LaVergne Middle Launches Student Tech Crew Curriculum to Expose Students to Industry

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School seeking Dell certification program, first middle school in Rutherford County offer curriculum

By GRAYSON LEE MAXWELL

Rutherford County Schools

Through a new curriculum program, students at LaVergne Middle are gaining valuable tech skills and exploring future career opportunities before setting foot on a high school campus.

As the first middle school in Rutherford County to participate in the Student Tech Crew coursework, students are working to further their knowledge of computer systems, software and computer repair.

“Essentially, students will learn how to maintain and repair different hardware systems. They install the operating systems, troubleshoot hardware and technical issues, and learn about career and technical opportunities,” said Travis Diate, STEM teacher at LaVergne Middle.

As technology continues to grow more complex and enrich our lives, the need for skills to repair these devices has grown. In addition to the potential for earning certifications for repairing computers, Diate is helping students research careers they might pursue after graduation.

“I have a group of 14 eighth graders who will be the first group to go through this curriculum with me. So, by completing the course material and learning more about the opportunities out there, they have multiple doors opened for them,” Diate said.

Students have also expressed a lot of enthusiasm about participating in the challenging course. Most students these days have grown up with devices in their hands and surrounded by every changing tech advancements. The course has kept students engaged and challenged, Diate said.

Keegan Davis, one of the students enrolled in the class, said the coursework was “interesting and fun” but admitted “it can be difficult at times.”

Davis’ classmate Stephen Guzman remarked: “It’s a great program that will lead me to great opportunities and great success in life.”

LaVergne middle is also seeking enrollment in the Dell certification program, and if accepting, the school will become one of only three in the nation to do so — joining McAdory Middle School in Alabama and White Settlement ISD in Texas.

“Our goal for Career and Technical Education is to align our programs of study seamlessly with middle, high and post-secondary,” said Tyra Pilgrim, CTE coordinator for Rutherford County Schools. “This will be our first chance to align information technology programs of study at the middle school level with our high school programs.”

LaVergne Middle remains the only school in the district to implement the Tech Crew coursework at the middle school level, and students are excited to get started.

“It is our goal for students to have industry certifications, and this course will help promote that,” Pilgrim added.

While the coursework may be challenging at times, it is an excellent opportunity for students to engage with informational technology before moving on to more advanced programs of study, said Jeannie Williams, RCS Instructional Technology coordinator.

“Any exposure these students have to the materials and course opportunities our high schools offer, or future career opportunities available to them, is excellent,” Williams said.