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Tullahoma City Schools receive $20,000 grant from TE Connectivity

As the holiday season approaches, Tullahoma City Schools received a gift from TE Connectivity in the form of a $20,000 grant.

“Tullahoma City Schools is thankful for the commitment and support that TE Connectivity has shown our teachers and students through providing funding for STEM-focused grants,” said TCS Director of Schools, Dr. Catherine Stephens. “These funds ensure that our educators continue to have access to state-of-the-art resources to provide unique and meaningful learning opportunities for our students.”

Tullahoma High School was the largest beneficiary of the grant, receiving $9,110. The funds will go toward four different projects at the high school, including $3,297 to help create the College and Career Readiness Center.

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“Through the use of Career and Technical Education (CTE) Innovation grant funding, THS is reimagining the current library for future use as a College and Readiness Center,” said grant author Jessie Kinsey. “This space will provide a comfortable and innovative space for students taking a variety of online courses through area partnerships with Tullahoma Virtual Academy, dual enrollment courses through local colleges and universities, or online AP courses.”

Tullahoma High School will purchase three wireless laser printers for the redesigned space through the grant. Students can then use the College and Career Readiness Center to print resumes, college and scholarship applications, job applications, course assignments and more.

Additionally, THS has allotted $2,945 to purchase a new SMART Board for media art and technical theater courses, which will allow students to have more hands-on experiences through this technology. THS will also use $600, so the robotics team can create obstacles to challenge students to use computational thinking as they create a sequence of commands that will make their robot navigate obstacle courses.

An additional $2,268 will go toward purchasing a Sphero BOLT, a programmable robot through a downloadable app for phones or iPads. The Sphero BOLT will help students learn fundamental science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts through hands-on experiences.

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“The project idea is to have computer science students experience the thrill and imaginative concepts of coding a robot,” said grant author Angela Pendergraff. “Computer science students meet every day in their coding classes at THS to learn HTML, CSS, JavaScript and Python. The use of the Sphero BOLT will be put to use instantly and can be used to spark interest in robotics, engineering and other STEM disciplines.”

Bel-Aire Elementary School will receive $5,890 to purchase two new interactive SMART Boards. This new technology will be to help bring learning to life and heighten engagement for learners served through Individualized Education Programs.

“Bel-Aire has recently been able to update SMART Boards in all of our general education classrooms and our music room. However, some of our most vulnerable students do not have access to the same updated technology,” said grant author Beth Rhea. “Our students with speech and language deficits will benefit from the Interactive Boxlight, and instructors can provide visual connections to their learning, and students can explore concepts and learn interactively. With these, students can access sound skills lessons and games that coordinate with the skill currently being addressed.”

West Middle School will be the beneficiary of $5,000 from the grant that will be used to purchase materials and kits to provide students with the opportunities to explore types of energy in a hands-on environment.

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“Students will explore grade-level standards about energy through hands-on experiments,” said grant author Jill Kimzey. “Each grade level will move more in-depth as the students work through the kits and begin to think about how technology and engineering advancements may affect their life.”

This is the second grant that TE Connectivity has provided Tullahoma City Schools to aid the district in its goal of improving STEM-based and CTE learning opportunities.

“TE Connectivity is committed to strengthening communities around the globe by increasing access to technology and engineering for all,” TE Connectivity said in a statement. “We are honored to be a part of the Tullahoma community and proud to be able to connect our future growth with our future generations by investing locally in education. We are so excited for the grant winners at our Tullahoma City Schools and look forward to seeing the impact of the grant initiatives for many years to come.”

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