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Cornerstone Schools, Automation Direct honored for STEM work
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Forsyth County News

SAVANNAH — The Technology Association of Georgia and the TAG Education Collaborative recently recognized a local school and company in the 2014 Georgia STEM Education Awards. 

Cornerstone Schools of Cumming was named the statewide winner in the middle school category and Automation Direct was honored for its corporate outreach.

Cornerstone is a private school in Cumming serving students in the Forsyth, Hall, Fulton, Cherokee, Dawson, Gwinnett, Lumpkin, Pickens and White counties.

The Technology Association of Georgia recognizes top schools focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Education, or STEM. Cornerstone was chosen from 170 applicants in eight different categories. 

Tino Mantella, president & CEO of TAG applauded the honorees for “standing out as leaders in Georgia’s educational community.”

“It was truly a challenge to choose from among the many applicants,” he said in a statement.

Also honored in the TAG competition was Automation Direct.

According to a news release, Automation Direct has built one of the largest extracurricular competition robotics programs of its kind in the country. Since its inception in 2005, about 7,000 students have participated.

Serving as a connector in the state, Automation Direct provides initial funding and volunteer support to help get robotics teams started. Graduates from the Forsyth Alliance-supported programs are now working at Amazon, Apple, Schlumberger, Military Robotics and private startups.

Earlier this year, Cornerstone Schools also fared well in the Statewide Ecybermission competition sponsored by the U.S. Army. According to a news release, Cornerstone’s sixth grade won first place in state, while its eighth grade took second. Both of the projects related to the environment, botany, biology and conservation, with an emphasis on the scientific method.

Michael Robertson, executive director of TAG-Ed, said in a statement that it is “so gratifying to see STEM education gaining momentum throughout the state of Georgia.”

“In order for our students to be prepared for tomorrow’s careers, they must first acquire strong analytical and problem solving skills through rigorous coursework in school,” he said. “The programs highlighted today are leading the way in this effort and sharing best practices that will prepare our students for the challenges ahead.”