Society & Culture

Forty Athens area high school students attend STEM Academy at UGA

Athens, Ga. – For the past two weeks, about 40 Athens area high school students have been learning about advanced mathematics and science, and possible careers in those fields, during the second annual Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Summer Academy at the University of Georgia in the College of Education.

The free, three-week program, hosted by the college’s department of mathematics and science education, is funded by a state STEM Initiative grant. It has drawn a group of college-bound juniors and seniors from Apalachee, Athens Academy, Athens Christian, Cedar Shoals, Clarke Central, Commerce City, Madison County, Monroe Area Comprehensive, North Oconee and Oconee high schools.

Each morning for three weeks, students engage in topics not usually encountered in high school such as food sciences, robotics, the physics of knots and electron microscopy. They will take field trips on the UGA campus, learning from researchers in Fisheries, the Veterinary School and the Russell Research Building. The program also allows students access to tools, technologies and instructors usually reserved for university students.

During the last week, students will be divided into two groups and each group will create a traveling science and math “museum” which they will present simultaneously on Monday, June 21 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. – one at the Boys and Girls’ Club of Athens, 705 Fourth St., and the other at the Lyndon House Arts Center, 293 Hoyt St. The groups will switch venues and present again on Wednesday, June 23 at the same time.

The STEM Academy is directed by Cory Buxton, an associate professor in the department of elementary and social studies education, and Joe Long, a faculty member in the department of mathematics and science education, and Doug Griffin, a doctoral student in mathematics education. Nearly a dozen graduate students from both departments are assisting.

Additional faculty from the COE and the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences are also working with the students.