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East Tennessee K–12 teachers, guidance counselors, and educators of all descriptions are invited to learn ways to help students excel in science and math during Big Orange STEM Saturday for Educators from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, October 7, at UT.

The free half-day event is hosted by UT Libraries, the East Tennessee STEM Hub, and the Center for Enhancing Education in Mathematics and Sciences. It will be held at UT’s John C. Hodges Library, 1015 Volunteer Blvd. Teachers from participating school districts will receive professional development credit for attending.

Register to attend online.

Christopher Lavan, director of UT’s Experience Learning initiative, will lead the keynote conversation. Experience Learning provides opportunities for UT students to be involved in civic engagement, solve complex real-world problems, and contribute to the welfare of their communities as part of their regular course work.

Breakout sessions at Big Orange STEM Saturday will include:

  • “Communicating Science: Do’s and Don’ts.” Presented by the UT chapter of Ask a Scientist. Professional and student members of Ask a Scientist give talks and demonstrations in school classrooms, at Zoo Knoxville, and at other local venues.
  • “English Learners and STEM for All? Where Should We Begin?” Presenter Clara Lee Brown from UT’s Department of Theory and Practice in Teacher Education trains future educators to work with English-language learners.
  • “Resources and Grant Opportunities for K­–12 Math/Science/STEM Teachers.”
    Presenter Gale Stanley is a retired Campbell County science educator who, over the past three years, has secured $1.5 million in grants for the Campbell County Schools. Co-presenter Michael Lawson is a UT doctoral student. Through the grant-funded Math Counts Projects, they help K–12 educators create challenging and creative activities to teach STEM subjects.
  • “Science Inquiry: Everyday Ideas and Materials.” Presenter Patricia Stinger-Barnes teaches science education and urban multicultural teacher education at UT.
  • “Using Mobile Technology in the Classroom.” Presenters Jeff Beard and Blanche O’Bannon are educational technologists.

Representatives from the various STEM fields at UT and local STEM-related businesses, organizations, and corporations will be on hand to answer questions.


Thura Mack, UT Libraries (865-974-6381,

Lynn Hodge, Center for Enhancing Education in Mathematics and Sciences (865-974-8778,