Google, Tides Foundation support STEM education in Jackson Co.

A $100,000 grant from Google and the Tides Foundation is designed to strengthen STEM education at two Jackson County elementary schools.

Funding will go toward procuring robots and software for classrooms and providing professional development for teachers at Maysville and South Jackson elementary schools. Faculty and graduate assistants from the University of Georgia’s Mary Frances Early College of Education will introduce the technology and lessons that will meet the computer science learning needs of teachers and their students.

The project will build upon 15 years of work between the College of Education and Jackson County Schools to incorporate science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills and curricula at various grade levels. Prior projects targeted third through fifth graders in the district; now, early learners in kindergarten through second grade will be introduced to these recently embedded skills in the Georgia Standards of Excellence.

Providing all students with the opportunity to build computer science skills early in their academic careers could encourage them to continue taking STEM courses throughout their schooling. It also enables teachers to enhance their lessons with STEM concepts as well as incorporate these skills into other content areas, such as English and social studies.

(PICTURED: Roger Hill (left) demonstrates how robotics can be incorporated into the classroom for a group of teachers.)