Written by Kristin Rearden, clinical professor of STEM education/science.
The East Tennessee Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Hub serves educators who are interested in enhancing their teaching in science, technology, engineering, and math. Lynn Hodge, professor of mathematics education, and director of the Hub, provided some insight about the Hub’s mission and resources.
According to Hodge, the Hub was initially hosted by Knox County Schools, with responsibility shifting to the University of Tennessee Center for Enhancing Education in Math and Science (CEEMS) in August 2017. The Hub is part of the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network (TSIN) and is funded by a grant through Battelle Memorial Institute.
As director of the Hub, Professor Hodge writes annual proposals to renew funding and provides oversight on all programs and resources. Reflecting on her work, Hodge described the benefits of her role as director. “I have had a chance to meet some amazing people and organizations who are striving to make a difference in STEM education access and opportunity,” stated Hodge. She has support from three math education doctoral students: Shande King is the lead coordinator, and Michael Lawson and Nick Kim are part of the coordination team. Additionally, Ann Bowman provides support as the administrative assistant.
The mission of the Hub is focused on the community it serves. “The Hub aims to build promising partnerships between local schools, universities, businesses, and community organizations to support STEM education in East Tennessee,” stated Hodge. “We focus in particular on providing teachers, parents, and students with opportunities to experience STEM in meaningful ways.”
Educators’ enthusiasm about the Hub is apparent in the number of teachers served. Hodge stated that 620 teachers to date have participated in professional development opportunities. This level of participation inspires Hodge to continue with providing innovative ways to support STEM teachers. “Through this community, we can make a difference in terms of STEM education in East Tennessee.”
Some upcoming events include the National Science Teachers Association’s “Picture Perfect” summer workshop to support teachers with integrating literacy with science. To learn more about the East Tennessee STEM Hub’s offerings, you can follow them on Twitter at @EastTNSTEMHub and email the Hub to receive their newsletter at email@example.com
Photo caption: Shande King, graduate student and lead coordinator, and Lynn Hodge, professor of STEM / math education and Director of VolsTeach, at a summer conference