New STEM academy coming to Lenoir City

JOSH AULT-6 News Reporter

LENOIR CITY (WATE) - A new STEM academy will open next fall in Loudon County.

The academy will be located at Lenoir City High School and will focus on the traditional STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering, and math.

Dr. Jeanne Barker, director of schools for Lenoir City, has been working for two years to get the STEM academy organized in the school system.

"We know our students need to be ready for the technical degrees once they leave high school, so they then can pursue those opportunities in engineering, science, math, technology," said Dr. Barker.

The new academy will be open to freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and some seniors.

School officials are still not sure how many students will participate in this new STEM academy.

They will start handing applications to students on Monday at the high school.

"There are certain requirements that go along with that," explained Lenoir City High School assistant principal and STEM academy director Melanie Harris. "The parents just need to be supportive of their child and help them fill out the application."

Harris says they plan to start it small, but hope to see it grow down the road.

"Currently, we will use our existing teachers," said Dr. Barker. "We have some teachers on staff that are highly skilled technically."

So far the response from the students and parents has been positive.

"The kids are really excited about it," said Harris. "The parents have been excited too."

School officials are asking students to fill out the STEM academy applications as quickly as possible when they get them Monday. They will have to keep the class sizes small.

This will be the first STEM academy in Loudon County.