Awards promote innovation in STEM education, charter schools and teacher development
Gov. Nathan Deal announced 11 winners of Innovation Fund grants, a $19.4 million competitive grant program created through Georgia's Race to the Top (RT3) plan. Through the Innovation Fund, the state awards grants to partnerships between local education authorities or charter schools, institutions of higher education, businesses and nonprofit organizations that develop or implement innovative and high-impact programs aimed at producing positive outcomes for students.
"The Race to the Top Innovation Fund provides a unique opportunity for communities to collaborate and leverage their expertise to develop innovative solutions in education," said Deal. "We set the bar high in the first round, and the applicants selected for round two awards rose to the challenge. These projects provide big scale potential for developing our greatest resource and ultimately, ensuring Georgia's competitiveness."
The eleven selected grant recipients are:
Murray County STEM Academy Murray County Schools, in partnership with Georgia Northwestern Technical College, the Chatsworth-Murray County Chamber of Commerce and others will open program focused on remediating 8th grade students and developing their interest in STEM careers.
The New Teacher Residency Project A partnership between Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School and Georgia State University College of Education to address fundamental flaws in the traditional new teacher induction model.
Smyrna Academy of Excellence The Smyrna Educational Alliance, in partnership with Georgia State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Lockheed Martin Corp. and others, seeks to open a STEM charter school serving students in south Cobb County.
STEAM Teaching and Leadership Academy The Georgia Tech Research Corp. and the University of Georgia seek to open the first charter school in Athens with the mission of increasing the number of traditionally underrepresented students who choose STEM fields as a career.
STEM for Life Program A partnership between Carroll County Schools and Southwire to expand and replicate the existing 12 for Life Program, which supplements classroom learning with real-world experience in advanced manufacturing.
STEM Inventors Academy Kennesaw State University and Southern Polytechnic State University will work with Cobb County Schools to create a charter school in south Cobb focused on nurturing students into becoming STEM inventors, researchers and problem-solvers.
The STEM Targeted Education Program (STEP) Academy An accelerated coursework, mentoring and Biotechnology Research and Development career pathway program serving at-risk overage eighth grade students in Gwinnett County Public Schools through a partnership with Gwinnett Technical College and the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce.
Student Applied Learning, New Teacher Induction and Staff Leadership Program Morehouse College, in partnership with Clayton County Schools, will provide an interwoven approach to applied learning and teacher professional development through the implementation of a summer student research and teacher development program.
Teach to Learn A teacher induction program that builds a comprehensive support bridge between teacher preparation at the University of Georgia and teacher induction in Clarke County Schools while building school leadership capacity.
Tift County Mechatronics Partnership Tift County Schools, in partnership with Moultrie Technical College, ConAgra Foods, Heatcraft Manufacturing and others, will develop a career pathway focused on Mechatronics, an interdisciplinary field of study involving control systems, electronic systems, computers and mechanical systems, that will equip students to work in a variety of industrial, manufacturing and health sciences settings.
UGA/GAEL Early Career Principal Residency Program The University of Georgia and the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders will implement a two-year induction program for early career principals in the state's lowest achieving schools.
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More information about the Innovation Fund may be found on the OPB website www.opb.georgia.gov