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Hickerson earns STEM designation
Posted On:
Friday, August 09, 2019

Hickerson Elementary

Tennessee STEM School Designation 2019


Recently, Hickerson Elementary was awarded the Tennessee STEM School Designation. This honor was developed with the guidance of the Tennessee Department of Education and the STEM Leadership Council to identify and recognize schools in their commitment to teaching STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and integrating strategies that ultimately prepare for success in the 21st century. Learning from the state’s early investments in STEM platform schools, such schools focus on employing inquiry, project and problem- based learning, community engagement, entrepreneurship, student-centered classrooms, and STEM enrichment activities.

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.

Each school that was awarded the Tennessee STEM School Designation was evaluated through a rigorous application process. Schools were asked to complete a self-evaluation, participate in interviews, and host site visits with the Tennessee STEM Designation review team. The designation rubric included five focus areas: infrastructure, curriculum and instruction, professional development, achievement, and community and post-secondary partnerships. As a part of the process, schools were required to submit a plan of action for implementing and sustaining STEM education for the next five years. From this process, a total of 11 schools received the Tennessee STEM School Designation this year.

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. Strong STEM teaching and learning opportunities rest on inquiry-, technology-, and project-based learning activities and lessons that are tied to the real world. STEM education is a diverse, interdisciplinary curriculum in which activities in one class complement those in other classes. For more information about the STEM school designation process or implement STEM education, contact

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