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The Knoxville News Sentinel featured a statewide middle school teacher professional development workshop called Tennessee STEM Leadership Academy. Three Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research (CIRE) graduate students Stephen Wood, Jason Clement, and Ryan Ginder as well undergraduate student Evan Ornouski and post-doctoral researcher Doug Aaron led over seventy middle school science teachers from fifty-three school districts in three separate energy engineering challenges over the three day event. Tennessee Solar Conversion and Storage Using Outreach, Research, and Education (TN-SCORE) played a role in the academy by funding the CIRE students. The students helped develop educational hands-on modules that taught the teachers about microbial fuel cells, wind energy, and solar energy.