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July 20, 2013

STEM Summit attracts positive attention

MILLEDGEVILLE — STEM Summit 2013, with hopes of creating buy in from numerous colleges, universities and local teachers, was held on the campuses of Georgia College and Central State Hospital Wednesday and Thursday.

Educators in STEM or science, technology, engineering and mathematics heard presentations from respected figures within these disciplines. The summit’s main message surrounded an organization’s plans to house a renowned analytical training laboratory in Milledgeville.

A former Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) laboratory director, Darrell Davis, wants the city to become a STEM education hub. With the Central State Hospital Local Redevelopment Authority’s (CSHLRA) help, Davis hopes to have the old Wilkes Building retrofitted for a laboratory program by next summer.

Davis retired from the DEA in August 2012 and approached the CSHLRA representing his Committee for Action Program Services (CAPS) non-profit.

CAPS is a science and technology organization located in Cedar Hill, Texas. The primary objective of the organization is to provide professional development for k-12 science educators and encourage minority students to seek STEM career fields.

Since then, Davis started a new for-profit company called CAPS-Analytical Training Laboratory, LLC. He wants Central State to house a CAPS-ATL facility as part of the campus reuse efforts.

Milledgeville Mayor Richard Bentley welcomed STEM intellectuals from Auburn, the University of Mississippi, Winston Salem State, Louisiana State University, University of Texas-Arlington and Georgia College to name a few Wednesday.

“We are excited about what the STEM program is going to mean to this community and what it means to expose and encourage young people to get involved in the sciences. The challenge we have here, as with most cities outside of Atlanta, is to find innovative ways to create jobs,” Bentley said. “I appreciate your interest in this STEM program to lend your expertise, knowledge and experience into what we hope will evolve into an elite program where we can expose our young people to the sciences.”

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