A drive to bring more science, technology, engineering, arts and math education to elementary school students in Johnson City picked up quite a head of steam last Thursday night.
The Johnson City Public Schools Foundation was able to raise $11,000 during a Spell-A-Bration fundraiser. The money will go toward converting an old school bus into a STEAM bus, which will bring a wide array of exciting learning opportunities to the eight elementary schools in the city.
The Spell-A-Bration was a fast-paced spelling competition for teams of four adults working together. Each team wore themed costumes and had 30 seconds to spell each word correctly on a whiteboard. Josh Smith of WJHL and Dr. Melissa Stukes – the principal at Mountain View Elementary – served as the hosts.
The Werd Nurds, a team from ETSU, walked away as the winners of the event, but there were plenty of other prizes handed out. Buns of Steel was named best dressed and the STEAM Dream Team won an award for setting up the best table.
JCPSF President Amy Stover said the money raised will benefit students in the Johnson City School System for years to come.
“We want to provide Johnson City Schools with a unique teaching and learning tool,” Stover said. “Jobs in our area and across the country are requiring more and more students to have a more well-versed background in science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics. We feel the STEAM Bus will help expose and encourage students towards those fields at an early age.”
Science Hill students are handling the design, for both the interior and the exterior vinyl wrap of the bus. The modules or lessons in the bus are being designed by a cohort of Johnson City Schools’ teachers and are based on third- and fourth-grade state curriculum standards.