Today, the Tennessee Department of Education announced Governor Lee’s Future Workforce Initiative will award $10,000 to each of the 22 schools that received the Tennessee STEM School Designation for 2020.

In 2019, Governor Bill Lee announced the Future Workforce Initiative to increase science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) training in K-12 schools. The initiative aims to put Tennessee in the top 25 states for creating technology jobs through launching new CTE, STEM-focused programs in public schools.

“Investing in our students’ futures starts with preparing them for the jobs of tomorrow,” said Gov. Lee. “The Future Workforce Initiative will increase access to important career and technical education for students at all levels, and we’re glad the state can help our STEM designated schools build upon their great work.”

Funds allocated for the first time through the Future Workforce Initiative will provide 2020 and 2021 STEM Designated Schools with a $10,000 grant intended to continue to sustain and expand these schools’ STEM and/or STEAM programs. In the past, STEM Designated Schools received a small stipend with the award. With remaining allocated funds, 2018 and 2019 designated schools will also receive an additional grant of $4,230 this year.

“We are so excited to see our STEM designated schools receive these additional funds to continue building upon these essential programs. Each of our schools earned the STEM Designation through a unique STEM and/or STEAM program that is equipping students with the necessary skills for their futures.” said Commissioner Schwinn. “STEM education is fundamental for students to ensure they are prepared for postsecondary opportunities and the future of the workforce.”

The 2020 Tennessee STEM designated schools were selected for their STEM and/or STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) integration into learning experiences for all students, which prepares them for success in post-secondary opportunities and the workforce. Each of the schools awarded this designation were evaluated through an application process, including a self-evaluation, interviews, and hosting site visits with the Tennessee STEM Designation review team.

Designated schools will also be invited to share promising practices at the next Tennessee STEM Innovation Summit and become a member of Tennessee STEM Innovation Network’s group of schools. The 22 schools chosen this year join the other 26 previously designated schools and will serve as models, which other schools may visit and learn.

For more information about the STEM school designation process or implementing STEM and/or STEAM education, contact Deborah.Knoll@tn.gov. For more information on the Governor’s Future Workforce Initiative, contact Gillum.Ferguson@tn.gov. For media inquiries, contact Edu.MediaInquiries@tn.gov.