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Want to meet students who are a lot smarter than you and I? Then meet these semifinalists in the Intel Science Talent Search.

Four students from Hume-Fogg Magnet High and three from Martin Luther King, Jr. Magnet High won the distinction for their work done through the School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt.

Zach Anderson (Hume-Fogg) completed his project with Jason Valentine, Ph. D. in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. His project was "Reflection and Transmission Measurements at Variable Incidence Angles of a Zero Index Metamaterial." Zach was also recognized as a Siemens Semifinalist for this research.

Abhinav Goyal (Hume-Fogg) completed his project with Qi Zhang, Ph. D. in the Department of Pharmacology. His project was “Culturing of Neurons on Graphene Transistors for High Resolution Scanning of Processes.” Abhi was also recently recognized as a Siemens Semifinalist for this research.

Aditya Gudibanda (Hume-Fogg) completed his project with Jens Meiler in the Department of Chemistry. His project was “The implementation of paired descriptor functions to improve quantitative structure activity relationship models from drug discovery.”

Busra Gungor (Martin Luther King Jr.) completed her project with Hal Moses, M.D. in the Department of Cancer Biology. Her project was “Uncovering the Role of TGFβ and BMP in Triple Negative Breast Cancer Stem Cells.” Busra was also recently recognized as a Siemens Semifinalist for this research.

Melissa Guo (Martin Luther King Jr.) completed her project with Nilanjan Sarkar, Ph. D. in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Her project was “Interfacing of Kinect Motion sensor and NAO Humanoid Robot.”

Meera Patel (Hume-Fogg) completed her project with Richard Peek, M. D. in the Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology. Her project was “Helicobacter pylori alters the tight junction-regulating adhesion protein BVES and promotes epithelial-mesenchymal transition in a nontumorigenic murine gastric epithelial cell line (MGEC).”

Jenny Zheng (Martin Luther King Jr.) completed her project with David Wasserman, Ph. D. in the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics. Her project was “Interaction of integrin and insulin actions in the insulin resistant liver."

Each student won a $1,000 prize with a matching prize given to their schools.

Read more about the award.

Apply for the School for Science & Math at Vanderbilt


It was raining eggs at Head Middle Magnet this week. Students participated in the annual Egg Drop led by 7th grade science teacher Dwayne Hardin. The goal was to build a device that would protect the egg as they were dropped from the top of the gym roof. All students participated and were given a science grade for their projects.

Contraptions of toothpicks, peanut butter, Styrofoam and marshmallows were among the most creative.


Did you know... by 2018 there will be more than a million available jobs in STEM careers, but only a fraction that many qualified college graduates to fill them?

Did you know... for the last 10 years, the number of STEM jobs has grown three times as fast as non-STEM jobs?

Did you know... Metro Schools and its partners put students on a direct path to STEM colleges and careers?

Stratford STEM Magnet High School

The Adventure Science Center and other partners from Stratford’s Academy of Science & Engineering are bringing students closer to those careers and the degrees needed to meet them at Stratford’s Engineering Day. The event, made possible with a grant from the Community Foundation, will feature STEM professionals from firms such as Universal Robotics, Barge Waggoner Sumner and Cannon and Nissan presenting engineering-based, hands-on activities such as bridge building and water purification. The goal driving the event is to inspire students and ignite their curiosity in STEM fields.

Stratford STEM Magnet High School Engineering Day

Thursday, September 20, 2012

8:30 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. at Stratford

Stratford High, Hattie Cotton Elementary, and Bailey Middle make up the only K-12 STEM program in Tennessee. This continuum uses all the resources of our state’s world-renowned STEM assets and infuses them directly into the classroom. Students enjoy engaging and challenging learning experiences that will connect them to their world. Stratford students learn to investigate, explore, problem solve, create, and invent among top STEM professionals.


Students and staff at Hattie Cotton STEM Magnet Elementary are getting into character this school year! Tuesday, August 14 Hattie Cotton STEM Magnet Elementary’s staff dressed up as book characters to kick off the first nine-week theme of “Friends Far and Near”.  At the end of the nine weeks each classroom will have completed a class book that will be displayed at the East Nashville Public Library. The books will be used to teach the community about various literary styles. 

Hattie Cotton Reading Theme 2012 - class project will be displayed at library for community to see


They're a piece of every child's imagination, and several of our Metro students learned to build and control them this summer at Robocamp 2012. But no need to fear: these robots are built for peace.

Bailey STEM Magnet Middle School held RoboCamp July 9-13. Teachers from Bailey, Litton Middle School and Stratford STEM High School led rising 5th-7th graders through the process of building a robotic arm to use in a competition at the end of the week. The students also learned to solder on a circuit board for an electronic siren. A trip to the Nissan factory in Smyrna provided students the opportunity to see robots in action. The students stopped at Home Depot on the way back to school for an “Inventor’s Tour” of the Home Depot in East Nashville where they explored alternative uses for different materials in the store. The competition on Friday put the students’ robotic arms to the test as they competed as teams and individuals.

Thanks to all the educators who made this free summer camp possible and to all the campers who had an amazing time building robots!


When I arrived at the newly renovated Isaac Litton Middle School, principal Tracy Bruno was fleeing the spray of a lawn sprinkler deployed to help the parched and newly planted landscaping. The grass may not have been prepared for the drought, but the school is prepared for more students and a higher profile in its East Nashville neighborhood.

“We are the epitome of a neighborhood school, right here in the middle of all these houses,” Bruno told me. And it’s true. Litton sits nestled between small, residential streets like Winding Way and Littonwood Drive right off Gallatin Pike.

The renovations that have taken place over the last year and a half have transformed the school into a building that looks practically new – and that’s because a lot of it is. The main office has been expanded. The library has a massive bank of new windows opening to the front lawn. The cafeteria is brand new and full of natural light. And the gym – once completely disconnected from the main building – has now been built out with new entrances, a new concession stand, and a host of new classrooms underneath it for fifth grade and related arts classes.

Click "Read more" for photos and the full story of Litton's neighborhood transformation.


Vanderbilt University Dyer Observatory invites students to the NASA Summer of Innovation Program and Concert. View details about the event below.

Vanderbilt University Dyer Observatory

1000 Oman Drive, Brentwood, TN 37027

Invites you to join us

Thursday, June 21, 2012

for a special

NASA Summer of Innovation Event

5:00 pm

Gates Open and Summer of Innovation activities provided by

the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

You are welcome to bring a picnic and relax on the

Dyer Observatory lawn for this special program

7:30 pm

NASA Summer of Innovation Program and Concert

Featuring a performance of The Mighty Sky by

Beth Nielsen Chapman and the Long Players


Summer of Innovation Presentation by

NASA Associate Administrator for Education and

former two-time Space Shuttle astronaut

Leland Melvin

9:00 pm

Telescope Viewing

If inclement weather causes the concert and program to be moved to a different location, please visit www.dyer.vanderbilt.edu for rain site.

RSVP Required: Due to limited parking, each car which comes through the gate requires a ticket. Only 100 free tickets are available, although you can put as many as 8 people in your car. To obtain a free ticket for your car, PLEASE RSVP online at http://nasadyerconcert.eventbrite.com. Questions? lynn.d.mcdonald@vanderbilt.edu.



It’s not a science fair. It’s a STEM Fair, the first of its kind in our city, and it’s changing the face of Nashville.

Metro Nashville Public School students compete against one another individually and in teams using videos, presentations, and on-site demonstrations to see which of their projects has the best potential to improve the city.

Don’t come expecting to find science fair stand-bys like plaster volcanoes and three-panel display boards. The Metro Schools STEM Competition is a district-wide high school event. Students have worked with Nashville’s top STEM professionals to share their ideas, investigations and recommendations to “Change the Face of Nashville.” At the competition, individuals and teams will use videos, presentations, and on-site demonstrations to showcase the project with the best potential to improve the city in any of five categories: Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, STEM Career.

Stratford STEM Magnet High School will host this inaugural competition on May 16.

More information about registering to compete and other contest details
can be found here. The deadline to register is Tuesday, May 1, 2012.

Stratford STEM Logo


Bottle rockets may be child’s play to some, but to NASA and students at Bailey Middle Magnet, Cora Howe Middle and Wright Middle schools, they are serious business. The space agency has awarded its 2012 Educational Engagement Award to a combined team of Vanderbilt University engineering and education students for their work with about 500 students in the three Metro schools.

Nine mechanical engineering students in the Aerospace Club worked with six students in Vanderbilt’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development to develop lesson plans for the middle schoolers. The Peabody students teach in Metro Schools as part of their teacher licensure requirements.

Together, the Vanderbilt students taught teams of Metro students scientific and engineering concepts and then worked to design, construct and launch the rockets. Metro students calculated their rockets’ altitudes based on the rockets’ time aloft and the group from each school with the highest-flying rocket earned a visit to Vanderbilt, including a tour of engineering laboratories, workshops, project demonstrations and lunch.

Bailey STEM Magnet Middle School is part of a K-12 science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) continuum that includes Hattie Cotton STEM Magnet Elementary, Isaac Litton Middle, and Stratford STEM Magnet High School.

This post is based on an online article “Engineering, Peabody effort lands NASA STEM outreach award”
www.news.vanderbilt.edu. Posted with appreciation to Brenda Ellis and Vanderbilt University.


Bailey STEM Magnet Middle School is hosting a community blood drive. Check out the flyer below for details.


Stratford STEM Magnet High School has had quite a few "firsts" this year, and its adding yet another! This spring, the new STEM Magnet high school is hosting the inaugural STEM competition for high schools throughout the district. Check out the details below.


Earlier this week, 18 juniors in the Stratford High School STEM Academy earned their "white coats," an honor bestowed upon aspiring researchers. The students will begin their research projects this summer, everything from pond pollution to extraterrestrial studies, and Vanderbilt's Center for Science Outreach wanted to make sure they felt the significance of the milestone.


Metro high school girls with a keen interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are invited to the inaugural GRITS,  Girls Raised in Tennessee Science Conference and Mixer. The Mixer will be held Friday, Nov. 4, from 6 - 8 p.m., in the James Union Building at Middle Tennessee State University. The conference follows Nov. 5, beginning at 8 a.m. More details are below. Please note, high school students can register for FREE to the inaugural event.


Students at Stratford STEM Magnet High School had some fun adding a few splashes of color to their high school walls this summer. A special thanks to local artist Nathan Brown who led the project and shared this great video.


Tuesday, March 29, the State Department of Education held a special round-table discussion to commemorate the one-year anniversary of winning more than $500 million in federal Race to the Top funds. The event was held at Stratford STEM Magnet High School, which just this year began offering students hands-on learning opportunities through The Academies of Nashville.


There's been a lot of focus lately on Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) programs both here in Nashville and nationally. In fact, three new STEM magnet schools will serve Metro students next year. For an example of how STEM programs are engaging students and building bridges between subjects, we turn to Overton High School Technology & Engineering teacher John Marshall. Mr. Marshall has a quite literal example of the "bridge building" that happens in STEM programs.


Tuesday, March 8, all students and families interested in applying for one of the three new STEM Magnet schools - Hattie Cotton for elementary grades, Bailey for middle grades, and Stratford for high school grades - are invited to attend a STEM Magnet Showcase Night. The evening will consist of an overview of MNPS's six new thematic magnet schools, unique features of the STEM Magnets including a partnership with Vanderbilt University, hands-on demonstrations, and special displays be each of the three schools. Guests will be able to speak with students, staff and Vanderbilt representatives about the unique programs and partnerships. The presentation begins at 5:30 p.m., at Stratford High School.


Do you know any female students with a strong interest in science or technology? Or students who might be unsure about science and would benefit from a positive experience with women working in science? TWISTER might be just what they need! TWISTER is a one day, hands-on science conference for girls in ninth to twelfth grade. During the conference, participants get to meet professional women working in Tennessee who are involved in science, technology, engineering, math and research related fields. Each presenter meets with a small group of 20 girls to share her profession and lead a hands-on activity with the girls. Girls attend four sessions, eat lunch at the Adventure Science Center, network with peers and presenters, and take home resources and experiences that might help to inspire them to stay in school and consider science or technology as a career. Each presenter is eager to share her excitement with you, answer your questions and give you a little taste of daily life in the workplace. Enjoy lunch with presenters and participants, take home a cool backpack filled with college goodies, and network with others sharing similar interests. You might even win a door prize or a college scholarship! When February 12, 2011 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Where Adventure Science Center 800 Fort Negley Blvd Nashville, TN 37203 Who For girls in 9th-12th grades Presented by Tennessee Women in Science, Technology, Engineering & Math Careers Click here to download the registration form.TWISTER is sponsored by Adventure Science Center, Deloitte, LLC, WITT, Aegis Sciences Corporation, BioTN, and Bridgestone.


If you missed last Thursday's big meeting on the future of East Nashville neighborhood schools, you can read a full recap, including the Q&A session with Dr. Register and Board Chair Gracie Porter.It was a packed house at Dan Mills Elementary, with Stand for Children hosting the event and giving parents the opportunity to ask questions directly to the people in charge about how their schools are changing. With three schools converting to STEM magnets, the opening of a new charter school and East Literature's continued conversion into a Paideia school, there was a lot of ground to cover. Special thanks to the folks at Stand for Children, particularly Francie Hunt, who put these notes together. Click here to read the complete notes from the East Nashville neighborhood schools meeting.

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