge for any teacher. Yet some of the teachers at Macon County Junior High will have a new tool to ignite their students’ interest soon: the STEMmobile. The STEMmobile is a mobile learning laboratory that provides a unique, on-site educational experience for pre-kindergarten through eighth grade school children in 20 Tennessee counties, including Macon County.
This mobile classroom brings much-needed technology to the doorsteps of schools. The students will have access to state-of-the-art equipment to help them learn about STEM topics in creative and hands-on ways. The STEMmobile is a one of a kind product of the Oakley STEM Center and Tennessee Tech University as part of the Upper Cumberland Rural STEM Initiative, a grant project funded by Tennessee’s First to the Top program.
UCRSI is part of the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network, whose mission is to enhance student participation and interest in STEM subjects. Housed in a 53-foot tractor-trailer with self-contained power, the STEMmobile has its own heating and cooling system, a satellite uplink for Internet connectivity and workstations to accommodate about 24 students at a time. This classroom on wheels is stocked with equipment from the Oakley STEM Center and includes equipment and supplies for activities for each grade level.
“Here at Macon County Junior High, we are very excited to host this valuable educational resource,” said Principal B.J. West. “We are already focusing on STEM-related services with our kits from Vanderbilt University, use of labs, and the Science Club. We are privileged to have this opportunity to further engage our students with skills needed to increase college and career readiness. We will have access to the STEMmobile for 3 full days—March 4th, 5th, and 6th. Our science teachers will run all their students through the lab during those days.”
“We are going to have a parent/community night on Wednesday, March 5th from 5:00 to 6:00 PM. Anyone in the community interested in touring the STEMmobile is welcome to come out and take a walk through it. Our hub teachers will be available for any questions you have, or demonstrations you’d like to see. So, please stop by when you can and visit with us anytime during that hour.”
For more information about the STEMmobile, please go to www.ucrsi.org or call the TTU Oakley STEM Center at (931) 372-6573.