*WINNER* The Need for STEM workshops and clubs in Carter County Tennessee


  • Brandon Pierce


STEM education is the 5th fastest growing industry in the south and Tennessee has a goal to become one of the top 25 states for STEM education. (STEM Strategic Plan [TNDOE], 2018). However, most of the funding for STEM education, goes to schools that are double in size and income that are larger and better funded. Tennessee STEM Innovation Network (TSIN) and Tennessee Department of Education (TNDOE) have outlined the need for more STEM activities in communities and the need to bridge the gap between local universities and rural public schools, with additional highlighted needs for more educators to be proficient in STEM education (TNDOE, 2018). According to the United States Government Accountability Office (2019), the Carter County population in 2020 was approximately 56,356 individuals. The Census Bureau listed $38,092 as the median household income in 2019. Even though the need for STEM education increases every year, the funding has not kept pace for rural public schools in Carter County. The focus areas of my project are 1) identification of problems and solution options for STEM education activities in Carter County; 2) development of an online STEM activity curriculum with tutorial videos for at-home activities, after-school program activities for three elementary partnerships, and community events; and, 3) creation of connections with local universities, businesses, and schools to ensure children in Carter County have multiple options for STEM education activities.

Tennessee Department of Education. (2018). Stem Strategic Plan: An integrated
K-12 STEM Proposal for Tennessee. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED604579.pdf

United States Government Accountability Office. (2019). Performance and accountability report: Fiscal year 2019. https://www.gao.gov/assets/710/702715.pdf






Interdisciplinary Studies