Overall Creek Elementary will serve as the host school for the Tennessee Rural STEM Collaborative on Friday, December 7. The program will introduce cohort members to resource-based thinking and help facilitate solutions development for regional STEM education challenges in West, Middle, and East Tennessee. Overall Creek was one of only 15 schools to receive the Tennessee STEM Designation by the Tennessee Department of Education in May 2018.
STEM education is a unique approach to teaching and learning that fosters creativity and innovative thinking in all students. STEM is focused on building critical and creative thinking and analysis skills by addressing how students view and experience the world around them.
The Tennessee Rural STEM Collaborative is a year-long cohort of educators from across Tennessee that works towards ensuring that all students have access to high-quality learning opportunities in STEM by exposing them to 21st Century Skills and local STEM career pathways. The program will develop teacher leadership capacity, strengthen innovative instructional strategies, and provide a collaborative network for educators in rural areas.
Overall Creek students and staff will model the STEM process for the collaborative beginning with a panel discussion at 9:15 a.m. with group tours of at 9:45 a.m. Overall Creek integrates STEM curriculum with project-based learning across all subject areas and programs both inside and outside the classroom. STEM teaching and learning opportunities rest on inquiry, technology, and project-based learning activities and lessons that are tied to the real world. It is a diverse, interdisciplinary curriculum where activities in one class complement those in other classes.
The Tennessee STEM School Designation was developed to provide a “roadmap” for schools to successfully implement a STEM education plan at the local level. The Tennessee Department of Education and Tennessee STEM Innovation Network developed tools and resources to define the attributes of a comprehensive STEM learning environment for students. Schools that receives the Tennessee STEM School Designation are recognized by the Tennessee Department of Education for their use of STEM teaching and learning strategies and serve as a model from which other schools may visit and learn. All K–12 schools serving students in Tennessee are eligible.