The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), the state’s leading association dedicated to the promotion and economic advancement of Georgia’s technology industry, recently announced that AutomationDirect has been named as a Finalist 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."
“It is exciting to see the progress we are making with STEM education in Georgia. The increase in nominations each year and the quality of the nominations made it difficult for our judges,” said Michael Robertson, executive director of TAG Education Collaborative. “Congratulations to the Finalists! Your work engaging these students in STEM will benefit the students you touch for years to come with challenging and exciting careers.”
This year’s finalists were chosen in eight different categories:
•Post Secondary Outreach
•STEM Certified School Outreach
•Best STEM Day Activity
Winners in each category will be officially honored at The 3rd Annual STEM Education Awards event held on September 26th at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center in Savannah, Georgia. The event is presented by TAG, the TAG Education Collaborative (TAG-Ed), a non-profit 501c3 dedicated to advancing STEM education in Georgia, and TAG Savannah. “STEM occupations will increase in Georgia by more than 22,000 during the current decade,” said Tino Mantella, president & CEO of TAG. “The finalists of this year’s STEM Education Awards are helping to prepare the tech-ready workforce needed to fill these jobs and we applaud them for standing out as leaders in Georgia’s educational community.”