The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), the state's leading association dedicated to the promotion and economic advancement of Georgia's technology industry, announced that AutomationDirect won in the Corporate Outreach category for the 2014 STEM Education Awards.
The Technology Association of Georgia's 3rd STEM Education Awards recognizes schools, programs, and companies for outstanding efforts and achievements in supporting and promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Education in Georgia.
For the past nine years, AutomationDirect has funded local competition robotics teams in Forsyth County and surrounding school systems (the "Forsyth Alliance"). Funding is primarily used to provide exciting STEM activities to all students in Forsyth County by ensuring there is at least one competition robotics team in every school and tournaments to compete in. Some schools now have over a dozen teams in multiple programs. Forsyth Alliance teams participate in local, state, national, and world competitions, including FIRST Lego League, FIRST Robotics, VEX, VEX IQ, BEST, Sea Perch and MATE. "We have found there is no better way to get a young mind excited about STEM than to get them involved in a competition robotics program," says Rick Folea, Senior Training Developer at AutomationDirect. "The Alliance now supports over 100 teams in Forsyth County. The excitement of competition drives their desire to learn in the classroom." The rapid growth of this program and enrollment in STEM programs in the schools and creation of STEM academies in the schools is a testament to the incredible results of this initiative.
This year's winners were chosen in 8 different categories:
- Elementary School: Mableton Elementary School, Mableton
- Middle School: Cornerstone Schools, Cumming
- High School: Ridgeland High School, Rossville
- STEM Certified School Outreach: Wheeler High School, Marietta
- Extracurricular Program: Sandy Springs Education Force - GTRI STEM Event, Sandy Springs
- Post Secondary Outreach: Augusta Technical College, Augusta
- Georgia STEM Day Activity: Isle of Hope K-8, Savannah
- Corporate Outreach: Automation Direct, Cumming