Pellissippi State partners with Town of Farragut at outdoor classroom

posted in: Community, Partnerships, Students | 0

Rachael ReevesPellissippi State Community College students in a geology course are working at the town of Farragut’s outdoor classroom to study soil porosity and the hydrologic cycle and to build a rain garden.

“The projects at the outdoor classroom are led by the groups that come here,” said Jason Scott, Farragut’s stormwater engineer. “Pellissippi State has been great to work with. They’re coming in to test the soil, come up with concept plans and follow the whole process of building a garden.”

Sarah Drummond, a Geology adjunct faculty member at Pellissippi State, had her students at the garden in early February to take soil samples and study how quickly water drains from East Tennessee’s clay soil. This month, Drummond hopes her class—in addition to others from Pellissippi State—will be able to plant a rain garden at the site.

“I’ve loved the hands-on experience that the outdoor classroom has given us,” said Rachael Reeves, a student in Drummond’s class. “Sometimes it’s hard to relate what you learn in the classroom to real life, and this class has definitely broken that mold.”

Kathleen Affholter, an associate professor in Geology, travels with her class from Pellissippi State’s Blount County Campus to Farragut’s outdoor classroom.

“We’re taking soil samples and testing porosity and permeability, and those tests are more meaningful when the students have collected the soil themselves,” Affholter said. “It’s a great learning experience to have hands-on knowledge of what can be an abstract experiment.”

Affholter is using technology, including a storytelling app called Shadow Puppet, to help her students document their experiments. Landon Lowe and Catherine Metler created a short video in February to show their experiment.

Pellissippi State’s partnership with the town of Farragut began in 2014 with Caroline Erickson, also a Geology adjunct faculty member.

“I was looking for a project that would tie in what students were studying in the classroom with hands-on learning in a setting that would benefit both the students and the community,” Erickson said. “Students will carry out various projects in the demonstration space: they will study the soil’s porosity and permeability and finally install the plants at the outdoor classroom.”

Farragut’s outdoor classroom is located near Farragut High School off Campbell Station Road. With the help of grant funds, the outdoor classroom showcases native plantings, rainwater collection systems and water quality.

For more information about Pellissippi State and its many programs, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State ‘2+2’ alumnus named ‘Teacher of the Year’

Charlie ArpCharles Arp, a Pellissippi State Community College alumnus, has been named “Teacher of the Year” for Sweetwater City Schools in Monroe County. He teaches fifth grade at Brown Intermediate School.

Arp graduated through a teacher education partnership between Pellissippi State and Tennessee Technological University in 2012. Graduates from what is called the “2+2” program earn an Associate of Science in Teaching degree from Pellissippi State, then a Bachelor of Science degree in Multidisciplinary Studies and K-6 Teacher Licensure from Tennessee Tech.

Students in 2+2 attend the first two years as Pellissippi State students and the last two years as Tennessee Tech students—but they take all of their classes at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus. A.S.T. is a cohort program, meaning the students go through the entire sequence together.

“Charlie was one of those students that you don’t forget,” said Barbara Jenkins, program coordinator of the A.S.T. program. “He knew what he wanted to do—to teach and make a difference with children in the elementary classroom—and he pursued his goal without hesitation.”

Arp says he was surprised and pleased to receive the Teacher of the Year recognition after teaching only three years. The honor is awarded through Little Tennessee Valley Educational Cooperative.

In April, he also earned Oak Ridge Associated Universities’ 2015 Extreme Classroom Makeover. The award comes with a $25,000 grand prize that funds new technology in the classroom.

Arp credits his success to Pellissippi State and Tennessee Tech and the partnership 2+2 program.

“Pellissippi State prepared me for nearly every aspect of teaching,” he said. “My students have had some of the highest possible science TCAP [Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program] scores in the state. I would say 75 percent of my teaching toolkit is from things I learned at Pellissippi State.

“The 2+2 program even helped prepare me for the interview for this job [at Brown Intermediate]. The only mistake I made was that I didn’t start the 2+2 program straight out of high school.”

Arp employs a number of distinctive techniques to teach his students, including using the Minecraft video game as a way of teaching mathematics and keeping children moving during math lessons by making use of a class-sized coordinate plane. When teaching reading and English lessons, Arp uses movie trailers based on novels to get his students interested in literature.

For more information about the A.S.T., 2+2 and other programs offered by or in partnership with Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Community invited to Pellissippi State’s Student Design Showcase

posted in: Degree Programs, Events, Students | 0

Pellissippi State Community College graphic design students will display their coursework during the annual Communication Graphics Technology Student Design Showcase.

The free event is 4-8 p.m. Thursday, April 23, and the community is invited. The theme of this year’s showcase is “We’re Cooking Up Something Good.”

The student showcase is like a graduation, celebration and potential job interview all rolled into one. It gives this year’s 19 senior-level participants the opportunity to present their portfolios for viewing and evaluation by invited area design professionals. Each student has his or her own table display, and each makes business cards and resumes available to the attending industry professionals.

The CGT Student Design Showcase takes place in the Bagwell Center for Media and Art on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

For more information about the showcase, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State: Civil Rights film ‘Say It Loud’ to show at Magnolia Avenue Campus

Rich-ProtestPellissippi State Community College’s Magnolia Avenue Campus hosts a showing of “Say It Loud: Knoxville During the Civil Rights Era,” a documentary chronicling local events that were part of the Civil Rights Movement, Thursday, April 16.

The film runs 2-3:20 p.m. in the Community Room, and the community is invited to the free event.

The event also features a brief presentation by Theotis Robinson Jr., a retired vice president for diversity and equity at the University of Tennessee and a columnist for the Knoxville News Sentinel. Robinson was one of the first African-American students to desegregate the UT campus in 1961. His brief presentation and question-and-answer take place after the documentary.

 “Say It Loud” uses archival footage, recently rediscovered, to study the African-American community in Knoxville and Civil Rights up to the 1970s. It was produced by the Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound, a unit of the Knox County Public Library.

“It’s an unusual documentary that lets these rare images tell the story themselves,” said Bradley Reeves, archivist at TAMIS.

The documentary is being screened as part of the Magnolia Avenue Campus’ American History II class. The campus is located at 1610 E. Magnolia Ave.

For more information, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 329-3100. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

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