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  • Writer's pictureLCSS Media Reports

Ingram Sowell Elementary Achieves Prestigious STEM School Status!

Updated: Jul 29, 2023

Today, 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. Ingram Sowell Elementary began their journey for STEM Designation several years ago and today, the hard work from Staff and students certainly paid off!

As the latest Lawrence County School to achieve this rigorous and transformative accomplishment, ISES joins the ranks of 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. "We are excited about the progress that CTE and STEM are making in Lawrence County." CTE Director Shannon Watson said, "Our vision has always been that STEM is CTE and through combining them, we are best preparing our students for the 21st Century workforce." In alignment with Governor Bill Lee’s Future Workforce Initiative. “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. 

"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.”

Principal, Tracy Marks was elated, "Finding our Why and creating a STEM culture is a top priority at Ingram Sowell. 2 years ago, our Staff came together to begin a journey of #Headedintherightdirection where we mapped out how to best empower our kids. Since that time, our Team has branched out to include students, parents, and community businesses. We are proud of the growth that has occurred and the benefits to our Ingram Soewll students."

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. 

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