K-12 & Higher Education Programs
NSF GK-12 PROGRAM – BioTN is a partner in the Graduate STEM Fellows in K-12 Education (GK-12) Program, which is designed to provide funding for graduate students in the science, technology, engineering and mathemetics (STEM) disciplines so that they may acquire the skills necessary for careers in the 21st century. These graduate fellows (GF) must be able to express their knowledge and expertise to a variety of audiences, and as such are asked to participate in educational programs teaching K-12 students throughout Tennessee.
Specifically, BioTN has partnered with Middle Tennessee State University and Tennessee State University. Each summer graduate fellow-partner teacher (GF-PT) pairs work in both the research laboratory of the GF and in the facilities of their industry partner (IP). Following this experience, the GF-PT pair develops a standard-based teaching unit for the classroom focused on the research interests of the GF and IP. Throughout the school year, GF’s serve as resident scientists mentoring high school biology students in research projects that will be presented at the Tennessee Junior Academy of Science and the Middle Tennessee High School Science Research Symposium.
"Creating an employer driven training program like BioTN is critical in maintaining a competitive workforce and growing the biomedical industry in middle TN."
AMERICAN DIPLOMA PROJECT – In January of 2007, Tennessee joined the American Diploma Project and commenced the Tennessee Diploma Project, a program designed to ensure that high school graduates are adequately prepared for college and careers. Dr. Leslie Wisner-Lynch, Executive Director of BioTN, was selected by the Tennessee Governor, Phil Bredeson, to serve on the small leadership team for the American Diploma Project.
TENNESSEE STEM INNOVATION NETWORK (TSIN) – In 2010, Tennessee received $501 MM from the federal government’s Race to the Top competition, designed to enhance science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education in K-12 schools. The Tennessee STEM Innovation Network (TSIN) was created to bring together emerging and new STEM education partners to work together to optimize STEM teaching across the state. Dr. Wisner-Lynch, was designated chair of the STEM Innovation Network Advisory Council and was a leader in the effort to win the Race to the Top competition.
STEM PREPARATORY ACADEMY – Dr. Wisner-Lynch, Executive Director of BioTN, serves as Chairwoman of the Board of Directors for the first of its kind STEM Preparatory Academy, Nashville, Tennessee’s newest public charter with a sole focus on STEM education. This school is designed to educate fifth through eighth graders using a fully-integrated STEM-based curriculum.
WILLIAMSON COUNTY FAIR – For years BioTN has contributed an award-winning nine day exhibit at the Williamson County Fair titled “Life Sciences: Solutions for Life”. This exhibit offered a hands-on learning experience for people of all ages.
SUMMER CAMPS – BioTN has been a partner in a number of summer camp initiatives that focus on STEM education of children, including a partnership with Columbia State Community College, a recipient of the Tennessee Valley’s Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) grant, and Tackling Emerging Careers (TEC), a summer camp in partnership with Williamson County Schools targeting 8th grade girls.
STEM OUTREACH – BioTN is actively involved in a number of additional projects with a STEM focus at the Adventure Science Center, including Art2STEM, Tennessee Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Research (TWISTER), and Bone Detectives.
FRESHMAN ACADEMY – BioTN worked closely with the Williamson County Schools system to develop a STEM-based Freshman Academy at a centrally-located school. This program is designed to help freshman students as they make important decisions during their transition from middle school to high school.
EDUCATOR RESOURCES – BioTN is an excellent resource for not only students and those in search of career training, but also for educators responsible for teaching students of all ages. BioTN has access to vast resources of scientific expertise and teaching materials to help the educator in any classroom setting.