The Rural Communities STEM Initiative (RCSI) is a business-and-education partnership working with nine rural school districts to improve science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills of regional K-12 students.
Lab-in-a-Box is the signature outreach effort of the Rural Communities STEM Initiative. Many rural school districts do not have the resources to provide students with robust, hands-on experiences in science classes. To address this need, Roane State has created Lab-In-A-Box kits that provide materials and lesson plans to rural school districts. Lesson plans are aligned with state standards.
Organizations that support RCSI include the East Tennessee Economic Council (ETEC), Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU), Roane State Community College and numerous East Tennessee businesses that depend on a STEM-related workforce from rural counties. Key leaders of RCSI include Dr. Chris Whaley, president of Roane State Community College, and Barry Stephenson, president and CEO of Oak Ridge-based Materials and Chemistry Laboratory, Inc. (MCLinc).
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