First Statewide Georgia STEM Day Provides Real-World Relevance in Classroom
Over 260,000 Students and Educators celebrated science, technology, engineering and math across the state
ATLANTA (May 3, 2013) TAG Education Collaborative (TAG-Ed), the Technology Association of Georgia’s charitable organization dedicated to preparing the next-generation workforce, celebrated the first Georgia STEM Day on May 3, 2013. Over 260,000 students and educators from across the state participated in innovative STEM-based learning activities.
“Georgia STEM Day is about raising awareness of the importance of STEM to our state,” said Chris Reinking, TAG-Ed board chair and partner and co- founder at Jabian Consulting. “It is vital that students embrace STEM concepts at an early age in order to compete in Georgia’s future technology workforce. STEM Day is one way educators can introduce STEM in their classroom, ultimately providing a channel to encourage life-long STEM learning.”
STEM Day participants ranged from individual classrooms to entire school districts. At Dunwoody Elementary School, Jenn Mattison, a fourth grade gifted teacher, planned a STEM project called “The Chicken Mummy” to compliment studies of ancient Egypt. Students worked to understand the Egyptian mummification process by salting, adding scents, and drying out Cornish game hens. As part of Georgia STEM Day, Mattison’s class reprocessed the chickens and compared their weights. At the end of the unit in May, the students will bury their mummies. The goal is for next year’s fourth grade students to dig up the mummified hens as part of an archaeological excavation.
“I wanted to participate in the 2013 Georgia STEM Day because I believe that STEM is an opportunity for my students to take more responsibility of their own learning and increase rigor in my classroom. Students are able to predict, observe, and test their theories. STEM activities prepare students to become globally competitive,” Mattison said.
Educators are partnering with local companies to provide speakers and field trip opportunities that coordinate with their STEM curriculum in order to help students make the vital connection between the classroom and STEM careers. For example, the Museum of Aviation’s National STEM Academy is celebrating by presenting two special programs for 2nd through 5th graders at Eagle Springs Elementary in Houston County. Some of the activities include creating paper straw rockets, peashooter meteoroids, and testing propellers.
“Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is excited and enthusiastic to partner with TAG-Ed in promoting the first Georgia STEM Day,” said Dr. Robert McGrath, vice president at the Georgia Institute of Technology and director of the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI). “A well-educated workforce is an essential element of our state’s future economic vitality. Our job today is to help young people all across the state share in the excitement and satisfaction of learning science and engineering and apply those principles to improving our everyday lives.”
Participants of STEM Day have the opportunity to be recognized for the Technology Association of Georgia’s STEM Education Awards, held on September 27 in Savannah, Ga.
The STEM Education Awards were created to recognize and honor schools, extracurricular programs, public-private partnerships, science agencies and post-secondary education outreach programs for outstanding efforts and achievement in supporting and promoting science, technology, engineering, and math education in Georgia.
To learn more about Georgia STEM Day, please visit http://bit.ly/GASTEMDay. To follow the conversation on Twitter, track #GASTEMDay.