The STEMmobile was recently highlighted in the TN Department of Education’s “Classroom Chronicles” blog. Classroom Chronicles staff writer Ashley Ball visited Celina, TN, a small town of around 1,500 people tucked away in the Cumberland Mountains of Clay County, where the STEMmobile was at K-8 Celina School for the week.
An excerpt from the article:
Bright eyed Celina students huddle around fifth-grade science teacher Donetta Birdwell. Birdwell is one of two STEM hub teachers at Celina School, selected to facilitate labs in the STEMmobile. While she is self-proclaimed STEM advocate with over a decade of experience at Celina, she says this kind of equipment is new to her students. Like many children in Tennessee, some Celina students don’t even have access to a computer at home.
That is what keeps Shirley Myers, STEM Hub manager for the Upper Cumberland Rural STEM Initiative, fighting to get the STEMmobile to even more schools.
“You might think everyone lives in a house like this, with bright lights and air conditioning, but they don’t. Even beyond the science, this is truly a treat for many of our students,” Myers said.
The science lessons, based on Tennessee science standards developed by the Upper Cumberland Rural STEM Initiative, range from heart rate to simple machines and building sail boats. Myers says often, what happens in the mobile lab will encourage students to go home and reproduce an experiment.
“We are just the catalyst. We show you the lab, and we show you the technology, but it’s up to you what you do with it once we leave,” Myers said.