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East Coffee holds afterschool STEAM event

Posted on Friday, November 3, 2017 at 12:09 pm


East Coffee Elementary School recently held an open house with Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Aerospace, Agriculture, and Math (STEAM) as the theme.

Afterschool students and non-afterschool students presented their STEAM projects in the cafeteria, 10 groups altogether. Projects took a look at topics ranging from principles of physics to chemical reactions to probability.

Each grade had a different project to complete and demonstrate.

UTSI (University of TN Space Institute), one of the school partners, demonstrated alternative wind energy, straw rockets and the launch of a weather balloon.

The Hands on Science Center of Tullahoma director assisted. The UT Extension 4-H representative and other partners set up a demonstration about smoking and its harmful effects on the lungs.

Afterschool archery instructors showed students how to safely use bows and arrows, and fifth-grade teachers demonstrated coding in the computer lab.

An East Coffee Elementary custodian, a licensed electrician, showed students a project about electricity, where it comes from and how it gets to your home.

Representatives from the community present included U.S. Representative Diane Black’s staff, Coffee County Director of Schools Dr. LaDonna McFall, members school board directors and central office staff, local commissioner as well as members of county and city government and businesses.

Assistant Principal Jimmy St. John noted that the program was part of the 21stCentury Community Learning Center called Excellence at East. This afterschool program provides a nutritious snack and a safe environment for students from 3:15 to 6 p.m., with no cost to parents, and offers academic and homework assistance, archery, STEAM activities, physical education activities and more. It serves 92 students.

“ It is funded with federal funds. [President Trump’s] budget cuts included a cut to these afterschool programs. The US Senate did vote to cut these funds back in July. However, some congressmen introduced an amendment to the budget, which reinstated funds for at least another year,” he said.