The Rural Communities STEM Initiative aims to use website and social media presence to create online community for STEM support.

RCSI_LogoThe Rural Communities STEM Initiative (RCSI) launched this week its highly anticipated website – www.ruralstem.org – making it easier for local students, teachers and community members to find pertinent science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education resources linked together in one location.

RSCI is an Oak Ridge business-education partnership working with middle school teachers in nine East Tennessee school systems to improve students’ STEM skills, based on the new statewide math and science curriculum.

“We welcome teachers, parents and business leaders to discover more about RCSI through the new website and to support this innovative program to achieve real gains in STEM learning for East Tennessee students,” said Gary Goff, president of Roane State Community College and a RCSI co-founder with Barry Stephenson of Oak Ridge-based Materials and Chemistry Laboratory, Inc.

The nine East Tennessee school systems included in the RCSI project are the Anderson, Campbell, Loudon, Morgan, Roane and Scott County school systems and the separate school systems of Lenoir City, Oneida and Clinton. RCSI is also supported by the East Tennessee Economic Council (ETEC).

“The just-launched RCSI website aims to provide a one-stop shop for promoting math and science curricula within these nine rural school systems, and even beyond,” said Goff.

RCSI’s website – written and designed with full in-kind support by Nashville-based Locomotion Creative and Maryville, Tennessee-based Mary Beth West Consulting, LLC – links to the organization’s Facebook page and also provides a blog, media room, partnership opportunities, donor appreciation and teacher testimonials.

Companies and individuals can participate in an Adopt-a-Classroom program to deliver “Lab-in-a-Box” kits to specific classrooms. Tax-deductible corporate and individual donations to help fund RCSI can be made through the Roane State Foundation by calling (865) 882-4507. For more information, visit www.ruralstem.org.