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ACHIEVEMENT: Elementary school in Doraville receives STEM recognition
by Sarah Anne Voyles
svoyles@neighbornewspapers.com
September 25, 2013 12:16 PM | 2783 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Katherine Frye / Principal Oliver Lewis displays a water cycle project created by a fourth-grade student in the STEM program.
Staff / Katherine Frye / Principal Oliver Lewis displays a water cycle project created by a fourth-grade student in the STEM program.
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Hightower Elementary School, in Doraville, has received state recognition for its daily science, technology, engineering and math education program with a nomination for a STEM Education Award presented by the Technology Association of Georgia.

This award nomination equals great achievement for the Title I school. School Principal Oliver Lewis said he hopes having this program allows his students to be better prepared for the jobs in their future.

“Since we are a Title I school, I look at the things we have accomplished as something very exciting,” Lewis said. “This initiative is helping our students become more career ready and gives the children an avenue to have real -life experience.”

The award recognizes schools, programs and companies for achievements in supporting and promoting science, technology, engineering and math education in Georgia. The school was picked from more than 170 schools in eight different categories – elementary, middle and high school, post secondary outreach, extracurricular program, best use of technology in classroom or program, corporate outreach and best STEM Day activity.

“Recent Studies show that Georgia will need to fill approximately 211,000 STEM-related jobs by 2018,” Tino Mantella, president and CEO of the association, said in a statement. “The 2013 Georgia STEM Education awards finalists are helping to prepare the tech-ready workforce to fill these jobs and we applaud them for standing out as leaders in Georgia’s educational community.”

The school works to have all students involved in daily STEM exercises. Director of Communications for the association Katie Dion said because of its 100 percent student involvement, it gives the school a great advantage in the possibility of receiving the award Friday in Savannah at the ceremony.

Dion also said besides the school giving the children the opportunity to work with iPads and Macbooks, the school’s creativity with Engineer for a Day helped in its qualifying within the four main criteria – impact of program, creativity of program, technology innovation and overall excellence.

Each of the students experiences an hour of STEM education. Lewis said the school has partnered with Georgia Tech and Georgia Power to help provide a more rich experience and since it is a Title I school, most students receive a unique experience they would not have otherwise.

The elementary school is one of four in the state to be STEM certified. It went through a two to three year process to create and start a program. After the program began, the school was then eligible to apply for certification, which it received May 7.
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