Amy Hammonds and Rebekah Asbury, STEM Lab Instructors, Newport Grammar School, Newport, TN

Amy Hammonds and Rebekah Asbury, STEM Lab Instructors, Newport Grammar School, Newport, TN

Newport Grammar announces the start of a new STEM lab program for all students in grades 1-8.  Our program strives to be an innovative and student-centered approach to learning.  While in our school’s two STEM labs, students are working together on projects based on real-world issues.  Examples of projects our students have worked on this year include:  Engineering with the Three Little Pigs, Proving Photosynthesis with Elodea, Designing and Constructing a Mechanical Reacher.

Technology is integrated as a component of our STEM labs.  Our older students use iPads in STEM lab, while our younger students use iPad minis.  We are learning how to best use this technology along with our students.  And we are currently building our library of useful apps.        

Funding for our STEM lab program comes from a variety of sources, including the ETSU Northeast Tennessee STEM Innovation Hub and the Niswonger Foundation.  We have also been fortunate to receive financial support from local businesses and community members.  Local funding was obtained after our principal, Mrs. Sandra Burchette, sent letters to community leaders informing them of our plans and goals.

With our school year in full swing, our biggest lessons learned are as follows: pacing must be slow and thorough to allow students ample reflection time; we must cheer our learners on as they struggle with real-world mathematics, especially when done without a calculator; and we must explicitly explain that failing is a necessary step toward success.

Our students are very excited about the technologies they are using, and we are equally excited to be a part of this innovative approach to teaching and learning.


Eastman Domtar Wellmont NFS MSHA ALO Niswonger LMR Walmart Aerojet Pals Snap on