More than 100 Middle Tennessee high school students will convene Saturday at the Belmont University Curb Event Center on for the first regional STEM Expo, sponsored by the Middle Tennessee STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Innovation Hub, housed at Metro Nashville Public Schools. The Expo is free and open to the public at noon with a recognition ceremony scheduled for 2 p.m. Viewing of projects is from 3 to 4 p.m.
“It is an honor for Belmont to be a major sponsor and to host the Middle Tennessee STEM Expo. Belmont has a strong commitment to STEM education as evidenced by our STEM Education Initiative, our STEM Pathways project in the School of Sciences, and our accredited Audio Engineering Technology program in the Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business. The students participating in the Middle Tennessee STEM Expo and their exceptional projects demonstrate the value of supporting STEM education at all education levels,” said Belmont College of Arts and Sciences Dean Bryce F. Sullivan.
High schools from the 20 Middle Tennessee school districts that are part of the STEM Innovation Hub will participate. Expo projects represent one of five categories, including:
The STEM Expo is not a competition. It is a showcase for the most outstanding projects created by individual students and student teams from participating schools and districts. Each entry will be scored and eligible for an award, with recognition levels of Gold, Silver, and Bronze.
“The quality of projects students have prepared is inspiring,” said Vicki Metzgar, Director of the Middle Tennessee STEM Innovation Network. “The STEM Innovation Hub has encouraged students to develop projects in response to complex questions, problems or challenges, as a way to learn academic content and develop communication, collaboration and critical thinking skills. One of the primary benefits of Saturday’s Expo will be students coming together to learn and share with each other.”
Schools from all over the middle Tennessee region are turning to STEM education to engage students in rigorous and relevant learning and to prepare them to make informed decisions about their careers and college aspirations.
Click here to learn more about the Middle Tennessee STEM Innovation Network and the STEM Expo.
In addition to Metro Nashville Public Schools, the STEM Expo is sponsored by Aegis Sciences Corporation, Belmont University, Tennessee State University, Deloitte Services, Texas Instruments, the Vanderbilt School of Engineering, the American Society of Civil Engineers, MTSU’s Tennessee STEM Education Center, and Volunteer State Community College.
The Tennessee STEM Innovation Network (TSIN) is a unique, public-private collaboration between the Tennessee Department of Education and Battelle Memorial Institute designed to promote and expand the teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education in K-12 public schools across Tennessee. The TSIN comprises six Regional STEM Innovation Hubs and six STEM Platform Schools. The schools are designed to encourage local educational innovation by investigating and creating new STEM teaching and learning best practices to be shared throughout the state, all while providing their students with the skills necessary to succeed in the 21st century workplace. In addition to supporting the platform schools, the hubs are the nucleus of regional STEM activity, representing a formal partnership among school districts, post-secondary institutions, STEM businesses, and community organizations.
Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools is the nation’s 42nd largest district, preparing more than 81,000 students to excel in higher education, work and life with the goal of being the first choice for Nashville’s families. The governing body for Metro Schools is the Metropolitan Nashville Board of Public Education, a nine-member elected body. For more information, visit www.mnps.org. The 2013-14 school year begins August 1, 2013.
His talk focused on how social media users can utilize tools at their fingertips through the use of his “stamp” acronym, which stands for simple, true, act, map and plan. He urged students to focus on their outputs, such as starting a fashion line, organizing a nonprofit or writing a screenplay instead of exerting energy into throughputs, such as tweets, text messages and emails.
“So many of us fall into a trap that we are working for social media, but we have these social accounts working for us,” he said. He shared the story of how while on vacation he set his out of office automatic reply to appear that his mailbox account was full and directed people to resend correspondence after a certain date.
Instead of logging onto digital accounts first thing in the morning, social media users should get out two outputs to ensure they have productive days and use social media to leverage their work. Qualman also encouraged students to be firm in their destination and flexible in their path as well as network and build relationships today before they are needed in the future. (more…)
On Mar. 21, College of Business Administration Adjunct Instructor Paul McCullough and Associate Professor of Chemistry Dr. Rachel Rigsby took their linked Learning Community Courses to the Bellefonte Nuclear Power Plant in Hollywood, Ala.
McCullough and Rigsby’s courses, economic inquiry and entry-level chemistry respectively, are linked through the concept of energy, which was reinforced by the trip to the power plant. “The reason for doing nuclear energy is that it’s less expensive—once you get the plant,” said McCullough. “Building is expensive.”
The Bellefonte plant had to close down during construction due to a lack of funding. After the stoppage in the late 1980s, construction resumed in 2010, and the plant is scheduled to be fully complete in 2015.
“It was interesting because we got to hear the economics behind building a plant—and they didn’t plan, so they had to start and stop,” said Brendan Wright, a sophomore audio engineering technology major.
The tour was given by a man who had spent more than 30 years working at the plant. “He ended up addressing things without us mentioning them,” said McCullough. In order to take the tour, the group had to gear up as part of safety protocol. They donned hard hats, gloves and goggles. (more…)
Adjunct faculty member Naoko Ozaki is gaining a reputation on campus and in the Nashville community for her techniques to teach Japanese to Belmont students. Their in-classroom experience includes games of charades, and on the weekends, students dine at local Japanese restaurants, make sushi and volunteer at local Japanese festivals.
“I believe in the grammar translation method of education: study grammar, read and write, in combination with communicative approach,” said Ozaki, who also advocates for cultural immersion and has created a micro environment for her students to interact with people whose first language is Japanese. All of Ozaki’s students interact each week with Japanese immigrants she met at the Nashville Cultural Festival. Ozaki gives guidelines on which grammar patterns to use and during the hour-long session, they split their time equally conversing in Japanese and English to help each other develop language skills and with culture nuances.
“(Students) are happy with the fact they go to the store and can read the words on products and recognize words when they watch Japanese movies. They have learned 400 characters and can converse at limited capacity but can ask questions and put together simple sentences,” said Ozaki, adding that she strives to build a sense of unity and sense of belonging in Belmont’s Japanese program.
The classes performed this past Saturday at the Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival in the Public Square.
“She said she wanted to start a choir, and our class was like, ‘yeah, OK.’ Then she told us she got us a gig. It was a little surprising for us as a class, but fun,” said Cecilia Tregelles, a junior in the entertainment industry studies program.
The School of Sciences will hold the Science Undergraduate Research Symposium (SURS) on Dec. 3 in Beaman A&B. The symposium will open with keynote speaker Kate Ratfliff, a Belmont alumna now an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Florida. Ratliff will be give a talk titled “Guilt-by-Association: Understanding Stereotype Formation.”
The student poster session will take place from 5:15-6 p.m. in the Maddox Grand Atrium following Ratliff’s keynote. Oral presentations will begin at 5:30 p.m. in Hitch Science Building rooms 109, 207, 408 and 420. Though all oral presentations will begin at 5:30 p.m., ending times will vary from room to room. A total of 35 oral presentations will be given, and the latest will last until 8:30 p.m. Convocation credit will be given for this event.