L&N STEM academy to accept applications from regional students

L&N STEM academy to accept applications from regional students

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The L&N STEM Academy announced that it will open up applications to students from Anderson, Blount, Grainger, Jefferson, Loudon, Roane, Sevier and Union Counties. The L&N STEM Academy announced that it will open up applications to students from Anderson, Blount, Grainger, Jefferson, Loudon, Roane, Sevier and Union Counties.
"It's bringing into fruition the idea having a high-quality STEM high school for our students and having a broader regional impact on the education of our students in the STEM discipline as well," said Dr. Jim McIntyre, Knox County Schools superintendent. "It's bringing into fruition the idea having a high-quality STEM high school for our students and having a broader regional impact on the education of our students in the STEM discipline as well," said Dr. Jim McIntyre, Knox County Schools superintendent.
"The STEM Academy focuses on those four areas, science, technology, engineering and math which are so critical for TVA and our workforce. It's very important," said Justin Maierhofer of TVA. "The STEM Academy focuses on those four areas, science, technology, engineering and math which are so critical for TVA and our workforce. It's very important," said Justin Maierhofer of TVA.

By MIKE KRAFCIK
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The L&N STEM Academy announced Monday that it will begin taking applications for students from outside of Knox County in addition to students within the county.

The regional counties to which spaces will be offered include the eight counties that are adjacent to Knox County: Anderson, Blount, Grainger, Jefferson, Loudon, Roane, Sevier and Union.  

Enrollment is also open to students at Local Education Agencies (LEAs) within the eight counties which are: Alcoa City, Lenoir City, Maryville City Schools and Oak Ridge Schools. The expansion will increase the school's capacity by about 20 percent.

Leaders said the move is a sign of the expansion of STEM education, short for science, technology, engineering and math, all across the state.  

"It's bringing into fruition the idea having a high-quality STEM high school for our students and having a broader regional impact on the education of our students in the STEM discipline as well," said Dr. Jim McIntyre, Knox County Schools superintendent.  

Enrollment is open to any student in the adjacent eight-county area. There is no application or assessment process required.  

Individual school districts will pay for the students, not the Knox County School system.  

"The funding would follow the student, transportation would be the responsibility of the parent of the student who came here or the responsibility of the sending district," McIntyre said.  

On Monday, TVA presented the Tennessee STEM innovation network with a $100,000 contribution to be divided up between every STEM school in Tennessee.  

The federal utility has an aging workforce and is counting on graduates with a new set of skills learned in the STEM academies.

TVA officials estimate 40% of the workforce within the energy sector will retire within five years.

"The STEM Academy focuses on those four areas, science, technology, engineering and math which are so critical for TVA and our workforce. It's very important," said Justin Maierhofer of TVA.  

L&N STEM Academy opened in 2011, and educators are hoping to double enrollment to between 600 and 800 students. Currently, there are 360 students enrolled at L&N.  

The state has six regional hubs of STEM schools, funded mostly through Race To The Top money and private donations.

"Our experience in other states, after awhile you don't need extra money to get it started because you built the infrastructure of these hubs and platform schools. I expect to see the movement grow," said Eric Fingerhut, vice president of education and STEM learning at the Battelle Memorial Institute.

When fully enrolled, there will be 120 slots for students across the East Tennessee region to transfer to L&N STEM Academy and thirty new freshmen transfer slots will be open for the 2013-2014 school year.

The school plans to add 30 slots during for the next three years after the 2013-14 school year.

Students interested in being considered for enrollment must submit their magnet transfer request to the Knox County Schools before Feb. 18, 2013.

A lottery will be held if the number of applicants exceeds the amount of slots available for the academy.

Details are available at the Knox County Schools website or by calling (865) 594-1731.

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