Tanner High School earns STEM certification

WAFF's Kellie Miller reporting
Published: Aug. 26, 2022 at 9:54 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 26, 2022 at 10:01 AM CDT
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LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) - Students and staff members at one North Alabama school are celebrating a milestone achievement. Tanner High School has become the first STEM-certified school in Limestone County!

“We want to equipt kids with the very best that we can so that when they are ready to go to college, and when they are ready to enter the workforce, they are entering in a very competitive way,” Instructional Supervisor Melissa Putman said.

Teachers and administrators at Tanner High put their skills to the test, and trained under the National Institute for STEM Education. With the support of a STEM leadership coach, they developed an action plan to ensure students are challenged.

“With this program, we try to find new ways to make our classrooms more STEM-centric,” math teacher Stephen Mercier said. “So focusing more on how do we integrate the science and technology and mathematics, inside the classroom in a more hands-on collaborative way with our students.”

Tanner High School science teacher and STEM club coordinator Christy Leopard said she loves seeing her students solve problems. STEM club students perform special projects, and take part in competitions with local colleges. In fact, Leopard said her students participated in a high-altitude balloon project with UAH last year, and there’s a unique python training program coming up as well. Her favorite part of teaching is seeing her kids shine!

“I love seeing the reaction in our students when they are faced with challenges and they are able to solve the problem,” Leopard said. “They are able to come up with that solution. So I love to see their excitement and their joy, and that is rewarding for me as a teacher.”

Tanner High School Principal Deborah Kenyon said this achievement is just the start of their journey. For example, this year leaders plan to help implement a robotics team at Tanner High!

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