Skip to main content


The Academy curriculum is developed by area Master Teachers utilizing national and state science standards, area scientific expertise, and best practices in education. The Master Teachers also arrange tours, speakers, and assume primary teaching responsibilities for content delivery, hands-on experimentation, data collection, data analysis and final presentations. Three assistant teachers typically assist with the curriculum presentation and daily student explorations and research.

The students are divided into small, collaborative groups of 2-4 students each. Each group must create a solution to a real-world problem that exists in Appalachia using 3D printing, artificial intelligence, and city planning concepts in their solution. In the Academy setting, the groups research their problem, build models, learn to collaborate, and present their results in a final presentation.

The students are divided into four research groups: 3D Printing, City Planning, and Artificial Intelligence. Each group is composed of 9 students. In the Academy setting, the groups research their topic, build models, collect and analyze data, learn to collaborate, and present their results in a final presentation.

  • appalachian-stem-academy-middle-school-activities-2023-3d.webp

    3D Printing

    Students became familiar with the 3D printing process by learning how to use CAD software to design and create objects to print. The students were able to print their designs and use their new knowledge of 3D printing to help solve problems in their communities.

  • appalachian-stem-academy-middle-school-activities-2023-city.webp

    City Planning

    Students learned about food desserts, heat islands, and sustainability to understand issues city planners face in the communities of Appalachia. Students used a variety of technology and worked with City of Knoxville planners to explore and better understand the concepts they learned.

  • app-design.jpg

    Artificial Intelligence

    Students discussed and explored the concept of Artificial Intelligence, and used digital platforms to better understand and create AI tools. Students looked at how AI can be used as a tool to solve real world problems, how to avoid bias, and techniques to make sure AI is an inclusive tool for the future.