MEDIA CONTACT: Matt Cardoza, GaDOE Communications Office, (404) 651-7358, firstname.lastname@example.org
May 23, 2012 – The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) last week recognized the Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology as Georgia’s first high school Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) certified school. In a ceremony at the school, GaDOE officials joined local school system officials and business partners to congratulate the high school on their extraordinary achievement.
"The Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology is to be commended for being named our first STEM designated high school,” said Superintendent Barge. “It is critically important that we have students focused on STEM-related careers because we know we have a shortage of STEM professionals in the labor market, and these students will help fill the void.”
“We are truly honored to be the first high school in Georgia to receive this prestigious recognition,” said Mary Ann Suddeth, director of the Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology. “Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology provides opportunities for students to explore STEM fields through rigorous courses and activities, and it is great to see the hard work of our students and teachers pay off!”
To obtain STEM certification, the school had to submit an application showing that the school meets 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. Highlights of the Rockdale Magnet School’s application included the requirement that all students must complete four years of scientific research to graduate. Students enter their projects in any number of STEM competitions, challenges, and science and engineering fairs during their four years at the school. Additionally, most students participate in an intense internship with business partners that allows them to explore career options. The results have paid off for this year’s seniors who collectively received over five million dollars in college scholarships. The school’s average ACT score was 29 out of a possible 36, and the average SAT score was 1907 out of a possible 2400.