University STEM initiative wins statewide awards
Georgia College’s Program of Distinction, Science to Serve, is winner of this year’s first S.T.E.M. Education Awards.
Presented by Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) and TAG Education Collaborative (TAG-Ed), the award recognizes the university’s program for its outstanding efforts and achievement in supporting and promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in Georgia.
“We’re honored to be recognized among a select group of universities that dedicate significant resources to STEM education,” said Dr. Rosalie Richards, Kaolin Endowed Chair in Science and director of the Science Education Center at Georgia College. “Access by all to STEM disciplines is the tenet of our work. We believe the Science to Serve Initiative provides a national model for how small colleges with notable STEM programs can help build the STEM capacity of their regional communities.”
Georgia College won in the STEM education category for post-secondary outreach.
Georgia College became one of six university finalists in this category, winning against Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah; Columbus Technical College in Columbus; Georgia Gwinnett College in Lawrenceville; Savannah State University in Savannah; and Savannah Technical College in Savannah.
“Today, Georgia companies are struggling to fill more than 4,000 technology positions,” said Michael Robertson, executive director of TAG-Ed. “By 2018, we will need to fill an additional 211,000 STEM-related jobs. Georgia College's Science to Serve Initiative is one of those key programs that prepares students for careers in these fields and is making great strides to advance STEM education. By celebrating these efforts, we expect to continue to build a strong STEM community.”
Georgia College’s Science to Serve Initiative, partially funded by University System of Georgia STEM Initiative funds, is an innovative program advancing the interest, engagement and understanding of science by people of all backgrounds.
Since 2001, the initiative has impacted more than 50 Georgia counties through K-12 outreach activities that provide pathways to STEM at the post-secondary level, from workshops and institutes with educators from across the state to career development programs with high school students.
Each academic year, approximately 12,000 students, teachers and parents participate in Science to Serve activities.
Georgia College Science to Serve resources include the Natural History Museum & Planetarium, Office of Academic Outreach, Science Education Center, Educational Greenhouse, Project FOCUS, the new Center for Engaged Learning, Innovative Course-building Group, student STEM clubs, the new observatory, STEM Initiative and STEM-related departments.
During 2008, Science to Serve officially became one of six Georgia College Programs of Distinction — providing a distinctive niche in an academic area of state, national and international significance.
The local program also partners with state and national organizations to develop and implement interdisciplinary approaches to science.
“The award acknowledges Georgia College’s goal of strengthening community, state and national ties through programs, partnerships, research and service that enhances economic and educational opportunities,” said Dr. Matthew Liao-Troth, interim provost at Georgia College. “We are delighted to serve the state through Science to Serve and other programs that bring the liberal arts into practice for the good of all Georgians.”
Visit gcsu.edu/sciencetoserve for more information about Georgia College’s Science to Serve Initiative.