SGTC hosts STEM Academy for high school students
South Georgia Technical College recently hosted a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Academy for local high school students. There were a dozen participants from the Sumter, Schley, Macon, Crisp, and Marion County school systems. The students participated in four days of activities related to the science, technology, engineering and math studies, with sessions including SGTC instructors and their program areas. SGTC Criminal Justice Technology instructor had the students practice several activities related to criminal justice, including a forensic website investigation and solving a “math crime.” The students also practiced on a driving simulator and completed a “tire tread challenge” in SGTC’s Energy and Transportation, a session which was led by SGTC Motorsports Vehicle Technology instructor Kevin Beaver and Agricultural Technology instructor Matthew Burks. SGTC’s Culinary Arts department served as the location for a “spaghetti bridge” building challenge. STEM Academy participants were also able to tour other SGTC programs, including Aviation Maintenance Technology, Air Conditioning Technology, Emergency Medical Technician, and Computer Information Systems. “This is the first time we’ve ever hosted this STEM Academy at SGTC, and these students had a blast,” said SGTC Grants Coordinator Nancy Fitzgerald, who coordinated and planned the program. SGTC President Dr. John Watford wrapped up the STEM Academy with closing remarks and a graduation ceremony for the STEM Academy participants. Those who participated included Quinton Cromer, Shanicia Fudge, and Nakerria Hinton of Macon County; Erica Dixon, Lexie Estes, and Kayla Nixon of Schley County; Katti Ingle, Trevor McKelvey, Tanner Rundle, and Trent Rundle of Sumter County; David Shurley of Crisp County, and Jarriguez Underwood of Marion County. The United States Department of Education has identified a need for more training and education in STEM fields. As a college whose mission is workforce development, SGTC offered the STEM Academy as a means to better accommodate this need among local youth and future college students. This STEM Academy was paid for by a U.S. Department of Education federal grant to encourage high school students to pursue STEM education careers and continue their education upon graduation from high school. STEM Academy will be offered again next summer and may be expanded to host more students. To participate, students were recommended for this Academy by their high school counselors or administrators. For more information about next year’s STEM Academy, contact Nancy Fitzgerald at 229.931.2508 or firstname.lastname@example.org.