Smyrna Elementary School

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Smyrna Elementary School Receives Tennessee STEM School Designation 2022

TDOE, TSIN Announce 27 Tennessee Schools Receive STEM/STEAM Designations

88 Total STEM/STEAM-Designated Schools Statewide

Nashville, TN— Today, the Tennessee Department of Education and the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network (TSIN) announced 27 schools have received the Tennessee STEM/STEAM School Designation for 2022. Starting this school year, schools could either apply for a STEM or STEAM Designation through the designation rubric. Schools that sought to apply for the STEAM Designation emphasized the integration of the arts in their STEM application.

The honor recognizes 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. In alignment with Governor Bill Lee’s Future Workforce Initiative, the designation program is working towards his goal to triple the number of STEM/STEAM-designated schools in Tennessee.

“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.

Since the designation program launched in 2018, 88 schools have earned the Tennessee STEM/STEAM Designation, which the department developed in partnership with the STEM Leadership Council to provide a “roadmap” for schools to successfully implement a STEM and/or STEAM education plan at the local level. Schools that receive this honor also serve as models to inspire and teach others. All K–12 schools serving students in Tennessee are eligible.

"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.”

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.

STEM Designation