12, 2016 – The Georgia Department of Education has awarded
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) certification to two
schools: Martin Technology Academy in Hall County and Peachtree Ridge High
School in Gwinnett County. The official certifications were given at ceremonies
on December 5 and December 7, respectively.
“The jobs of the future require a strong foundation in
STEM concepts and the innovative thinking encouraged by those subjects,” State
School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “Martin Technology Academy and
Peachtree Ridge High School are thinking outside the box and providing an
education that goes far beyond the traditional ‘sit and get’ lecture model.
Students will graduate from these schools prepared for the future, and I
commend the faculty and staff who created their excellent STEM programs.”
Hall County’s Martin Technology Academy boasts a series
of innovative elementary school courses under the “Talent and Thinking” (TNT)
label. Students are allowed to choose subjects like coding, robotics,
gardening, problem-solving, and engineering based upon their interests. Strong
business and post-secondary partnerships, which challenge students with
authentic projects and allow them to become producers of digital products,
round out Martin’s STEM program.
Peachtree Ridge High School is the fourth STEM-certified
school in Gwinnett County, and Principal Jeff Matthews is the first principal
in Georgia to earn STEM certification in two different schools. The signature
SPIRE program at Peachtree Ridge uses English Language Arts as the cornerstone
of an impressive STEM package that allows students to pursue projects based on
their personal interests. Engineering and physics are taught as co-curricular
subjects, and students move seamlessly through rigorous, relevant coursework
that prepares them for STEM careers.
To earn STEM certification, each school had to submit an
application showing that it meets specific criteria, including evidence of
teacher collaboration, business and industry partnerships, high levels of math
and science instruction, and an integrated, project-based STEM curriculum. A
team from the Georgia Department of Education visited the school to observe the
Learn more about STEM schools at stemgeorgia.org.