Innovation Academy of Northeast Tennessee, a TSIN platform school in Kingsport, welcomed Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey to campus for a visit that showcased how STEM education is changing teaching and learning practices across the Volunteer State. Lt. Gov. Ramsey spent time with teachers on their in-service day to hear about the school’s innovative approach to deploying technology into the classroom and how the teachers have planned with one another to integrate STEM throughout the curriculum.
In a recent unit on transportation, eighth grade students studied the engineering concepts needed to design and construct a bridge. The bridge had to be wide enough to span a body of water, be high enough for a boat to pass under, and be strong enough to hold the vehicles using it. Chris Sweat, of Smith, Seckman, and Reid, talked with the eighth grade about bridge building and engineering. In math, students analyzed structural design and estimated weight allowances. The science curriculum addressed key components of bridge design such as weight vs. mass and how acids and bases affect building materials. Once the bridge was built, it was put to a weight test. Students watched a video they produced to pinpoint areas of design weakness and aid in their reconstruction.