TAG Celebrates Winners for Third Annual STEM Education Awards

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Awards recognize excellence in science, technology, engineering and math education in Georgia

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Held on Friday, September 26th, the event is presented by TAG, TAG Ed, and TAG Savannah and is sponsored in part by Promethean and Cisco Systems Inc.

The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) and the TAG Education Collaborative (TAG-Ed) announced the winners for the Third Annual STEM Education Awards at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center.

Held on Friday, September 26th, the event is presented by TAG, TAG Ed, and TAG Savannah and is sponsored in part by Promethean and Cisco Systems Inc. The awards were created to recognize and honor individuals and organizations for their outstanding effort and achievement in supporting and promoting STEM education in Georgia.

“Recent studies project that STEM occupations will increase in Georgia by more than 22,000 jobs during the current decade,” said Tino Mantella, TAG President/CEO. “The STEM Education Awards is just one way that TAG is helping to promote and celebrate STEM Education in Georgia and we congratulate this year’s finalists and winners.”

Winners for 2014 were announced in 8 different categories:

Elementary: Mableton Elementary School, Mableton
In just 2 years, Mableton Elementary School’s STEM program has grown from just 2 teachers in the school to being implemented at every grade level. STEM programming in this diverse school starts in kindergarten and is emphasized in regular coursework as well as in extracurricular clubs and competitions such as STEM Lab and Math Lab. In addition to being recognized by their local school board, Mableton Elementary School has attracted financial and mentor support from large corporations and university.

Middle: Cornerstone Schools, Cumming
Cornerstone is a private school in Forsyth County, with just 350 students in all grade levels. As a part of the STEM program, students participate in the Ecybermission contest hosted by the US Army Corps of Engineers. This year, in addition to the 8th grade team taking home a 2nd place trophy, Cornerstone School’s 6th grade team won first place statewide with an winning project that integrated botany, geometry, and environmental science. The school also recently had 34 students winning “Superiors” from the Georgia Music Educators Association.

High School: Ridgeland High School, Walker County
STEM students at Ridgeland High School participate in lessons integrated with science, mathematics, engineering, and agricultural science courses. During their time in the STEM Academy, students are challenged with a year-long STEM research project and are paired with a Student Mentor from Georgia Tech. The school is also exploring new ways to encourage more females to explore STEM education and will partner on a STEM camp for girls to address the growing female population at their school.

STEM Day: Isle of Hope K-8, Savannah
For STEM Day 2014, Isle of Hope had over 750 students from all grades participate in various activities. Two of the most impactful programs included the coding and development projects done by the 6th and 7th graders and the 5th graders’ work on video and multimedia projects. In the next year, the school will expand with state-of-the-art technology and will offer 2D/3D animation, robotics, and 3D printing.

Post Secondary Outreach: Augusta Technical College, Augusta
In November of 2008 the groundwork for a partnership between Southern Nuclear Company and Augusta Technical College was commenced and the Nuclear Engineering Technology Program started its first class in the Fall Semester 2010. Since the start of the program, Augusta Technical College has graduated three classes (2012, 2013, and 2014) including over 75 students with an approximate 70% placement rate in the local nuclear industry including the most recent graduates in 2014. Over 4000 students are involved in STEM focused programs at partner institutions.

Corporate Outreach: Automation Direct, Cumming
Automation Direct.com has built one of the largest extra-curricular competition robotics communicates of its kind in the US. Since its inception in 2005, approximately 7000 students have participated in the program. Serving as a connector in the state, AutomationDirect.com provides initial funding and volunteer support ot help get robotics teams started. Graduates from the Forsyth Alliance supported programs are now working at Amazon, Apple, Schlumberger, Military Robotics, and private startups.

Extracurricular Programs: Sandy Springs Education Force/GTRI Stem Event, Sandy Springs
Sandy Springs Education Force partnered with Georgia Tech Research Institute to bring the 4th annual SSEF STEM event to the eleven Sandy Springs public schools in February 2014 impacting over 3000 students. One of the SSEF’s proudest accomplishments is the creation of a STEM afterschool program at Lake Forest Elementary School – where 97% of students are on free/reduced lunches – that focused on weekly Lego Robotics challenges.

STEM Certified School Outreach: Wheeler High School, Marietta
As a STEM Certified School, Wheeler High strives to help nearby schools maximize STEM opportunities by opening its labs, providing regular tours, and sharing best practices with counterparts from other schools. Ten schools from 9 districts have interacted with Wheeler in an effort to grow their own STEM programs. The school has also opened its doors for the past 7 years from local elementary and middle school students to participate in dissections and STEM camps.

“It is so gratifying to see STEM education gaining momentum throughout the state of Georgia,” said Michael Robertson, executive director of TAG-Ed. “In order for our students to be prepared for tomorrow’s careers, they must first acquire strong analytical and problem solving skills through rigorous coursework in school. The programs highlighted today are leading the way in this effort and sharing best practices that will prepare our students for the challenges ahead. “

To learn more, about the Georgia STEM Education Awards please visit: http://www.tagonline.org/events/stem-education-awards/.

About The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG)
The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) is the leading technology industry association in the state, serving more than 24,000 members and hosting over 200 events each year. TAG serves as an umbrella organization for 33 industry societies, each of which provides rich content for TAG constituents. TAG’s mission is to educate, promote, and unite Georgia’s technology community to foster an innovative and connected marketplace that stimulates and enhances a tech-based economy. For more information visit the TAG website at http://www.tagonline.org or TAG’s community website at http://www.TAGthink.com.

About TAG Education Collaborative
TAG Education Collaborative is dedicated to developing science, technology, engineering and math initiatives in Georgia. Through partnerships with statewide STEM programs, TAG-Ed fosters student interest in STEM in order to increase appreciation for the opportunities available through technology careers. TAG-Ed hosts an internship program for high school students, two web-based team challenges for students interested in Health IT and web design, and the Vine Event, an annual fundraiser benefiting STEM education. For additional information, visit TAG Education Collaborative or contact Michael Robertson at (404) 920 – 2038 or mrobertson(at)tagonline(dot)org.

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