(MURFREESBORO) Elementary, middle school and high school students from Rutherford, Davidson and Sumner counties brought their research A games to the Middle Tennessee State University campus earlier this week.
Ingenious, industrious and impressive describes the projects and talents of the nearly 220 youth from 18 schools attending the annual Middle Tennessee STEM Innovation Hub Expo Wednesday, April 5, in the Student Union Ballroom.
The judged competition hosted by the MTSU Tennessee STEM Education Center. TSEC officials hold the event to help the students, who have been challenged by their teachers, perform expanded study in the areas of STEM Research, Engineering, Agricultural STEM or Technology.
STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
“There was really high-quality research and great projects, and a wonderful opportunity for them to be on our campus,” said Kevin Ragland, associate professor, event coordinator and TSEC associate director.
“We have a wonderful partnership with our campus community and externally, too,” he added.
Awards wrapped up the day’s events. Entries from Murfreesboro City Schools and Rutherford County Schools were among the judges’ choices for awards.
Breast cancer and spinal cord studies, “Ant’s Eats,” “Putt Right Golf,” “Struggle Buggle” and more were part of the fascinating research by the students in grades 5-12.
Streya Priyadarshi, 17, a junior at Harpeth Hall in Nashville, Tennessee, said she was able to utilize a Vanderbilt University lab to assist with her complex breast cancer research that began in August 2022.
“My labs provided the cells that came from around country. People donated them to the lab, and I just started to work with all the materials that were given to us,” she said.
After a visit from judge Chaney Mosley, MTSU School of Agriculture assistant professor and TSEC associate director, FFA member and Stewarts Creek High School freshman Catherine Denton came away with positive feedback.
“He was telling me many things to further my knowledge in the world of equine and how to better form my project in the future to help judges and others learn how to help the agriculture industry,” said Denton, 14, of Smyrna, Tennessee.
Judges featured graduate and undergraduate students, faculty and industry partners including the Discovery Center at Murfree Spring, Mars Petcare and Wilbur-Ellis.
TSEC, which is a part of the MTSU College of Basic and Applied Sciences, plans to hold its next expo in spring 2024. For more information, call 615-904-8573.