Since the 2013-2014 school year, the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce has sponsored the STEM Inspire Program. STEM is a program designed to challenge students to use critical thinking skills and to solve higher-level problems related to the subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Since 2013, 132 students have completed the Chamber’s STEM program.
With their participation in STEM Inspire, students are exposed to some of the best minds in science. Through the years, the demographic has shifted to include more female and minority scientists. The Chamber was fortunate to have Dr. Letimicia Fears from the Center for Science Outreach at Vanderbilt University facilitating the sessions this year.
STEM sessions are available to freshmen in Carroll County schools at no cost to the student through the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce. In 2023, twelve students were enrolled. They met on four Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. until 12 noon, beginning on January 21 and concluding on March 4.
STEM Inspire program students for 2023 were Ava Akins, Alyssa Belew, Tobey Brooks, Rion Cary, Thatcher Crews, Katelynn Essary, Peyton Hays, Brody Huff, McKaylin Johnson, Landon McLearen, Brooklynn Pearson, and Seth Thomas.
Dr. Fears said of her participation in STEM, “I really enjoyed working with these bright young people. These students were engaged and interested in taking their science knowledge to the next level. I think it’s great that the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce cares enough to fill this need for their student community members.”
Carroll County Chamber of Commerce President Brad Hurley said of the program, “The STEM Inspire program exposes our young people to different aspects of STEM. We believe this program is a key component of developing our workforce for the future.”