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Tennessee State University recently played host to more than 500 middle and high school students for one of the largest science fairs in the state.

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering at Tennessee State University (TSU), and the Middle Tennessee STEM Innovation Hub, organized the 5th Annual STEM Expo, which took place April 6th.

“TSU and the College of Engineering are committed to promoting STEM education for Metro Nashville Schools,” Hargrove said. “Higher education and industry must become even more engaged in stimulating interests in STEM careers, and preparing students with the necessary background and skills to enter these occupations in the next decade and beyond.

“Of tomorrow’s top 10 best jobs, 7 are STEM related,” the engineering dean said.

STEM Expo sponsors include, the Tennessee State University College of Engineering, Middle Tennessee State University, Metropolitan Nashville Schools, School of Engineering Vanderbilt University, Siemens, American Chemical Society, American Society of Civil Engineers – Tennessee Section, Nashville Chapter; the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network.

Entrants from public, private, and parochial schools from the middle Tennessee region gathered at the TSU Gentry Center from 7am till 2pm displaying the results of their STEM projects in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology fields.

According to TSU Media, the 500 students from 35 schools displayed results of 259 STEM projects spanning: cyber bullying, breast cancer prevention, weather technology and sustainable recycling, just to name a few.

Dr. Lonnie Sharpe, dean of TSU’s College of Life and Physical Sciences, was one of the Expo advisers. He said the fair provided “a unique” opportunity for recruitment. “Maybe we can recruit some of these students to TSU one day,” Sharpe said.

Another judge was Jonathan Reynolds, a TSU grad student majoring in Computer Information and Systems engineering, “These kids are well ahead in 21st century technology,” he said.

Displays were judged on basic hypothesis, significance of the subject, knowledge beyond what the project shows, presentation, and level of technology. Entries competed for bronze, silver, or gold medals based on evaluations from teams of professionals interacting with teams of students. STEM EXPO sponsors selected from among all entries for special awards

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