Grantee Corner  |  Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools

Three boys kneel by a stream and take notes
Inglewood Environmental Sciences STEAM Magnet students study habitats of local creek critters

A group of students dance in a studio
Warner Arts Magnet students grow in their cultural understanding of dance through movement and exposure to different styles of dance in their new studio

Students work outside in a raised gardening bed
Rosebank Integrated Technology and Biological Sciences students learn through gardening education with a partnership with local nonprofit Plant The Seed

Five female students hold food bank donations
Glencliff Entrepreneurship STEAM Magnet School students use business principles to give back to the community through organizations like Second Harvest Food Bank

Students man a table at an outdoor fair
Glencliff Elementary students celebrate their final project-based learning unit by hosting a community global entrepreneurship day where families, students, and community members shared their business models, cultures, and entrepreneurial ideas

Two male students hold up a fishing net
Whitsitt Environmental Engineering STEAM Magnet School students survey the creek behind their school and partner with Cumberland River Compact to improve the quality of life of the creek

Located in Nashville, Tennessee (a.k.a. Music City), Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) has many popular magnet schools and is home to more than 83,000 students who come from many countries and speak 140 languages. Nashville is one of the most diverse urban school districts in the United States, and strives to be the fastest improving.

MNPS’s FY 2017 Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) grant has enabled students in Kindergarten through fourth grade to take advantage of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) programming and unique partnerships. The five MSAP-supported elementary schools are Glencliff Entrepreneurship STEAM Magnet, Inglewood Environmental Sciences Magnet, Rosebank Biological Sciences and Integrated Technology Magnet, Warner Arts STEAM Magnet, and Whitsitt Environmental Engineering Magnet. 

At Glencliff, students learn about entrepreneurship through Uncharted Learning’s unique Incubator lab and curriculum. Teachers use Engineering is Elementary curriculum and project-based learning units to engage students in STEAM activities. Learning takes place in technology labs and a broadcasting studio and is integrated with global and social entrepreneurship content Additional entrepreneurial learning experiences come through a thriving partnership with Junior Achievement. 

Inglewood students learn through challenge-based learning activities where students solve real-life problems and engage in unique conversations with experts and peers. Through FUSE Studios programming, STEAM exploration happens during innovative challenges in a student-centered learning environment. Unique partnerships with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Metro Public Health Department enable students to learn about the environmental impacts on the earth and their health. 

Rosebank students engage in unique learning experiences with nonprofit partner Plant the Seed. Students use outdoor gardening spaces and curriculum to learn about food sources, gardening, urban landscapes, and much more. In addition, students learn in a STEAM lab with FUSE Studios and Vanderbilt University Medical Center volunteers. Weekly lessons with a resident scientist enhance science content knowledge and inquiry-based learning. 

At Warner Arts STEAM Magnet, students have a new dance studio, a renovated music suite, and a theatre where students show what they know through dance, music, and drama. Partners and teaching artists from the Tennessee Performing Arts Center create one-of-a-kind units and engage students in activities like Chinese drumming, mural art, dance, and theatre. A partnership with Turnip Green Creative Reuse offers students unlimited possibilities to express themselves visually. 

At Whitsitt Elementary students learn in labs for science, technology, and engineering. On Power Mondays, students spend 90 minutes with an expert in a STEAM field while teachers learn, develop, and plan together. Students and their families have benefited from the involvement of Cumberland River Compact’s hands-on approach to outdoor learning. 

MNPS is led by Interim Director, Dr. Adrienne Battle. Dr. Schunn Turner is MNPS’s Executive Director of School Choice and oversees all the district’s magnet schools. District staff that work with the MSAP grant include Dr. ReGina Etter, Coordinator of Curriculum, a 30+ year veteran; Lindy Matthews, Coordinator of Marketing and Recruitment; and Salina Solomon, Grants Analyst.