New program will allow Hamilton County schools to apply for science lab funds

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(Photo: WKRN)

HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) —  A newly announced program will allow Hamilton County middle and high schools to apply for science lab funds.

Governor Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd announced the new program which will see the state of Tennessee partner with Volkswagen Chattanooga.

The $1 million program is named Volkswagen eLabs and officials say it will will allow students to gain access to emergent technologies and other science-related activities.

Schools will be have to identify a team of teachers committed to investing a significant amount of time to develop the knowledge and skills to take advantage of the laboratory opportunity, according to a release from state officials.

A school’s principal must also demonstrate a personal commitment to the project, agree to engage in professional learning and provide release time to at least one teacher who will manage the lab.

Each school must commit to raise a minimum of $5,000 annually in cash contributed materials to ensure that the lab is continually refreshed and materials are replaced.

“Volkswagen has been an incredible partner to the State of Tennessee for almost ten years, and we are grateful for its decision to further invest in Tennessee by creating this new, innovative program that will benefit Hamilton County middle and high school students,” Gov. Haslam said. “Our state continues to make education a top priority, and when Tennessee companies show their support in helping us make huge strides in education, that means a great deal for the future of our workforce and its success. We thank Volkswagen for its contribution to Hamilton County and continued commitment to Tennessee.”

The program will be administered in partnership with the Public Education Foundation (PEF), an independent, nonprofit organization that provides training, research and resources to teachers, principals and schools in Hamilton County.