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Tate’s School Partners with the University of Tennessee to bring Engineering into the Classroom

October 09, 2015
By Tate's School

This fall, thanks to a generous grant from the America Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), engineers from the University of Tennessee’s Bredesen Center will host a series of classes at Tate’s School designed to generate enthusiasm for the sciences.

As the first elementary school in the state of Tennessee to provide a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) curriculum, Tate’s School believes it is vital to the future of our country to attract young minds to the sciences. “Children are natural scientists and problem solvers”, said LouL Tate, Founder of Tate’s School. “They observe the world around them and generate conclusions their way: building, touching, creating, and discovering. We need to ensure students enjoy science at an early age.“

On Friday, October 9th Andrew Kaminsky, Mechanical Engineer and President of the Graduate Association for Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineers (GAME) at the University of Tennessee, and a team of 6 engineers will work with Tate’s 5th graders to visualize and interact with various states of matter. Students will work in small groups to investigate the many properties of plasma and explore polymers. Hand-on activities include creating polymer bouncy balls, wirelessly powering neon tubes using a plasma globe, and glassification of elastic polymers.

“This is a wonderful way to develop the students’ analytical thinking skills and build their enjoyment of science,” said Kaye Simmons, Tate’s Principal. Simmons was selected in 2014 to join the Tennessee STEM Innovative Leaders Institute designed to promote and expand the teaching of STEM subjects in schools across Tennessee.

This 6 part engineering series offers additional topics such as non-Newtonian fluids, electricity and magnetism. Future modules may include renewable energy, programming and control methodology.

The University of Tennessee and Tate’s School are STEMspark Hub Partners, a regional partnership of educational, business, scientific, and research institutions, that supports high quality STEM education in the East Tennessee region.