Thursday, February 29, 2024
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Several Upper Cumberland Schools Receiving STEM Grants From TVA

York Elementary School among the Upper Cumberland schools chosen as STEM Grant recipients by TVA.

A total of $1.5 million being awarded across the Tennessee Valley this week. York Elementary Stem Ambassador Kayla Yantz said the school will use the $5,000 grant to purchase a classroom lab kit of 3-D hologram cubes. The cubes can project anything found on the internet into 3-D.

Yantz said this will allow students to study things like the human body, fossils, and the solar system in three dimensions.

“You want your child to crawl in the car and say ‘Mom, Dad, guess what I learned today at school,’ and this right here is going to provide those opportunities,” Yantz said. “‘Guess what I saw today at school, guess what we did in the STEM Lab.’ I want to push them so that those kids are excited to go home and then they get their parents excited for them.”

Cumberland County High School will use its grant to purchase a 3-D printer for their culinary arts class. Cumberland County High School Principal Scott Calahan said this chance to work with upper-level technology will give his students a leg up in the job market after high school.

“This would be a phenomenal opportunity, again, for our kids, and that’s all we want is opportunities for our kids to be able to excel and have access to equipment, technology, and just general opportunities to take further steps into their future careers,” Calahan said.

Calahan said the skills and experience this offers students can cross over to things outside of just culinary arts.

“It’s a chance that a lot of students will not have hands-on access to,” Calahan said. “You would have to probably go to a culinary arts school to have access to this type of equipment, and being able to do that earlier, again, creates that excitement and allows students to experience things that they’ve never had a chance to experience and might not otherwise. It just gives them that advantage.”

Yantz said she wants to push the idea that trade is a suitable alternative to college, and the chance to equip students with the skills needed for those careers through the STEM program is part of what makes the grant such a gift.

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