Lincoln Memorial University


JFWA Fourth-Graders Present Bridge Solutions for Cumberland Gap National Historical Park

HARROGATE, Tennessee, February 22, 2019— J. Frank White Academy (JFWA) fourth-graders presented STEM projects to Cumberland Gap National Historical Park (CGNHP) personnel on Feb. 13. The JFWA students developed proposals to replace a deteriorating footbridge within the park.


Park Ranger Carol Borneman and Trail Maintenance Worker Darryl Day worked with the students on the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) project aimed at solving an existing challenge within the national park. Students explored ways to build a safe bridge with minimal impact on the environment and with materials that match the wilderness surroundings.


“These students are the second generation of park visitors finding and supporting their national parks,” Borneman said. “At an early age, they are discovering for themselves the unique and varied challenges which confront all national parks.”


Borneman and Day visited the classroom to talk to students about the park and designated wilderness areas before explaining the challenge. On a site visit to the Sugar Run area of the park, the students examined a deteriorating bridge that needed replacement.


“The field trip to the park allowed students to see the problem for themselves and begin brainstorming possible solutions,” said Katie Stotts, teacher at JFWA. “The students have been working on their solution designs and prototypes since October.”


Jamie Noe, a civil engineer specializing in bridges with Vaughn and Melton Consulting, talked to the students about the processes and tools she uses in her work and provided them with feedback on their bridge prototypes.


Student who participated in the project included: Talmadge Blair, of Holmes Mill, Kentucky; Rachel Fannon, of Tazewell, Tennessee; Eva Gromley, of Tazewell, Tennessee; Gary Hamilton, of Knoxville, Tennessee; Adriawna Hudson, of Middlesboro, Kentucky; Cooper Muncy, of Tazewell, Tennessee; Karsyn Noe, of Harrogate, Tennessee; and Levi Williamson, of Harrogate, Tennessee.


“This project was a perfect way to teach these students the value of problem-solving with real-world application and learning to think outside the box for creative solutions,” Stotts said.


The J. Frank White Academy is a private coeducational college preparatory school located on the campus of Lincoln Memorial University and serves students grades 4-12 from Claiborne, Union, Campbell and Hancock counties in Tennessee; Bell County, Kentucky; and Lee County, Virginia. For more information contact the Academy Office at 423.869.6234 or visit


Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The main campus is located in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423.869.6280 or email at



423.869.3611 | 800.325.0900
6965 Cumberland Gap Parkway
Harrogate, TN 37752