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March 8, 2012 -- State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge today announced that the Marietta Center for Advanced Academics in the Marietta City School System has been designated as the first Georgia Department of Education Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) certified school. In a ceremony at the school, Superintendent Barge joined local school system officials, two of the school’s business partners, Lockheed Martin and the American Society of Civil Engineers, and one of the school’s university partners, Southern Polytechnic State University, to congratulate the elementary school on their extraordinary achievement.
"I am proud of the Marietta Center for Advanced Academics for being our first STEM designated school,” said Superintendent Barge. “It is so important that we begin teaching students about STEM-related careers at the elementary level so we can capture students’ imaginations and interests at a young age. What these students do in elementary school will carry over throughout middle and high school to increase our number of scientists, biotechnologists, engineers, medical specialists, computer scientists, and other STEM professionals.”
“Lockheed Martin is dedicated to furthering the reach of STEM education close to home and across the world. We want our educational initiatives to inspire students and shape our future − as a company and as a country,” said Shan Cooper, Lockheed Martin vice president and general manager for the company’s Aeronautics facility located in Marietta. “Our partnership with the Marietta Center for Advanced Academics is a natural fit for Lockheed Martin and it is our privilege to support the school’s amazing faculty, staff and students.”
The STEM certification results from an application submitted by the school that must meet rigorous criteria, such as evidence of teacher collaboration, business/industry partnerships, high levels of math and science instruction, and an integrated STEM curriculum that is project based. A team from the Georgia Department of Education visited the school to observe evidence that STEM instruction was occurring. The team was most impressed by the fact that every student receives science instruction every day and also engages in a daily STEM engineering challenge as an additional class. The school is committed to this “double dose” of STEM on a very tight budget. This school's success highlights the fact that a strong STEM education is feasible for all elementary schools in Georgia.
Learn more about STEM schools at http://www.gadoe.org/Curriculum-Instruction-and-Assessment/CTAE/Pages/STEM.aspx.