The Georgia Department of Education is dedicated to preparing students for 21st Century workplace careers by providing high quality educational opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. In Georgia, STEM education is defined as an integrated curriculum (as opposed to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics taught in isolation) that is driven by problem solving, discovery, exploratory project/problem-based learning, and student-centered development of ideas and solutions. The saturation of technology in most fields means that all students – not just those who plan to pursue a STEM profession – will require a solid foundation in STEM to be productive members of the workforce.
The Georgia Department of Education has awarded Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) certification to Dunwoody Elementary School in DeKalb County. Dunwoody is the fifth elementary school in the state to be awarded the designation. State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge awarded the certification in a ceremony at the school on Friday, November 7.
“Strong STEM programs like Dunwoody Elementary’s are exactly what Georgia’s students need, and what Georgia’s economy needs,” Dr. Barge said. “Encouraging students’ passions for science, technology, engineering and math prepares them for the workforce of the future.”
To earn STEM certification, the school had to submit an application showing that it meets rigorous criteria, such as 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.
Dunwoody Elementary has a strong focus on the engineering design process as math and science are integrated into the curriculum on a regular basis. Students design engineering projects that allow them to apply the skills they are learning in science and math classes, and have an extended work time each Friday, during which they are allowed to redesign and test prototypes again and again. Read more about Dunwoody Elementary.