The Tennessee Aquarium will host some local students for a sleepover at the aquarium, where they will be able to watch a live stream from a coral reef in the Gulf of Mexico and hear from scientists, on Aug. 22 through a special "Sleep in the Deep" program. Photo courtesy of The Tennessee Aquarium and John Bamber. Contributed Photo/Times Free Press

Tennessee Aquarium to host students for special 'Sleep in the Deep' event

About one week after the so-called "Sturgeon Moon" in August, corals within the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of Texas and Louisiana begin to spawn. This year a remotely-operated vehicle will be there — under water in the Gulf — to live stream the corals' spawn.

The Tennessee Aquarium was chosen as one of only three education partners to talk with the scientists operating the remotely-operated vehicle, named Yogi, as the coral spawn peaks, according to Brooke Gorman, the Tennessee Aquarium's director of science education.

On Aug. 22, the aquarium will host some students from area schools through a special Sleep in the Deep, or sleepover, event at the aquarium to watch the live stream of Yogi and hear from the scientists.

"Opportunities like this can get kids excited and perhaps lead to some of them pursuing a career in a STEM-related field," she said. "Hopefully, our guests spend a little more time exploring our Secret Reef exhibit after seeing this live feed."

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Hamilton County schools chief named Austin Peay Outstanding Young Alum

Bryan Johnson, superintendent of Hamilton County Schools, has been named an Austin Peay State University 2019 Alumni Award winner. During the Austin Peay Homecoming celebration this November, Johnson will be among six alumni honored. He was awarded the Outstanding Young Alumni Award.

Johnson has led Hamilton County Schools since July 2017. Since his arrival, the school district has increased student academic achievement and growth and is now one of the fastest-improving district's in the state of Tennessee.

After earning his bachelor degree's in business administration from Austin Peay in 2004, Johnson received a master's degree in teaching from Belmont University and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Trevecca Nazarene University. He also completed studies at Harvard University through the school's Young American Leadership program. Johnson is also a former Austin Peay football player.

PEF accepting Teacherprenuer applications until Aug. 20

The Public Education Foundation of Chattanooga is accepting applications for the sixth cohort of its Teacherpreneur Incubator program. The program looks for passionate teachers with big ideas that could impact their classroom or school.

Past projects have included developing teacher-led training workshops through the "Teach Like A Boss" program, building a tiny house with students and tied in with the school's science curriculum and more.

After the success of the first five years of the program, Hamilton County Schools and the Benwood Foundation are partnering to offer a new program called the Teacherpreneur Accelerator, which is open to past participants in the Teacherpreneur program.

The programs are open to all Hamilton County classroom educators, counselors, media specialists and coaches. Applications close at midnight of Tuesday, Aug. 20.

For more information, contact Cliff Brittingham, instructional development coordinator at PEF, at 423-648-4448 or

Junior League of Chattanooga is now accepting mini-grant applications

Over the past 100 years, the Junior League of Chattanooga has donated thousands of dollars to local teachers to help improve their classrooms.

The Mini-Grants for Teachers program is designed "to provide funding for creative and effective teaching projects to educators in the Hamilton County public school system," according to the Junior League's website.

This year's application deadline is Monday, Aug. 26. Any elementary, middle or high school teacher or team of teachers in Hamilton County Schools is eligible to apply.

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