Collierville Schools


The 2017 STEM Scholars Cohort
Photos from
Family STEM Night
Thursday, January 26, 2017
Collierville Middle School
Collierville Schools STEM Connection Newsletter

Overview of STEM Programming in Tennessee

STEM Education is designed for students interested in the exciting careers available in the high-demand fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. This program of study is uniquely structured to offer students an overview of STEM fields, occupations, and applications in the first year, followed by more specialized study of the scientific inquiry or engineering design process in subsequent years, culminating in a portfolio and internship experience. Upon completion of this program of study, students will be prepared to pursue advanced study in the STEM field of their choice at a variety of postsecondary institutions.

Given the critical nature of much of the work in STEM, job possibilities abound even in times of economic downturn. More scientists, technologists and engineers will be needed to meet environmental regulations and to develop methods of cleaning up existing hazards. A shift in emphasis toward preventing problems rather than controlling those that already exist, as well as increasing public health concerns, also will spur demand for these positions.


Current STEM Course Offerings in Collierville Schools:






STEM Inventions & Innovations

The 7th grade STEM Inventions & Innovations course is offered at both Collierville Middle School and Schilling Farms Middle School.

STEM Scholars Cohort Information


          What is the STEM Scholars?

A specially-designed, STEM-intensive, three-year program of study for a select group of middle school students. This accelerated academic cohort consists of 24 incoming 6th graders at each middle school, identified annually at the end of their 5th grade year. Students are not added to the cohort after they start middle school.


How do I become a STEM Scholar?

Each cohort is determined through a combination of:
  • Aptitude Test (Math, Science, English/Language Arts)
  • Application                                                 
  • Individual Interview

Who can apply to be a STEM Scholar?

Any current 5th grade students who are either a:
  • resident of the Town of Collierville, or
  • currently enrolled as a student in a Collierville School.                                             
If you are a resident of the Town of Collierville but not currently enrolled as a student in a Collierville School, please contact the STEM Curriculum Supervisor, Dr. Ed Ducey (, before February 28, 2017 to discuss opportunities to take the aptitude test and apply.
2017 Cohort Information
A General Information Meeting was held at 7pm during STEM Night (1/26) in the CMS Cafeteria. The program and application process were discussed in detail at that meeting. If you were unable to attend, please look at the bottom of this page to find a PDF copy of the presentation.
The Aptitude Test is scheduled for March 1, 2017. All current 5th grade students will take the test during the regular school day at their elementary school. If you are a resident of Collierville but not currently enrolled as a student in a Collierville School and wish to take the aptitude test, please contact the STEM Curriculum Supervisor, Dr. Ed Ducey (, before February 28, 2017 to discuss opportunities to take the aptitude test and apply.
Applications will be made available online before Spring Break. Top-performers on the aptitude test will receive an email invitation to apply for the program; however, any current 5th grade student who is either a resident of the Town of Collierville or currently enrolled in a Collierville School may apply. The application window will close at 11:59pm on March 24, 2017. Check back here for the link to access the application.
After the results from the aptitude test and applications are completed, a committee of educators from each middle school and Central Office will determine finalists. Finalists will be granted a personal interview. Interviews will take place at the student's school and will be unannounced
The committee will make final selections after interviews and invite those selected to join the 2017 cohort. Selectees will be notified on or after April 13, 2017. Selectees are REQUIRED to attend the Collierville Schools Board of Education meeting on May 9, 2017.

New STEM Curriculum: Project Lead the Way


Collierville Schools is excited to announce that the STEM Scholars cohorts will be using a new curriculum, Project Lead the Way, starting this August. The middle school curriculum, called PLTW Gateway, will provide our students with versatile skills by studying and exploring real-world challenges. We have selected six of the ten available modules for teachers to take students on rigorous studies into various STEM disciplines throughout the students’ middle school career. Below are short descriptions of the modules from PLTW:


6th Grade

Design and Modeling: Students discover the design process and develop an understanding of the influence of creativity and innovation in their lives. Students use tools such as the design process, a dynamic mathematics software, a computer-aided design program, computer simulations, and engineering notebook, and possibly a 3D printer to design, model, and build objects. They are challenged and empowered to use and apply what they’ve learned throughout the unit to design a therapeutic toy for a child who has cerebral palsy, fabricate and test it, and make necessary modifications to optimize the design solution.


Energy and the Environment: Students are challenged to think big toward the future as they explore sustainable solutions to our energy needs and investigate the impact of energy on our lives and the world. They use what they’ve learned to design and model alternative energy sources, as well as evaluate options for reducing energy consumption. Students use tools such as the engineering design process, an engineering notebook, and alternative energy modeling to invent and innovate.


7th Grade

Automation and Robotics: Students trace the history, development, and impact of automation and robotics as they explore mechanical systems, energy transfer, machine automation, and computer control systems. Using the VEX Robotics platform, students apply what they know to design and program traffic lights, toll booths, robotic arms, and more.


Medical Detectives: Students play the role of real-life medical detectives as they analyze genetic testing results to diagnose disease and study DNA evidence found at a “crime scene.” They use tools such as the engineering design process, an engineering notebook, and electrophoresis to solve medical mysteries through hands-on projects and labs, investigate how to measure and interpret vital signs, and learn how the systems of the human body work together to maintain health. 


8th Grade

Science of Technology: Science impacts the technology or yesterday, today, and the future. In this unit, students apply the concepts of physics, chemistry, and nanotechnology to STEM activities and projects. They will use tools such as the engineering design process, an engineering notebook, computer simulations, and prototyping materials to invent and innovate, including making ice cream, creating adhesives, cleaning up an oil spill, using machines to create motion, and discovering the properties and applications of nanomaterials.


Flight and Space: The exciting world of aerospace comes alive through Flight and Space. During this unit, students delve into the history of flight and space, discover the science behind aeronautics, and explore traveling and living in space. Students are then challenged to use the engineering design process, an engineering notebook, computer simulations, and their knowledge to design, build, and test an airfoil.


The Flight and Space module aligns with the 8th grade Capstone Experience, in which the district will be taking students to the National Flight Academy in Pensacola, FL during the spring semester. More details on that trip will be provided to 8th grade parents near the beginning of next school year.



In order to provide our STEM teachers with the state-required training to teach the new curriculum, we will not be holding a STEM Scholars Camp this year



Summer Work 

As a reminder, STEM Scholars are required to complete summer work for Math and English/Language Arts. Click here to access the summer work for math. Click here to access the summer work for ELA.




2017 STEM Scholars Cohort Presentation from STEM Night
2017 STEM Scholars Application
The application window will close at 11:59pm on March 24, 2017.
If you have questions or concerns, please email the Curriculum and Accountability Department at