2017 Rube Goldberg Machine Contest


A Rube Goldberg Machine™ is a comically involved, complicated invention, laboriously contrived to perform a simple operation. Building a Rube Goldberg Machine incorporates science, technology, engineering and mathematics, not to mention art, teamwork, and perseverance! Students use cooperation and communication to apply their knowledge from across the spectrum of STEM and STEAM-based learning. These tasks cultivate their creativity and critical thinking skills, and immerse them in the engineering design process as they work together to design and test their machine. […]

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New Year; New Semester; New STEM Activities on MakerMinded!


The holiday season is all about gratitude. In Tennessee, we are privileged with some of the most outstanding and committed STEM teachers anywhere in the country. To retain these amazing teachers in Tennessee, we need to elevate and recognize the incredible commitment and effort they put forth each and every day. Effective STEM teachers develop hands-on lessons in the classroom and seek outside opportunities for students to apply their learning to outside STEM activities and competitions. Through MakerMinded, we want […]

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Connecting Classrooms to the World This Holiday Season

Service-learning is a form of experiential learning that supports a deeper understanding and application of knowledge. Through service-learning activities, students apply classroom knowledge in practical settings to enhance their understanding of class materials. Service-Learning Benefits Service-learning provides students with opportunities to develop collaborative, organizational, relational, and civic engagement skills.  Students can gain better understanding of themselves as they explore and develop ways to contribute to their communities. Service-learning has been associated with academic gain: students who participate in community service […]

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Need last minute ideas? Here is our STEM toy list for the holidays!

STEM learning is most effective when it happens both in and outside of the classroom. Why not make learning at home FUN with STEM toys? We’ve pulled together a list of some great online STEM toy resources to help you with that last-minute holiday rush! Here are a few of our favorites, followed by some great online resources filled with more ideas! Zoob BuilderZ kits Available in many different kits and sizes! The ZOOB S.T.E.M. Challenge kit gives you the tools you […]

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Celebrate National CS Week with the Hour of Code


Did you know that computing is the #1 source of wages in the U.S.? Computer science is foundational for every industry today. That’s one reason to join in on the largest learning event in history: The Hour of Code, during Computer Science Education Week (December 7-13). More than 100 million students worldwide have already tried an Hour of Code. We want to ensure that our students are on the forefront of creating technology of the future—not just consuming it.  The […]

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STEM Network and TVA Provide STEM Grants to Schools


  Further advancing the state’s recent growth in the teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network (TSIN), Battelle Education, and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) announced today the 18 statewide recipients of the Network’s yearly competitive STEM classroom grants.  (A complete list of schools funded appears at the end of this article.) Since 2012, the TSIN and TVA have partnered to provide funding for STEM learning projects in Tennessee classrooms and schools. […]

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Meet Tennessee’s New “Farm to School Specialist”


The Tennessee Department of Education has recently added the “Farm to School Specialist” position.  We got a chance to ask Rachel Head about this new role and why it is essential for our state. Please introduce yourself.  Tell us what a “Farm to School Specialist” is and describe the main goals you are trying to accomplish in this position.  Why is this role important for our state? As the Farm to School Specialist, my main goal is to help School […]

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Weekend Barnes and Noble Mini Maker Faires Brought Together Makers of All Kinds


Barnes & Noble stores across the country hosted the 2nd Annual Mini Maker Faire event at local participating stores this past weekend. The Mini Maker Faire at Barnes & Noble brought together tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, engineers, science club members, students, entrepreneurs, hobbyists and Makers of all kinds to learn from each other, get craft ideas and science fair project ideas, hear the experts, and work on projects.  There were numerous exciting and engaging projects to immerse yourself in!  Check […]

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MakerMinded Kicks-off In East Tennessee with Learning Blade’s Car Manufacturing Challenge!


On Tuesday, MakerMinded had its third and final Tennessee launch event at the Creative Discovery Museum in Chattanooga. For this event, MakerMinded partnered with Learning Blade, a unique mission-based learning platform that exposes students to STEM careers. To kick-off MakerMinded in East Tennessee, students from Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy, Girls Inc., among others, participated in the Learning Blade Car Manufacturing Challenge. In this challenge, they designed, built, and tested a car that was propelled only by rubber bands. Students worked collaboratively […]

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TN Students the Fastest Improving in the Nation in Science


Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced that Tennessee students are the fastest improving in the nation in science, according to the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), commonly known as the Nation’s Report Card. The last time fourth and eighth grade students both took NAEP science was 2009, and the 2015 NAEP results show Tennessee is the only state to grow faster than the nation in both grades with Tennessee students doubling the average national growth. Tennessee also narrowed […]

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