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UScellular donates VR phone equipment to Beaumont Academy STEAM Lab

January 26, 2024

UScellular announced a $3,125 donation in phone equipment for VR headsets for the Beamont Magnet Academy science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics lab to allow students to dive deeper into the world of STEAM. Beaumont Magnet Academy will receive 25 devices to ensure the functionality of the headsets.

“UScellular welcomed the opportunity to donate these devices and make an investment in STEAM,” said Thomas White, director of sales for East Tennessee at UScellular. “At UScellular, we strive to unleash the power of our youth and are excited to see where this learning opportunity takes them in the fields of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.”

Standing from left: Tyrone Beach of Muse Knoxville, Thomas White of UScellular, Freya Fontanilla, Tallulah Gilchrist, Georgia Piburn, Lydia Hunter, Allison Comer of Muse Knoxville and STEAM instructor Jessica Reiner and Principal Cindy Sanford of Beaumont Magnet Academy. Middle row from left: Oliver Pruitt, Ronan Irving, Eben Norris, Nolan Spainhour, Eli Peterson and Fox Akerman. Front, kneeling from left: Frankie Greene, Fiona Granatino, Mabrie Wall, Cooper Hawkins and Bea Wealand.

The impetus for the donation occurred when Allison Comer, executive director of Muse Knoxville, served as “Principal for a Day” through a Knox County Schools initiative. The program has allowed more than 90 Knox County business and community leaders to go back to school to spend a half day in the principal’s office. The participants also spend time in the classroom, cafeteria and teacher collaboration meetings for a firsthand look at school activities.

“I enjoyed the opportunity to participate in Principal for a Day and get to know the students at Beaumont Magnet School,” Comer said. “Through talking with the students and looking at their materials, I saw the need for the VR devices. I reached out to see if UScellular could offer some assistance.”

UScellular donated the devices to the school on Jan. 26 as part of the company’s commitment to providing STEM and STEAM opportunities to youth.

Thomas White of UScellular, upper right, instructs (clockwise) Fox Akerman, Eli Peterson and Cooper Hawkins on how to use the new devices.

“We are so thankful for these devices,” said Jessica Reiner, STEAM Instructor at Beaumont Magnet. “Our students are ecstatic to be able to use these devices and reconnect with VR technology.”

About UScellular

UScellular is the fourth-largest full-service wireless carrier in the United States, providing national network coverage and industry-leading innovations designed to help customers stay connected to the things that matter most. The Chicago-based carrier provides a strong, reliable network supported by the latest technology and offers a wide range of communication services that enhance consumers’ lives, increase the competitiveness of local businesses and improve the efficiency of government operations. Through its After School Access Project, the company has pledged to provide hotspots and service to help up to 50,000 youth connect to reliable internet. Additionally, UScellular has price protected all of its plans, promising not to increase prices through at least the end of 2024. To learn more about UScellular, visit one of its retail stores or To get the latest news, visit

Katie Riley
Katie Riley
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