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Georgia Department of Education awards STEM certification to Martin Technology Academy, Peachtree Ridge High School

December 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 Acad
emy 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 program.

Learn more about STEM schools at​.​