Science - Technology - Engineering - Mathematics
AEDC STEM Center (Fox's Den)
Arnold Engineering Development Complex's STEM Center is designed to provide an exciting and interactive learning environment for teachers and students K-12. The mission is to inspire and develop student interest in STEM careers, especially in communities that surround military bases, laboratories, and other Department of Defense facilities.
AEDC strives to match hands-on activities with the school's curriculum; making learning fun for teachers and students. AEDC speakers, with a wide variety of expertise and life experiences, may be provided to assist classes with a specific program of study.
Scientist, engineers and other professionals may be available to set up demonstrations at regional schools. The STEM center is equipped with hands-on demonstrations ranging from flight dynamics and robotics, to constellations and moon colonies.
The AEDC STEM Discovery Dome is a 16' diameter by 10' high portable facility capable of hosting up to 35 students and their teacher. It provides a full planetarium experience as well as STEM surround sound/videos tailored to the grade level of the students.
Static and portable wind tunnels are available to help students understand the dynamics of flight. The wind tunnels are equipped with fog solutions for viewing airflows, model airplane, model car, rotating cylinder and airfoil section. Speeds up to 40 mph may be achieved in the static wind tunnel. Students are able to control an objects angle of attack, rotation speed or airflow speed.
The center's rocket launchers give students experience with using the engineering process, building rockets, testing rockets and learning physics principles.
Team America Rocketry Challenge
Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) is the Aerospace Industries Association's signature program and the only aerospace-specific national STEM competition, TARC has reached over 60,000 students in the past decade and involved over 4,000 students in 48 states.
An extra-curricular hands-on project-based learning program, the TARC competition is modeled around the aerospace industry's design, fabrication and testing processes. All students participate in a team of 3-10 students to design, build, and fly a rocket. Like aerospace companies work within specific design parameters, every year the challenge requires teams to achieve the same basic mission-oriented goals of hitting a precise altitude, landing within a specific flight time window, and returning a raw egg ("the astronaut") without cracking. AEDC STEM sponsors 7 TARC teams.
ARIES is a physical science curriculum for students in grades 5-8 that employs 18 inquiry-centered, hands-on lessons called "explorations" that teach motion and forces. The curriculum draws upon students' curiosity to explore phenomena, allowing for a discovery-based learning process. Group-centered lab work is designed to help students build an understanding of inertia, friction, gravity, speed, and acceleration. Students examine their prior ideas about the phenomena, formulate questions, build and use an apparatus to observe natural phenomena, make predictions, and gather data through structured experiments. Exploring Motion and Forces is part of the ARIES sequence of eight physical science units. The ARIES sequences can be used together for an overall curriculum or independently. The AEDC STEM Lending Library has checked out 18 ARIES Exploring Motion and Forces Kits to area schools and home school groups.
STEM K-12 Lending Library
The following items are available for check out:
Discovery Dome (Planetarium and STEM films)
ARIES Exploring Motion and Forces Lesson Kits
LEGO® Education WeDo Robotics Construction Set
FIRST Jr. Lego League
Focused on building an interest in science and engineering in children ages 6-9, Junior FIRST® LEGO® League (Jr.FLL®) is a hands-on program designed to capture young children's inherent curiosity and direct it toward discovering the possibilities of improving the world around them. Just like FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®), this program features a real-world challenge, to be solved by research, critical thinking and imagination. Guided by adult coaches and the Jr.FLL Core Values, students work with LEGO elements and moving parts to build ideas and concepts and present them for review.
FTC is designed for those in Grades 7-12 who want to compete head to head, using a sports model. Teams of up to 10 students are responsible for designing, building, and programming their robots to compete in an alliance format against other teams. The robot kit is reusable from year-to-year and is programmed using a variety of languages. Teams, including coaches, mentors and volunteers, are required to develop strategy and build robots based on sound engineering principles. Awards are given for the competition as for well as for community outreach, design, and other real-world accomplishments.
AEDC STEM helps sponsor 4 FIRST Tech Challenge Teams
The VEX Robotics Competition a middle and high school robotics program with more than 4,800 teams from 20 countries playing in over 300 tournaments worldwide. Students, with guidance from their teachers and mentors, aim to build the most innovative robots possible and work together to obtain the most points possible. In addition to just having a great time and building amazing robots, through their participation in the VEX Robotic Competition and their work within their team, students will learn many academic and life skills.
AEDC STEM helps sponsor one VEX Robotics Competition Team
Reach for the Stars National Rocket Competition
AEDC STEM Program and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) sponsor Reach for the Stars National Rocket Competitions where students build and launch model rockets as part of a national spot landing contest. Each participant receives a certificate with artwork by Alan Bean, astronaut and moonwalker from Apollo 12. The winners from each state earn the right to compete for the national title at the US Space Camp in Huntsville, AL. Two competitions with 25 students total were held in FY14 and one of our local winners also won for the state of TN!
Our FY15 winner was one of four national winners! http://www.therocketman.net/index.html