SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — An elementary school in Sevier County invested thousands of dollars into a new STEM room.

It’s the first year students at Catlettsburg Elementary School are learning in the high-tech classroom. The space allows students in grades K-6 to build, test and collaborate for 35 minutes once a week.

“This room is an experience where the kids get to learn about careers, where they get to learn about jobs. They get to learn about how to build with their hands, how to code, how to create,” said Jessica Chambers, STEM coordinator.

At the back of the classroom is an interactive wall with five different learning stations. The $20,000 project was funded by community donations from 25 businesses.

“They know that our students need to be career-oriented, they need to know where they are going, they need to know how to lead the future. We want to build leaders and they saw all of that well before I did, and they gave us the money and they came in and stood beside us when things went wrong and when things went right,” said Chambers.

Another $23,000 in federal funds allowed them to purchase a closet full of hands-on manipulatives. Chambers said she’s excited to see the kids grow into lifelong learners.

“The kids are excited but they’re excited to learn. This isn’t about playing; this isn’t about crafts, this is about creating future leaders in Sevier county that know their career paths and know what they are after, not only for themselves but for us,” said Chambers.

Catlettsburg has partnered with the CTE program at Northview Senior Academy and several local businesses for class visits to teach students about different industries.