GIFTWinners Announced for First Annual S.T.E.M. Education Awards

Awards recognize excellence in promoting science, technology, engineering and math education in Georgia SAVANNAH, GA (September 17, 2012) – The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) and the TAG Education Collaborative (TAG-Ed) today announced the winners for the first annual S.T.E.M. Education Awards. These awards were created to recognize and celebrate schools, extracurricular programs, public-private partnerships, science agencies and post-secondary education outreach programs for outstanding efforts and achievement in supporting and promoting science, technology, engineering, and math education in Georgia.

The winners of the 2012 awards are....

  • High School: Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology (GSMST), Lawrenceville

GSMST is a charter school designed to nurture the talents of high school students through a curriculum focused on S.T.E.M. All courses are taught at advanced/honors, Advanced Placement (AP), or college-level. GSMST also has a school-wide Partnership Program, requiring students to complete real-world research projects and internship assignments.

  • Middle School: Carrollton Middle School, Carrollton Carrollton

Middle School’s S.T.E.M. initiative strives to fully prepare every student for the challenges and expectations of the community by providing the knowledge and resources needed to be successful, productive workers. The school houses a 1,140 square foot STEM lab, which provides hands-on, inquiry-based learning opportunities.

  • Public-Private Partnership: Georgia Power’s partnership with the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System, Savannah-Chatham County

Focused on educating and enlightening parents and students about the workforce supply shortage the United States will face without S.T.E.M. disciplines, Georgia Power offers internships and co-op opportunities for students pursuing engineering and science degrees. The partnership established a Student Success Expo and hosted a S.T.E.M. Festival in the Coastal Empire, which has attracted over 4,000 parents and students.

  • Extracurricular Program: Explorer Post Program, Savannah

The Explorer Post Program provides young people with career experiences and guidance in order to strengthen their decision-making about post secondary education. The Learning for Life program assists students with their transition into the workplace by providing work readiness and job search training. The hands-on and adult mentoring components of its S.T.E.M. Exploring Program are key factors in persuading students to choose S.T.E.M. careers.

  • Science Agency: Georgia Intern-Fellowships for Teachers (GIFT), Atlanta

Georgia Intern-Fellowships for Teachers (GIFT), a university/private industry teacher professional development collaborative, provides summer university laboratory research and industry workplace experiences for Georgia middle and high school S.T.E.M. teachers. GIFT teachers are required to transfer experiences into classroom lesson plans, enabling GIFT’s teachers to impact more than 100,000 students in Georgia.

  • Post Secondary Outreach: Georgia College, Milledgeville

Georgia College has established The Science to Serve Initiative, an innovative, comprehensive program with a mission of advancing the interest, engagement and understanding of science by people of all backgrounds. Since 2001, over 50 Georgia counties have been impacted by K12 outreach activities. Approximately 12,000 students, teachers, parents participate in the various Science to Serve activities and project each academic year.

“Today, Georgia companies are struggling to fill over 4,000 technology positions. By 2018, we will need to fill an additional 211,000 S.T.E.M.-related jobs. To stay competitive as a state and meet this demand we must increase the number of students pursuing S.T.E.M.-related careers,” said Michael Robertson, executive director of TAG-Ed. “Hosting the S.T.E.M. Education Awards provides us with an opportunity to recognize the best practices among workforce readiness and S.T.E.M. programs, and by celebrating their efforts we expect to continue building a strong S.T.E.M. community that prepares students for their future careers.“ 

“As our first signature event outside of Atlanta, we are pleased with the success of the inaugural S.T.E.M. Education Awards, and we are proud it has become a truly statewide event,” stated Melanie Brandt, chief operating officer for TAG. “We commend all the finalists and winners for making great strides in advancing S.T.E.M. education, and hope their achievements stand as inspiration for future S.T.E.M. programs in Georgia and beyond.”

Winners were announced during a special, half-day event on September 14 at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center. To learn more, visit:

About The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG)

The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) is the leading technology industry association in the state, serving more than 17,800 members and hosting over 200 events each year. TAG serves as an umbrella organization for 31 industry societies, each of which provides rich content for TAG constituents. TAG’s mission is to educate, promote, influence and unite Georgia’s technology community to foster an innovative and connected marketplace that stimulates and enhances a tech-based economy. The association provides members with access to networking and educational programs; recognizes and promotes Georgia’s technology leaders and companies; and advocates for legislative action that enhances the state’s economic climate for technology. Additionally, the TAG Education Collaborative (TAG’s charitable arm) focuses on helping science, technology, engineering and math (S.T.E.M.) education initiatives thrive. For more information visit the TAG website at or TAG’s community website at To learn about the TAG-Ed Collaborative visit

About TAG Education Collaborative TAG

Education Collaborative initiatives include an internship program for high school students interested in technology careers, two web-based team challenges for high school students interested in health IT and/or web design, and the Vine Event, a fundraiser launched in 2009 which has raised more than $160,000 to support STEM education.  The TAG Education Collaborative provides programs to feed information to middle and high school students to generate interest in S.T.E.M. education and technology careers.  Through partnerships with other programs providing hands-on activities, TAG-Ed fosters student and teacher interest in technology, and promotes the opportunities available in technology careers. For additional information, visit TAG Education Collaborative or contact Michael Robertson at (404) 920 – 2038 or

By: Becky Biggs, Technology Association of Georgia