The National Science Foundation has awarded the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Griffin-Spalding County School System a five-year, $7.3 million grant to enhance middle and high school education in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. The project is called Advanced Manufacturing and Prototyping Integrated to Unlock Potential (AMP-IT-UP).
This project will expose more that 5,000 Griffin-Spalding County students to advanced manufacturing learning experiences. Children in grades six through nine will be able to work with robots and design different objects using computer design and 3-D printers.
CEISMC Associate Director and AMP-IT-UP Program Director Marion Usselman said that they hope AMP-IT-UP will inspire students to connect with STEM fields. "We want to catch those students who might be our future creative innovators but who are at risk of falling through the cracks in our current book and test-driven education," said Usselman.
The $7.3 million grant will allow students to get more involved in extracurricular clubs and competitions such as the Junior Makers Club and robotic competitions including FIRST LEGO League and FIRST Robotics. Georgia Tech faculty will be using the project for research purposes, investigating whether STEM innovation and design courses impact students' academic engagement, content understanding, knowledge transfer and persistence in STEM.