Y-12 STEM Teacher In-Service

Posted: August 3, 2017 - 2:35pm

In an effort to better understand the changing job market, STEM teachers from across East Tennessee attended a professional development day program, sponsored by Consolidated Nuclear Security (CNS), at the Y-12 National Security Complex on June 22, 2017.

CNS Vice President and Y-12 Site Manager, Bill Tindal, briefed the group on the history and continuing mission at Y-12; and the importance of having a qualified workforce, both now and in the future. In addition to Tindal’s introduction, the group also toured Y-12’s advanced manufacturing facilities and heard from a panel of professionals on the nature of Y-12’s business and workplace culture. The speakers focused on student learning and how it directly intersects with what is required in the workplace.

The panelists included Ashley Stowe, Renee Harper, Travis Howerton, Mea Reeves, and Mike Thompson.

Harper discussed the pressures students face at an early age and the decisions they are asked to make. She encouraged the teachers to remind their students that, while these decisions are important, they are not set in stone. “These decisions don’t have to dictate the rest of your life,” she said. “You will get plenty of other opportunities to change course.”

Howerton also had some advice for the teachers. “To me, success looks a lot like hard work. Learning the value of hard work matters a lot,” he said and encouraged the teachers to instill that work ethic in their students.

“The entire day was invigorating,” said Linda Reedy, an instructor at Concord Christian School. “We were treated to a demonstration of Y-12’s 3-D manufacturing capabilities and we heard from experts about what we can do to better prepare our students for today’s workplace.”

The visit was part of a professional development opportunity by STEMspark, the East Tennessee Education hub of the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network and the nationwide STEMx Coalition.