The Coweta County School System held its ninth annual STEM Symposium at the Nixon Centre for the Arts recently, honoring outstanding teachers, schools and students during the awards portion of the event.
The evening started with a STEM "meet and greet" session featuring the Central Education Center’s engineering and robotics team, Arnall and Evans middle schools’ STEM connections, the Coweta STEM Institute and Ruth Hill REACH. The groups shared their work in STEM-related activities, and finalists from the Coweta Innovation Expo also shared their projects.
The awards portion of the program honored 84 new Coweta STEM Recognized teachers, all of whom taught at least five STEM/STEAM lessons with their students and shared at least one "exemplar" lesson with the district for other teachers to use.
“These 84 new teachers brought the district total of Coweta STEM Recognized Teachers to more than 1,000,” said Dr. Donald White, science content specialist for Coweta Schools.
Two new Coweta STEM Schools also were recognized. Thomas Crossroads Elementary earned "Gold STEM School" honors, which requires more than 60 percent total staff to earn Coweta STEM Recognition.
“We had 96 percent of our staff members to achieve this status,” Principal Letitia Crosby said. “As principal, I am extremely proud of this accomplishment and the hard work that my staff has put in this year to provide students with hands-on learning activities that address real world problems.”
Bass Middle won "Silver STEM School" honors by having more than 40 percent of their total staff earning Coweta STEM Recognition.
Coweta also celebrated student work with presentations from Newnan High School/CEC aviation student Christopher Profet. Dawson Pent, East Coweta High School/CEC senior, shared his computer programming and cyber security experiences. Thomas Becker and Ethan Bake, Northgate juniors, shared their experiences in applying for a patent for their "Lit Lancet" invention to help diabetes patients.
Willmarys Lara, a sixth grader from Arnall Middle, won the Coweta Innovation Expo "People's Choice" award with her sickle cell anemia documentary.
Christiana Stafford, another Arnall sixth grader, was recognized for being selected to represent Georgia at the National Invention Convention. The convention will be held at the Henry Ford Museum of Innovation in Dearborn, Michigan at the end of May. The Coweta Water Education Team presented Christiana with $500 to help with travel costs to the event.
Coweta Fayette-EMC was recognized as the Coweta STEM Community Partner of the Year. Coweta Fayette EMC has donated a solar power station to Bass Middle, a weather station to East Coweta Middle, and took 41 Coweta teachers on a "summer alternative energy adventure" in July 2021. Maggie Reenstra, EMC Community & Economic Development Coordinator, accepted the award.
The Coweta STEM Teacher of the Year award was presented to Stephanie Skinner of Evans Middle School.
The award has been renamed the McClellan STEM Teacher of the Year after Welch Elementary STEM teacher Sharon McClellan, who passed away in September 2021.