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1 Forsyth County school, 1 program finalists for state STEM awards
FCS

Two Forsyth County schools were named finalists for an award that recognizes various educational programs for their efforts in supporting and promoting science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, education in Georgia.

Whitlow Elementary School and Workforce Forsyth, a district-wide high school initiative, were nominated for the Technology Association of Georgia, or TAG, and TAG Education Collaborative fifth annual STEM Education Awards.

Valery Lowe, director of college and career development for Forsyth County Schools, said the Workforce Forsyth initiative began in 2014 through a partnership with the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce and other post-secondary partners.

“It has given career and technical education in Forsyth County a focus and vision as to where our needs are and where we are headed,” Lowe said. “It has strongly encouraged business/industry engagement in the classroom and has challenged our teachers to continually focus on making post-secondary transition discussions a priority in the classroom.”

The awards honor schools, extracurricular programs, public-private partnerships, science agencies and post-secondary education outreach programs, according to the TAG website.

“We applaud each of this year’s finalists for their extraordinary efforts to bolster awareness about the importance of STEM and for their hard work to increase student participation in science, technology, engineering and math programs,” said Michael Robertson, director of TAG-Ed, in a news release. “Georgia will need to fill some 211,000 STEM-related jobs by 2018, so we are pleased to showcase so many great schools, programs and organizations that are helping to develop a strong future workforce for our state.”

Whitlow was among five elementary schools to be named finalists, and Workforce Forsyth was among five high schools.

“In the fall of 2015 we received AdvancEd STEM Certification and continue to look for ways to grow and improve our instruction,” Whitlow Principal Lynne Castleberry said. “Our student-centered, rigorous STEM teaching engages our students and encompasses necessary 21st century skills.”

TAG provides networking and educational programs, “celebrates Georgia’s technology leaders and companies and advocates for legislative actions that enhances the state’s economic climate for technology.”

TAG-Ed takes that mission into schools by developing STEM initiatives throughout Georgia.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony Nov. 4 at the Loudermilk Center in Atlanta.