The Union Recorder

August 31, 2013

BHS a finalist for STEM Education Awards

Vaishali Patel
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — Baldwin High School is a finalist for the 2013 Georgia STEM Education Awards through the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) in the “best use of technology in a classroom or program” category.

Baldwin High was selected as one of five pilot schools in the country and the only school in Georgia to participate in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) LearningBlade pilot program in the spring semester of the last school year. The local school implemented LearningBlade into the freshman focus curriculum,  which targets deficiencies among academically at-risk ninth-grade students.

Students completed a STEM interest survey before and after participating in the program. Results show that 72 percent of the 154 participants learned something new about careers and 76 percent learned something new about technology. Overall, 71 percent of the freshmen would rather use LearningBlade than do traditional homework.

As a result of the LearningBlade pilot program, not only has the school expanded the course from nine weeks to an 18-week full credit course, but it is why Baldwin High has been selected as a finalist for the STEM Education Awards, nominated by Battelle Memorial Institute.

Baldwin High was named a finalist during a press conference telecast Friday afternoon presented by TAG in collaboration with Georgia Public Broadcasting and STEM Education Awards broadcast sponsors, Cisco Systems Inc. and the U.S. Department of Commerce-Economic Development Association.

The Georgia STEM Education Awards recognize schools, programs and companies for outstanding efforts and achievements in supporting and promoting STEM education in the state.

This year’s finalists were chosen in eight different categories, including elementary school, middle school, high school, post secondary outreach, extracurricular program, corporate outreach and best STEM day activity.

Winners in each category will be officially honored at the second annual Georgia STEM Education Awards event Friday, Sept. 27, at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center. Dockery, Principal Dr. Jessica Swain and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Sharon Hunt-Simmons are planning to attend the ceremony.