The TSIN was honored to co-host, along with the American Chemical Society, the Tennessee STEM Education Caucus’ briefing on the state of STEM education in Tennessee. The briefing, which is viewable online here, was held at the Tennessee state capitol yesterday and was attended by a number of legislators and STEM professionals. Tennessee’s STEM Education Caucus is bipartisan and bicameral and was the first state STEM caucus in the nation.
Sen. Jim Tracy began by explaining his proposed Senate Bill 0019 to establish an additional award, the STEM stipend, from lottery proceeds for Tennessee HOPE scholarship recipients majoring in STEM fields.
Kathleen Airhart, TDOE Deputy Commissioner, spoke about the TSIN’s role in creating a statewide network to discover and share STEM best practices.
Richard Rhoda, Executive Director of THEC, spoke about the status of their STEM Professional Development grants as well as the four Tennessee universities participating in the UTeach program to entice students pursuing science, mathematics, and computer science majors into secondary teaching careers.
We also heard from Tanya Foreman, Education Manager from Eastman Chemical Company, about the 104 schools they support through their excellent Putting Children First initiative. Eastman empowers their employees to spend 40 work-hours a year volunteering with area schools, which is having a big impact in their region.
The proceedings were moderated by Preston MacDougall, professor of chemistry at MTSU, who guided the audience in an extended Q&A session with our panelists. If you were unable to attend, check out the video above and join the TSIN mailing list to receive Caucus-related updates in the future.