CEISMC Impact Magazine 2023

Page 10



Ángel Cabrera, President

Steven McLaughlin, Provost Nelson Baker, Interim Dean, Division of Lifetime Learning

Lizanne DeStefano, Executive Director

Meltem Alemdar, Associate Director, Educational Research & Evaluation

Sirocus Barnes, Director, Expanded Learning Programs

Timothy Cone, Program Director, CEISMC Savannah

Bonnie Harris, Director, Strategic Partnerships and GIFT Program

Educational Research & Outreach Magazine | Fall 2023
Tech Administration
Communications Team
School and Community Engagement Keisha Simmons, Pre-College Director, Anchor Institute Initiative Ken Surdin, Director, EXCEL Program Heidi Turcotte, Program Director, Campus and Community Coordination Joëlle Walls, Editor-in-Chief James-Addis Hill, Creative Director Randy Trammell, Managing Editor Nia Nkosi, Senior Graphic Designer Angelica Jones, Copy Editor & Writer Contributing Writers Kerry Jarvis Ashley Ritchie Amanda Smith Michael Turner Sean Van Dorn Copyright © 2023 Georgia Institute of Technology CEISMC Impact by The Numbers 04 Strategic Focus Areas 06 EXCEL 07-09 GIFT Program 10 REMEZCLA 11 Pre-Teaching Internships 12-13 The Retiring Class of 2023 14-16 GoSTEM 17 GoSTEAM 18 Georgia AIM and K-12 InVenture Prize 19-21 Georgia FIRST LEGO League 22 Using AI in Engineering Design Process 23 Campus and Community Coordination 24 School and Community Engagement 25-26 First-Generation College Institute 27 Expanded Learning Programs 28 Anchor Institute and Talent Development Program 29-30 Horizons at Georgia Tech 31 CEISMC Savannah 32 STEM Innovation and Engineering Design 33 CEISMC Activity (Selected Program Highlights) 34-37 What’s The Buzz? (Faculty and Staff Recognition) 38-43
Table of Contents Member of the University Research
Association Photography provided by CEISMC, Institute Communications, Georgia Tech Professional
and external collaborators. CEISMC Impact Educational Research and Outreach Magazine is published by the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing with production provided by Georgia
Printing and Copying Services.
High school students built robots at the Georgia Tech Robotics Institute in summer 2023.

Inspiring STEM Enrichment and Outreach to Maximize All Students’ Potential


Intensive Professional Development for STEM Educators

Local and Sustainable Community Partnerships for Workforce Development and Student Success

Innovative Evidence-Based Practices in STEM Education

Crucial Research and Impactful Evaluation of STEM Education

Dynamic Opportunities For Georgia Tech Community Engagement CEISMC

Georgia Tech | Fall 2023 3
Impact throughout


K-12 students have engaged in CEISMC outreach and extracurricular programs.

CEISMC Impact by The Numbers

June 2022 - July 2023


K-12 teachers have participated in CEISMC programs.

92% of CEISMC funding comes from external sources.


counties have been impacted by CEISMC programs.

16,000+ Teacher professional development hours have been provided by CEISMC.

43 Georgia private/ independent schools have been impacted by CEISMC programs.

147 External sponsors and partners have worked with CEISMC.

Fiscal Year 2023 Total Funding - $17,906,727.01

109 Georgia school districts have been impacted by CEISMC programs. 89 Georgia Tech entities have collaborated with CEISMC. 348 Georgia Tech undergraduate and graduate students have served as facilitators. 404 Georgia Tech faculty and staff have been involved in CEISMC programs.

A Message from the Executive Director

As we embark on a new academic year, I wanted to take this time to reflect on some exciting new initiatives that are starting to take shape that will help us continue our mission in providing high quality STEM and STEAM experiences and innovative curricula to the K-12 education community of Georgia and beyond.

One of the most prominent of these has been the establishment of the Division of Lifetime Learning this past summer with Nelson Baker serving as the interim dean. Following an organizational alignment in late 2022, the new division comprises three core units – the Center for 21st Century Universities (C21U), the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC), and Georgia Tech Professional Education (GTPE) – and is part of Georgia Tech’s ongoing Lifetime Learning initiative, one of 20 strategic initiatives designed to advance the goals and objectives of the Institute’s strategic plan.

The vision of the new unit, “Every individual learner will have access to quality education delivered at scale at any place, any time, and any stage of life,” mirrors our purpose to ensure that students, teachers, workers, communities, and others have adequate support to participate in and contribute to science and technology throughout their lifetimes. With this new unit comes new opportunities and collaborations to leverage the work we already do in this space such as the robust hands-on student enrichment activities, the rigorous teacher professional development in culturally relevant pedagogy and inclusive STEM/STEAM education practices, and the systematic research and evaluation of these programs and curricula for student success and workforce development.

CEISMC is also involved in several initiatives that are aligned with the Institute strategic plan and the focus areas of Expanding Access and Amplifying Impact. You can read about some of these initiatives in this issue, including the Georgia Tech Anchor Institute and Talent Development Program on pages 29-30, the First-Generation College Institute on page 27, and the Rural CS Initiative on page 26. CEISMC is also launching the Georgia Tech STEM Educators’ Network this year to recognize teachers, out-of-school time professionals, and administrators who exemplify excellence in STEM education, and to create a professional network to strengthen connections between K-12 and higher education.

These transformative initiatives cannot be realized without the dedication, creativity, and resourcefulness of CEISMC faculty and staff as well as our campus partners and external collaborators and sponsors.

Warm regards,

Georgia Tech | Fall 2023 5

How does the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC) exemplify Georgia Tech’s strategic focus areas?

Amplify Impact


See page 18

Using AI in Engineering Design Process

Connect Globally

Pre-Teaching Internships

See pages 12-13 Expand Access

First-Generation College Institute

See page 27

See page 23

Cultivate Well-being

Lead by Example

GIFT Program

See page 10

Georgia AIM and K-12 InVenture Prize

See pages 19-21

Champion Innovation

EXCEL students use design-based thinking in technology design course

Students in Georgia Tech’s EXCEL program who have intellectual and developmental disabilities are using high-tech tools, to include robotics and AI job coaches, to better prepare themselves to succeed in today’s technology-driven world. In the Collaborative Design elective course, which is part of EXCEL’s four-year college certificate program, the students work together in teams and with Tech researchers, focusing on inquiry-based learning in a project-based environment.

“Since Georgia Tech has experts in design thinking, entrepreneurship, and product development, we wanted to tap into many of those unique opportunities so that our students can engage in creative thinking, empathy development, and technical development processes,” said EXCEL Assistant Director Nathan Heald. “In exchange, the broader campus community gains a diverse perspective and the ability to engage with our students in a meaningful way that is mutually beneficial.”

The Collaborative Design course has been offered four times since its introduction to the EXCEL curriculum and has evolved in each iteration based on the campus partners involved. For the latest offering in spring 2023, Rachel Lowy, a doctoral student in human-centered computing, and her faculty advisor Jennifer Kim, an assistant professor in the School of Interactive Computing, served as the instructors.

“We taught the students the importance of the exchange of knowledge between users and designers as they worked together creatively to design innovative products or services,” explained Lowy. “The student teams in turn made authentic contributions in the research and technology design process of ongoing research we’re conducting in the College of Computing.”

Fifteen EXCEL students participated in two projects. First, Tech professors used robotic dog prototypes to gauge how the students would respond and interact with them, even when the robotic dogs failed to respond to a student’s questions or comments.

“Our students gave us feedback on ways in which we can help the robots positively respond to misunderstandings with concrete explanations,” Kim said. “That way users can feel respected which would encourage them to interact with the technology in more engaging ways.”

In the second project, student teams designed AI job coaches to help them navigate the employment process. Students also provided feedback to Kim to help refine the project. Lowy and Kim plan to use their research findings to systematically examine the activities and teaching practices that were successful for this group so that individuals seeking to teach similar courses have a roadmap based on their recommendations.

“I’m just so impressed and proud of all of my students,” said Lowy. “They worked incredibly hard to grasp the concepts, unlike anything they have done before. I hope there will always be a lot of excitement around this exchange process of showing our students, just like the neurotypical population, that they too can contribute to ongoing industry and research goals.”

Georgia Tech | Fall 2023 7

EXCEL students explore careers through job skill courses & internships

Georgia Tech’s EXCEL program offers students with intellectual and developmental disabilities opportunities to experience college and develop skills needed to integrate into today’s workforce. Each semester, EXCEL students complete career courses with the overall goal of identifying interest areas in various career fields (such as hospitality, service, advocacy, IT) while learning specific job skills. By the time students graduate, they would have completed at least seven different internships onand off- campus with over 93% of graduates gainfully employed.

“It’s important for EXCEL students to have internships because as a part of their high school experience, they do not typically work jobs or volunteer unless they are required to do so for a class,” said EXCEL Career Development Advisor Heather Dicks. “When a person has an intellectual disability, it can be difficult to transfer the learning of a concept and apply it to the next experience. Having multiple internships helps this learning process.”

“Internships also help students develop job-specific skills in their chosen fields and that makes them more competitive,” added EXCEL Lecturer and Career Development Coordinator Rene Reese.

In an interview with CEISMC Impact, rising senior Nina Robinson, rising junior Javier Cremer, and spring graduate Kwame Owusu share their internship experiences and how those opportunities through EXCEL have helped them in their career decision-making.

What have some of your internships been and what have you learned from them?

Nina: I have been working at the Ellis Center, a non-profit organization that assists children with complex communication needs and multiple disabilities. There, I can pursue a career in the physical therapy industry. Last year, I first observed one semester

and then worked side-by-side in the classroom with the therapists the next semester. Before the Ellis Center internship, I worked in several Georgia Tech internships, such as the [John Lewis] Student Center events office, the [Robert C. Williams] Museum of Papermaking and Tech Catering. I wanted to go a step further and start a hotel business which led me to also work at Hotel Indigo. I did enjoy working

in the hospitality industry but felt that my work at the Ellis Center was what I wanted to do for a long-term career.

Javier: I have not figured out my career goals yet, so I am taking my time enjoying the opportunities that EXCEL has to offer. I have worked at the Museum of Papermaking, where I updated website information, made frames for museum exhibits, and

Nina Robinson

helped create videos for film festivals. I also worked for the [NSF Engineering Research] Center for Cell Manufacturing Technologies in a lab where I sanitized lab areas and restocked and counted inventory. Last summer, I found employment on my own, working at Wendy’s, which I enjoy.

Kwame: I have had many internships on campus including being a chef assistant at the Alpha Gamma Delta [sorority house], a fitness attendant at the Campus Recreation Center, a postal services intern, and a warehouse intern with Georgia Tech Housing. I landed my current job with Paradies Lagardère [travel retailer and restauranteur] while attending a virtual campus fair during one of my career classes. I am a stock replenisher, stocking items such as drinks and snacks at the CNBC News store on concourse A at the center point at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. The EXCEL program really prepared me for the job by teaching me how to be professional when interacting with my boss, like what to say and what not to say.

What are your future career/internship plans?

Nina: My career goal is to become a paraprofessional for children around the pre-K to elementary level. I learned through all my internships about my ability to nurture and my desire to learn. My dream is to one day work for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta as a physical therapist.

Javier: This year I am looking to explore more customer service internships that will allow me to study other career options I am interested in such as becoming an advocate for disabilities, equity, and inclusion.

Kwame: Since I graduated in May, I continue to work for Paradies Lagardère and I want to pursue a path towards working for upper management, becoming a zone manager one day.

Georgia Tech | Fall 2023 9
Kwame Owusu Javier Cremer

GIFT teachers find inspiration in Kendeda Building’s green spaces

When two middle school science teachers signed up to intern in a research lab at Georgia Tech through CEISMC’s Georgia Intern-Fellowships for Teachers (GIFT) program, they found inspiration for their classrooms in one of the campus’ most well-known green spaces, the Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design. Julie Eidson and Karla Lomax said they were impressed by the building’s sustainable design and regenerative approach to energy consumption.

“I fell in love with the building and was in awe,” said Eidson. “I was ecstatic when they contacted me for GIFT. My experience was amazing, and we learned so much.”

GIFT, a professional development program for Georgia K-12 teachers, provides STEM internships in university research labs, industry, and informal science institutions.

“This was the first immersive professional development opportunity I’ve participated in,” said Lomax. “It was uniquely tailored to what our interests were, and we were actively engaged in our learning throughout.”

During the summer of 2022, the GIFT teachers also visited the Atlanta Botanical Garden and Zoo Atlanta and talked to Georgia Tech experts at the Kendeda Building and other units across campus to learn as much as possible about sustainable design. “We’re always looking for opportunities to put teachers into spaces they’re not always found in and see what they come up with,” explained CEISMC Program Director Heidi Turcotte, who mentored Eidson and Lomax.

“With the Kendeda Building, there is so much authentic learning when it comes to the sciences,” said CEISMC Program Director Sabrina Grossman, who also served as a GIFT mentor. “Having the teachers in the Kendeda Building gave them amazing ideas. They were really like sponges — taking in knowledge and just loving it.”

Eidson and Lomax were able to condense their newfound knowledge of environmental sustainability into lesson plans which they presented to other middle school teachers in a fall professional development workshop. “It’s great to see the GIFT participants take some base knowledge and turn it into a lesson that can be built upon, and then further that knowledge across a wider audience,” Turcotte said. “That’s part of the process and why GIFT is such an impactful program.”

For summer 2023, Eidson returned as a GIFT Fellow to create additional lesson plans which included developing scavenger hunts as the resources were expanded to include lessons for elementary school students. She said the lessons will enhance the experience teachers and students have when visiting the Kendeda Building or they can be used as stand-alone curriculum.

Eidson said that the two summer GIFT experiences have been amazing for her. “I want to lead teachers and help them become even better teachers,” she explained. “What I have learned from the GIFT program I can now bring back to my community and provide the same energy and knowledge that I have received, encouraging others to do the same.”

Julie Eidson Karla Lomax

REMEZCLA project provides affirming and motivating CS experiences for Latinx students

The REMEZCLA program, a collaborative research project between researchers at Georgia Tech and the University of Puerto Rico – Río Piedras, is completing its third year of extended middle and high school programming. The National Science Foundation-funded project expands Latinx student representation in computer science (CS) through a culturally relevant curriculum, based around EarSketch, a Tech-developed, web-based digital audio workstation. Since its inception, over 300 participants have attended simultaneous afterschool programs and summer camps at both partner universities.

Over the summer, researchers from both partner institutions presented at the Research in Equity and Sustained Participation in Engineering, Computing, and Technology (RESPECT) Conference in Atlanta. In discussing equity pedagogies in CS education, they cited key factors from the REMEZCLA project that can broaden access and engagement of Latinx youth in CS. These factors included the structural conditions that combine coding, music production, and identity exploration, thereby enabling authentic engagement; the enhanced language access now embedded in EarSketch which includes traditional and contemporary Latin beats and sounds created by musical artists in Georgia and Puerto Rico; the informal learning curriculum centered on the students’ cultures and heritage; and the effective practices to elicit cultural congruity (a sense of cultural connection) in students within CS contexts.

The first two years of the initiative were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with workshops held either entirely or partially online. The 2022-2023 afterschool sessions were the first time both teams were able to host fully in-person workshops at local middle and high schools. The Atlanta team is led by Associate Vice President for Institute Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Diley Hernández, who serves as the principal investigator. Faculty and staff from the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing and the School of Music, including co-principal investigators Jayma Koval and Jason Freeman, round out the team. This year, the team partnered with Berkmar Middle School and Lakeside High School for twenty weeks of instruction over the course of fall and spring.

Christopher Martinez Servin, a Georgia Tech graduate student in computer science, joined as an instructor at the start of the program and was able to apply his academic and professional experience to the role.

“This experience helped me communicate better with students who had little experience with computer science and helped me improve my instruction abilities to make challenging concepts fun and easy to understand while never forgetting the power of the topics we covered,” said Servin, who is currently a systems engineer at Blue Origin, an American aerospace manufacturer.

During the spring semester, Tech biomedical engineering major Indy Cabeda Diaz, who continued her work with CEISMC after having served as a pre-teaching intern at Centennial Academy in Atlanta, was added to the instructional group.

“REMEZCLA is an excellent opportunity for children whose native language is Spanish to learn computer science,” said the recent graduate. “The program not only brings together students of similar backgrounds but also includes instructors who speak their language and understand their culture, creating an environment that feels like home.”

In addition to the in-person instruction, the program included an all-day field trip to campus where students had the opportunity to have an interactive discussion with members of the EarSketch team, who listened to some of the students’ remixes and discussed how to fix coding errors or add codes. “We are extremely proud to host the REMEZCLA students at Georgia Tech and create opportunities for them to explore our campus,” said Hernández. “When they visited the School of Music and talked to other Tech students there, it was beautiful to watch them realize that they can understand perfectly well what Tech students are working on, and how it is connected to what they did in EarSketch through their participation in REMEZCLA. These are very talented, creative and brilliant students, but experiences like these can also be incredibly affirming and motivating and expand their vision of what is possible in their future.”

Georgia Tech | Fall 2023 11
REMEZCLA students with President Ángel Cabrera and College of Sciences Dean Susan Lozier.

Pre-teaching study abroad internship program aids undergraduates in career decision-making

Georgia Tech’s Office of International Education, in collaboration with Pre-Graduate and Pre-Professional (PGPP) Advising and the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC), offers a pre-teaching study abroad internship each semester at Colegio Bilingüe New Horizons International School serving preK-12 students in the Dominican Republic. The internship is designed to help Tech undergraduates gain teaching experience, either as a teacher’s assistant or a co-teacher for subjects in math, science, or technology.

“When I started at Tech in 2012, I realized that there were no experiential learning opportunities for students who wanted to delve into teaching on a deeper level,” said Assistant Director of Pre-Graduate Advising Susan Belmonte, who has a dual role with CEISMC and PGPP Advising. “And that is when I connected with the Career Center where many of the internship opportunities began. Since 2013, 61 students have completed pre-teaching internships somewhere."

Belmonte’s relationship with New Horizons was forged after making an online connection with the school’s Academic Director Priscilla Garrido in 2015. Garrido usually selects two students from Tech interested in teaching, and Belmonte helps the applicants with cover letters and resumes. About eight students have participated in the pre-teaching internship.

“The benefit for the school is that it’s always good to have extra people to serve as mentors and role models for our students,” said Garrido. “For the pre-teaching interns, it’s an experience for them of living abroad, sometimes for the first time, and getting used to a completely different culture. They also can explore their teaching interests without having to commit to full-time employment to decide if teaching is really what they would like to pursue.”

In spring 2023, Izah Tahir was selected to participate in the pre-teaching internship program at New Horizons, serving as a co-teacher for 8th and 9th grade classes in algebra. Tahir, a fall 2022 mathematics graduate, already had previous experience working with youth through CEISMC’s Horizons at Georgia Tech program her first year of college and as a group leader and instructor for K.I.D.S. Club, CEISMC’s Saturday STEAM programming, throughout her college career.

“I have always wanted to teach math and study abroad,” said Tahir, who is taking a gap year before attending graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “The best part of this experience has been planning the lessons and leading the classes by myself and then figuring out what works and doesn’t work to engage the students.”

Mathematics undergraduate Shrey Patel was also at New Horizons with Tahir, serving as a teacher’s assistant for two high school pre-calculus classes and an Advanced Placement calculus class. He said that he had been considering teaching for a while since he had fantastic high school teachers and had a few tutoring experiences over the past few summers.

“This was my chance to really understand if I’d like to teach. It was my motivating question that’s led me to take the initiative to do something I’ve never done,” said Patel, who plans to graduate in 2024. “This experience has given me that ability and the opportunity to have a better idea of what my future will look like.”

Shrey Patel and Izah Tahir

Recent graduate gains teaching experience while working with EXCEL students

Lawrenceville native Emma Harper (pictured center), who earned a bachelor’s degree in history, technology, and society in May 2023 from Georgia Tech, is following her dreams of becoming a high school history teacher. “I knew that I wanted to teach since I started at Georgia Tech,” Harper explained. “I also knew that since I was taking a rather unconventional route to teaching, I needed to be a little creative about how I would get enough experience to find work after graduation.”

In fact, during her first week of school, one of the welcome events Harper attended was a virtual meeting in which PreTeaching Advisor Susan Belmonte answered questions about supporting students considering K-12 education careers. She said she met with Belmonte once every semester after that to keep herself on track for teaching.

Harper credits her two years of teaching experience with the EXCEL program as part of her career journey. EXCEL is a four-year college certificate program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, which includes opportunities for internships and job training. In addition to courses specifically designed for EXCEL students, they enroll in inclusive courses alongside their neurotypical peers based on their interests and career goals.

“The first time I mentored an EXCEL student was quite by coincidence. In my Medieval European History class, an academic tutor was needed, and I jumped at the opportunity and loved it,” Harper explained. “I was there to help the EXCEL students maximize their experiences in these classes.” As an academic tutor during the 2021-2022 academic year, Harper helped two EXCEL students learn the course material based on their individual needs such as serving as a notetaker, and/or occasionally creating modified assignments.

“I did not want to just sit with the student once a week and passively review the content. Since the students are smart and eager to please, finding engaging ways to gauge their understanding of the material was a challenge,” she said. “I found asking open-ended questions was more beneficial as the students had the opportunity to explain in their own words, giving them more ownership in their learning, and motivation to continue that learning.” Harper said one of her proudest moments came when the student she was tutoring gave a short speech in front of the class during a role-playing activity in which each participant was a character involved in the Crusades. “I was super proud of him,” she recalled. “On his own, he made a presentation that was not required of him, and he showed understanding of the assignment in what he said and the way he presented to the class.”

Harper, who had worked under the guidance of EXCEL Senior Lecturer Ashley McKeen, said that in talking with McKeen about her teaching aspirations, she was offered an opportunity to continue working with the EXCEL students, this time as an intern in her last year of college. She was a teaching assistant for EXCEL classes such as peer social skills led by McKeen, and career preparation led by EXCEL Assistant Director Nathan Heald.

“Working with the EXCEL students has been a rewarding experience for me, especially to see how they are learning to become independent and exploring their career interests,” Harper said. “I have learned to see students as individuals. Taking the time to pay attention to their interests builds a level of rapport between the students and me that I think is beneficial relationally, which then also helps me to teach them better.” Harper is currently pursuing a master’s degree in teaching at the University of North Georgia while working full-time.

Georgia Tech | Fall 2023 13

The Retiring Class of 2023: A CEISMC Legacy

This year marks a significant turning point for the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC), with three longtime leaders — Principal Research Scientist Marion Usselman, Program Director Jeff Rosen, and Senior Research Associate Douglas Edwards — all retiring within a few months of each other.

With a combined tenure of more than 55 years, the retiring class of 2023 embodies a wealth of wisdom, experience, empathy, and leadership that has been a formative, nurturing, guiding force in the center for decades. Their contributions — connecting Georgia Tech to the preK-12 STEM education community — carry forward with their indelible imprint.

In an interview with CEISMC Impact, the three educators and researchers reflected on some of the key impacts the center has made over the years as well as how the work they started will continue to evolve.

Building a Culture of Teamwork and Equity

Marion Usselman: Years of Service – 1996-2023

One of the first projects Usselman worked on focused on issues of gender equity in STEM as program manager for the multi-institutional National Science Foundation-funded project, Integrating Gender Equity and Reform (InGEAR). Usselman and her colleagues conducted an in-depth institutional self-assessment to examine the factors, including the structure of the educational programs and content delivery, that influenced the academic paths of women and minorities who chose to enroll at Georgia Tech and

their career trajectories, particularly in engineering.

The impact of this NSF project and subsequent educational studies guided Usselman’s research endeavors to address the same issues in the K-12 space. “Throughout my career, I have had opportunities to lead teams of talented individuals as we developed an extensive array of research and implementation programs focused on multiple dimensions of STEM

educational reform, primarily but not exclusively at the K-12 level,” explained Usselman, who also served as CEISMC’s associate director for development and educational innovation. “These research thrusts generally began with small-scale, topic-focused projects and have grown into large, well-funded and multi-collaborator programs tasked by sponsors with developing rigorously tested models of STEM educational reform for national dissemination.”

Douglas Edwards, Marion Usselman, and Jeff Rosen have a combined tenure of more than 55 years at CEISMC.

Usselman stressed that the center’s longevity and success is rooted in a philosophy “to illuminate the corner that you are in,” partnering with local teachers and school districts to figure out what works in real classrooms. “We have always wanted to develop something that’s going to actually work, so therefore it needs to be designed to work in the most fragile and difficult situations,” she said.

University-K-12 partnerships played an integral role in developing one of the more recent large and comprehensive

partnerships, which included engineering-focused curriculum developed at Georgia Tech. AMP-IT-UP was a seven-year, $7.5 million NSF grant that introduced middle school students to STEM Innovation and Design courses that incorporated foundational math and science skills into lessons tied to engineering design challenges.

“My team has spent the last 15 to 20 years designing curricular exemplars, based on well-established research on how people learn and factors that encourage a sense of belonging and identity, so

that teachers can try out inclusive methods of instruction and experience success in engaging students who are traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields,” Usselman said. “Our view is that good reform-based teaching that centers on diverse students’ motivational and multicultural needs is the primary driver of success in supporting and expanding all students’ access to careers in the STEM fields, particularly in engineering and computer science.”

Developing Key Partnerships and Creating the Trends

Jeff Rosen: Years of Service – 2007-2023

One of the key elements of making university-K-12 partnerships work is the variety of experiences of the curriculum developers, researchers and educators involved. Rosen was a technology teacher at Wheeler High School when he first met Usselman in 2002. He became involved in the effort, led by her and a colleague, for Georgia Tech to become an Affiliate Partner of FIRST LEGO League, an international K-12 robotics competition program.

Over their five-year collaboration, they doubled the number of students participating every year, with expansion plans that were directed specifically to attract underrepresented populations. Usselman recruited Rosen to CEISMC in 2007 as a program director. “From that time forward, Marion and I have worked on numerous curriculum development

grants that at the heart were always targeting ways to support science learning for all students and to help overcome the stigma about who can or should do STEM,” said Rosen.

With his expertise in engineering and robotics, Rosen has participated in several federally funded projects, including Science Learning: Integrating Design, Engineering, and Robotics (SLIDER) for eighth grade physical science classrooms, Biologically Inspired Design for Engineering Education (BIRDEE) for high school engineering classrooms, Measuring the Effectiveness of Middle School STEM Innovation and Engineering Design for middle school students, and Exploring AI-Enhanced Engineering Design Process Log for high school teachers and students.

“One of the things that we did early on was to anticipate upcoming trends when thinking of research questions to explore. We thought about putting robots in a science classroom to help students learn science practice or engaging teachers in hands-on learning via virtual professional development. So, we put those bold ideas into grant proposals when there wasn’t even a trend yet,” said Rosen, who served as a co-principal investigator on the AMP-IT-UP grant that introduced students to advanced manufacturing tools such as computeraided design (CAD) and 3D printing in their engineering design challenges. “AMP-IT-UP is a great example,” he said. “The notion of promoting advanced manufacturing and math and science in the engineering classrooms wasn’t really happening in 2012 when we came up with that idea and received funding.”

Georgia Tech | Fall 2023 15
Bob Kraushaar, Jeff Rosen, Aaron Artrip, Marion Usselman, and Douglas Edwards at CEISMC’s 2022 holiday party.

Making Computer Science Fun and Accessible to All

Douglas Edwards: Years of Service – 2011-2023

Edwards traces his affiliation back to 1998 when he was first introduced to CEISMC in an after-school science engineering program for educators. His CEISMC connection continued in 2003, when Usselman recruited Edwards, an engineering teacher at Westlake High School, to become a teaching partner. Edwards was one of the teachers to receive a Graduate STEM Fellow, one of 130 Tech graduate students placed in local schools between 2001 and 2010 thanks to a $3.8 million NSF GK-12 grant. “That started our work together,” he said. “When I think of Marion, I think of Mary McLeod Bethune’s quote, ‘our children must never lose their zeal for building a better world.’”

Edwards has been a part of many NSFfunded research projects over the last decade focused on the development of computer science curricula using EarSketch, a web-based digital audio workstation created by Tech researchers in 2011. Edwards points to these endeavors as a career highlight, including the creation of the “Your Voice is Power” national remix competition in partnership between Tech, Amazon

Future Engineer, and YELLOW, a nonprofit established by Pharrell Williams to EVEN THE ODDS through education. More than 3,000 pre-collegiate students have been learning code, making beats, and promoting equity since the competition launched in 2020.

“EarSketch is very accessible for students and for teachers and it’s very cultureoriented as the students create remixes of songs by Pharrell Williams, Alicia Keys, and Khalid,” Edwards said. “These students come up with some really good music in a very short amount of time and it’s just so engaging.”

Edwards said he is also inspired and amazed by the evolution of the StudentCentered Computing (SCC) curricular framework, which started in 2016 when CEISMC researchers created an introductory high school computer science course under the SCC framework with a $2.5 million NSF STEM+C grant. This course includes a year-long project, in which students can develop digital technology and programming skills as they research and design solutions for problems of their choice.

The initial curriculum, he said, was designed to provide students with an engaging computer science experience that would encourage all students, including girls and minorities, to consider and continue in the computer science field in the future.

“The project was called Culturally Authentic Practice to Advance Computational Thinking in Youth (CAPACiTY) because the students learned how computer science could be used as a tool when they were asked to communicate and advocate for solving a community problem that they felt strongly about,” he said. “Research has shown a significant difference in terms of engagement with this approach.”

In fact, participants in these pilot offerings showed increases in cognitive engagement, student agency, and an increase in their intent to continue in computing careers.

• Standards-Based Computer Science

• Promotes Voice, Choice, and Student Engagement

• Culturally Authentic Practices


• Computing Explorations (Grades 6-8)

• Student-Centered Computing Foundations (Grades 8-10)

• AP Computer Science Principles (Grades 9-12)



for more info

in Your
Driven Problem Solving

GoSTEM students carry on legacy of academic and professional achievement

For Georgia Tech undergraduates Jasmine Lopez-Sandoval and Alex Castrejon, their paths toward professional success in college and beyond began in middle school when they participated in the GoSTEM program, a collaborative partnership at Tech between the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing and the Center for Teaching and Learning originally and now with Institute Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. GoSTEM promotes STEM academic achievement and college attendance among Latino students, connecting Georgia Tech faculty, staff, and students directly to K-12 students and their teachers through innovative educational programs.

Lopez-Sandoval became involved with GoSTEM’s Pathways program at Lilburn Middle School in the sixth grade, allowing her to engage in the fields of STEM learning and to discover new educational and professional career paths.

“What I enjoyed most were the summer camps. Working with professors gave me an idea what it would be like to be in a college setting,” Lopez-Sandoval said. “Coming from someone who is first-generation, I didn’t really know what it meant to be able to even go to college, in a sense.”

Lopez-Sandoval is currently in her second year at Georgia Tech after accepting the G. Wayne Clough Georgia Tech Promise Program full-ride scholarship. She spent her first summer participating in the Languages for Business and Technology

program in Korea as part of her international affairs major, a degree which she hopes to turn into a career focused around either global security or public policy.

For Castrejon, the GoSTEM Pathways program at Radloff Middle School offered an outlet for his interests as well as a new career path. Through GoSTEM, he prepared for the ACT and SAT, toured Georgia Tech, and even put together his first resume.

Fittingly, Castrejon was at a robotics work session preparing for an upcoming competition when he learned he had been accepted into his dream school - Georgia Tech. He also was selected for the A. James Clark Scholars Program in the College of Engineering, which helps support his undergraduate education in mechanical engineering.

In his time at Georgia Tech, the now senior has joined various clubs, excelled academically, studied abroad, and interned with Apple in California and Google in Chicago. Seeing the success that these opportunities have opened up for him, he said that his goal professionally is to be able to mirror the generosity that was shown to him.

“One of the things that I think GoSTEM definitely added of value to my life is that it brought together people who had the same academic goals as I,” he said. “I’d like to pay it forward in the way my scholarship was funded. That’s beautiful to me.”

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Jasmine Lopez-Sandoval Alex Castrejon

GoSTEAM: Co-creating a sustainable STEAM education culture with local teachers

CEISMC’s GoSTEAM team has been working with teachers and students throughout the state to create sustainable, school-based initiatives that integrate the arts and music into computer science, engineering, and invention and entrepreneurship education. As the project enters the last year of its six-year funding cycle, approximately 2,400 students, 73 teachers and 12 schools have been reached through the innovative, constantly evolving endeavor.

“The biggest impacts have been with teachers,” said Principal Research Scientist Marion Usselman who served as GoSTEAM Principal Manager until her recent retirement.

“We realized early on that what we’re doing is giving the teachers additional skills. We have teachers who have been with us since day one and you know, they are dedicated to this. We take them on field trips to the High Museum and local arts installations and to on-campus facilities like the Flowers Invention Studio. We’ve impacted a lot of teachers who then obviously impact their students and their classrooms.”

Launched with the support of a $5 million grant from The Goizueta Foundation, the impact of the program has been considerable, Usselman said, creating and disseminating pre-K-12 interventions that authentically integrate the arts into the technical fields of engineering and computer science while promoting deep learning in both fields. GoSTEAM is the second CEISMC program funded by The Goizueta Foundation.

One of the initial challenges the project faced was defining what arts integration and STEAM integration could look like in schools, said CEISMC Program Director Sabrina Grossman. “So, we planned to have one teacher complete these internships over the summer at Georgia Tech and we changed it to a more collaborative model where we didn’t just want it to be a STEM teacher learning the arts or an arts teacher learning STEM. We wanted the collaboration to happen at the school level,” she said. “Our goal is to change, to create a STEAM and collaborative culture at the school and we have done that.”

Paul Duke STEM High School mechatronics instructor Stephen Cochran said that his involvement with the GoSTEAM team transformed his approach to teaching and changed the way he thinks about possible career opportunities for his students. “GoSTEAM has really changed the focus of my engineering and mechatronics classes,” he said. “Although I still teach the same things that I did before, I teach them in a way that lends itself to applications outside the traditional realm of engineering. I didn’t really think about film and theater as career tracks for my students before I started the GoSTEAM initiative. Now I gravitate towards art projects that involve engineering and mechatronics.”

Antoinette Robinson (pictured left), the valedictorian of her 2023 Lovejoy High School graduating class, said that by working with GoSTEAM projects throughout high school, she learned computer coding and music production, built musical instruments from recycled materials, and gained invaluable aerospace and civil engineering skills.

“One thing I have learned in all of the GoSTEAM programs I have done is that the sky is never the limit, it is only your imagination,” she said.


K-12 InVenture Prize expands efforts statewide as part of Georgia AIM project

CEISMC’s K-12 InVenture Prize is dramatically expanding its invention and entrepreneurship program after joining a new statewide initiative combining artificial intelligence (AI) and manufacturing innovations with transformational workforce development and K-12 outreach. The project is called the Georgia Artificial Intelligence Manufacturing Corridor project (Georgia AIM) and is supported by a recordshattering $65 million grant Georgia Tech received in September 2022 from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration.

“Many people have preconceived notions about manufacturing and may not be able to see how they could possibly connect to it," said Roxanne Moore, principal research engineer and director of the K-12 InVenture Prize program. “What they may not realize is that manufacturing is what brings innovative ideas to life. AI is rapidly reshaping the manufacturing industry and changing the landscape for job opportunities. The work that we are doing will position

Georgia to lead the nation into the future of AI and manufacturing.”

Moore explained that through Georgia AIM, CEISMC is expanding its K-12 InVenture Prize program to collaborate with school districts and businesses in Southwest Georgia, Southeast Georgia, and Northeast Georgia. One of the first of these collaborations was held this past July when Southern Regional Technical College in Thomasville, GA hosted a three-day kickoff workshop for Georgia AIM.

The goal is to build partnerships with South Georgia teachers, business leaders, and other community members in the planning and deployment process for Georgia AIM’s K-12 community engagement. Activities during the workshop and throughout the Georgia AIM effort is focusing on communitycentered design, to include supporting K-12 teachers who have limited time and resources. Georgia AIM grant recipients, including Southern Regional Technical College, educational technology platform Tisk/Task, nonprofit Foundational

Leadership Entrepreneurship and X-perience (FLEX), and Georgia Tech are participating in the co-design process.

Over the next five years, the Georgia AIM project will reach at least 1,000 K-12 students and 100 teachers from underserved areas, with a focus on rural communities via existing programs at Georgia Tech, other nonprofits, the Technical College System of Georgia, the Southwest Georgia Regional Commission, local manufacturers, and K-12 school leaders.

“We need to illustrate the powerful relationships between innovation, entrepreneurship, and manufacturing so that students can see how ideas come to life and how they can improve their communities,” said Moore. “It is my hope that these regional ecosystems become a role model for how educational institutions can support each other in expanding access to high-quality STEM experiences for diverse students who typically are not empowered to create their futures.”

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More than 100 participants from across Georgia came to Atlanta for the initial kickoff meeting in fall 2022.

As part of Georgia AIM, CEISMC will also expand its offerings through partnerships with Tech’s GoSTEM program to better serve Latino populations. GoSTEM is a collaborative partnership between CEISMC and Institute Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Its mission is to promote STEM academic achievement and college attendance among Latino and other cultural and linguistic minority K-12 students. Plans include translating existing invention and entrepreneurship curriculum into Spanish, adding lessons to the curriculum on AI and manufacturing, assisting with the development of regionally focused curricula, and expanding training and events to make them more inclusive.

“We are working to make invention education accessible to everyone in the state, especially those who may have been previously left out of the conversation,” said Danyelle Larkin, educational outreach manager with CEISMC. “By going into more rural areas of the state and working to develop multilingual curricula that is focused on the needs of the region, we hope to

serve as a national model for how to accelerate the transition to automation in manufacturing while diversifying the next generation of AI leadership.”

“The overall objective of Georgia AIM is to establish the United States as a leader in AI manufacturing while making sure that these systems complement rather than replace existing workers,” Larkin added. “The work

that we are doing in CEISMC plays an integral role in Georgia AIM with our specific expertise in weaving invention education and entrepreneurship into K-12 classrooms and connecting with diverse communities. This huge grant gives us a chance to amplify our work and bring even more people into the AI conversation. It is about building a better, more equitable future for the people of Georgia.”

K-12 InVenture Prize celebrates its 10th anniversary: A Decade of Discovery

Since it was launched in 2013, the K-12 InVenture Prize — CEISMC’s celebrated invention education curriculum and competition program — has focused on developing the next generation of engineers and entrepreneurs with a clear goal to make invention education accessible to students and teachers across the state. Now, after 10 years of work, approximately 750 teachers and more than 15,000 students throughout Georgia have had opportunities to engage in authentic invention and entrepreneurship experiences through the program.

“K-12 InVenture Prize was started by dedicated teachers who believed high school students could engage with invention like Georgia Tech students were doing,” said Roxanne Moore,

principal research engineer and director of the K-12 InVenture Prize program.

“In partnership with Georgia Tech faculty, these teachers created a proof of concept, and I was sold. The vision grew as other teachers and partners came to the table, excited to try something different and give their students opportunities to invent.”

Here are a few select highlights and milestones that mark the development of the K-12 InVenture Prize:

Summer 2012: Teachers Amanda Baskett (now Director at Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology) and Dean Landers (now Director of Strategy for CRB) complete CEISMC’s Georgia InternFellowships for Teachers program to

develop and pilot the first high school InVenture curriculum.

Summer 2013: The idea to expand Georgia Tech’s InVenture Prize competition becomes reality when Georgia Tech’s retired Vice Provost and Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering Ray Vito secures a donation from the Fitzgerald Foundation to pilot the program competition for Georgia high schools. CEISMC then organizes the first summer professional development (PD) with 10 teachers participating.

2013-2014: The pilot year for the program, known as “The K-12 InVenture Challenge,” launches strong right out of the gate with teacher PD, Mock Pitch and a State Finals competition!


2014-2015: The program takes a big leap forward, expanding to include elementary schools. TAG Manufacturing steps up to sponsor a new manufacturing award, the first sponsored specialty award of the competition.

2015-2016: IronCAD joins as program partner to sponsor a new specialty award for the competition and provides CAD software to participating schools. State finalists move on to compete at the first National Invention Convention and Entrepreneurship Expo. The program opens to middle schools.

2017-2018: The program is rebranded as “The K-12 InVenture Prize.”

2018-2019: The program expands yet again, partnering with Georgia Tech’s Savannah campus to begin work on the first regional qualifying event for the competition. The program’s curriculum for grades 3-5 is completed and made available on the K-12 InVenture Prize website. The K-12 InVenture Prize Board Game is created, bringing a fun, competitive approach to engage students in invention education topics.

2019-2020: The competition holds the first online qualifier event, making the program even more accessible to students throughout the state. The curriculum for grades 1-3 is completed and posted online while progress is made in further developing curriculum for grades 9-12.

2020-2021: The kindergarten curriculum is created. The COVID pandemic occurs, which brings in-person events for the competition to a halt.

2021-2022: The program expands again with a new regional partnership and qualifying event in South Georgia. In-person awards return and the first Invention Convention Worldwide global competition is held.

2022-2023: Online qualifiers return along with in-person State Finals! K-12 InVenture Prize partners with Georgia AIM, a new statewide initiative combining artificial intelligence and manufacturing innovations with transformational workforce development and K-12 outreach.

“As I look back on 10 years of the program, we have truly come a long way.

It is just amazing to see the team that we have built and the partnerships and momentum,” Moore said. “I am looking forward to seeing what all these students do in the future now that they have been invited to the table to invent and design a better world. Some of them even already have patents. If we keep reaching thousands of students per year, who can say what we will see from these inventors in another 10, 20, and 30 years?”

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Back in-person, the 2023 K-12 InVenture Prize State Finals event was held on campus with 102 teams competing.

Georgia FIRST LEGO League provides building blocks for computer science careers

Two Georgia Tech computer science students — Meghan Markert and Steven Baker — discovered a lifelong passion for robotics through participating in the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) competition at Georgia Tech as middle schoolers. Markert and Baker said that working with FLL at an early age ignited their interest in STEM fields and set them on the path to academic success at Tech.

FLL is an internationally recognized competitive platform that uses LEGO robotics and coding as tools to inspire youth through hands-on STEM learning in which they examine real-life problems and develop innovative solutions. Since 2003, the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC) has served as the FLL program delivery partner, facilitating the initiative for the state of Georgia, including hosting the FLL state championship at Georgia Tech and assisting with the state championship held at the University of Georgia.

Markert, a junior from Harris County, has been involved with the program for over eight years, having the opportunity to qualify for the state competition at the University of Georgia with her “Ligers” team during the 2016-2017 season. After aging out of the competition, she began volunteering as a referee, where she uses her experience and passion to encourage the young competitors.

Baker, a sophomore from Kennesaw who has volunteered as a competition referee since early high school, explained his time in the program taught him to always keep working through difficulties and obstacles. His introduction to the program began in the 6th grade with his team “Master Builders,” which made it to the state championship at Georgia Tech during his 8th grade year. “My experiences taught me the value of perseverance — knowing that I might not get the answer I need immediately, might not get the robot to work the way I want the first time, but I learned so much in the process of trying to reach my goal — and this made me a better learner overall,” he said.

“I feel that the Georgia FIRST LEGO League experience is like learning a foreign language. When you start something young, it sticks, and the learning gets easier because your mind is more open to the next experience of new information that offers endless possibilities,” she said.

Tech alumnus Cameron Schriner, who has been involved with FLL for many years, remembers working with Markert and Baker during their middle school days when he served as a volunteer referee.

“My favorite part is seeing their excitement about math and science, coupled with their desire to be in these career fields for the rest of their lives,” said Schriner, a software engineer for IronCAD, which specializes in user-focused 3D design software for engineers. “Their genuine excitement and passion create a spark that can influence future generations of competitors.”

Schriner’s continued commitment to FLL over the years as a volunteer referee and mentor has led him to earning a more significant role these days. Schriner not only serves as a volunteer head state referee, but now holds the title as an assistant global referee and helps design a new game every year that is played in different countries.

Cameron Schriner and Steven Baker

NSF grant explores how high school engineering teachers can use AI in the Engineering Design Process

Last year, a team of researchers from the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC) with research partners in the School of Interactive Computing began to explore the implications of using artificial intelligence (AI) in high school engineering courses thanks to a National Science Foundation grant (Award #2119135) from its Research on Emerging Technologies for Teaching and Learning program.

“When we first received this grant, we were exploring whether we could add AI functionalities to an existing product – a web-based Engineering Design Process Log – we had created to scaffold students through the Engineering Design Process (EDP),” explained CEISMC Principal Research Engineer Roxanne Moore, who serves as one of the co-principal investigators of the grant. “Our goal last summer was to elicit information from two high school teachers about how the design process really occurs in their engineering classrooms so we could find opportunities for AI to support them.”

During the six-week user study, the educators described their various teaching experiences and pedagogical practices with a focus on student design challenges — a staple of the engineering curriculum. Human-centered computing doctoral student Yasmine Belghith, who developed and led this part of the research, said that some of the study’s emerging themes focused on trying to understand what student obstacles teachers anticipate occurring and how to prevent and/or recover from them. These obstacles include productive failures (plan or prototype revisions) and disruptive failures (off-task behaviors).

“We found that most failures were disruptive in some way, such as students challenging classroom authority, actively trying to circumvent using the EDP, or playing around with materials without learning from the activity,” said Belghith. “Both teachers described common strategies for mitigating, preventing, or safeguarding against failures. But in doing so, design challenges become very prescriptive, which could even eliminate the need for using the EDP, ultimately resulting in the lack of understanding of its actual value, and of opportunities for students to apply their inventiveness and cultivate their engineering identities.”

Based on these teachers’ perspectives, task models were developed to represent the steps of the EDP and serve as a basis for prototyping an AI-enhanced Engineering Design Process Log that would alleviate some of the cognitive load and challenges for teachers such as continuously monitoring students’ documentation of their work.

That is why current work is focused on how teachers and students might use a large language model, such as ChatGPT, to create problem definitions for engineering challenges that would ultimately be included in the AI-enhanced documentation log. Gennie Mansi, a Ph.D. student in human-centered computing, is leading the effort to recruit and run a study comprised of engineering teachers at different experience levels, giving them actual student responses from documentation logs and asking them to use ChatGPT to improve upon the students’ answers when possible.

“We are measuring how well the teachers think ChatGPT improved the students’ writing and if they felt differently about using an AI system to help their students in the documentation process,” explained Mansi. “We’re using this data to make a bridge between people’s interactions with AI so we can rely on this body of knowledge, grounded in people’s experiences, to move closer and closer to what we hope is a helpful technical solution.”

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Yasmine Belghith

Tech’s K-12 STEM Outreach Group connects campus partners to share ideas and resources

In 2017, Georgia Tech’s Office of the Provost hosted the inaugural K-12 Summit to bring together faculty and staff working in the pre-collegiate sphere to discuss the Institute’s role in K-12 and the associated challenges and opportunities. A key takeaway was that while Tech’s efforts were substantial, they were disjointed as different campus units were not aware of the massive outreach programs occurring. As a result, the K-12 STEM Outreach Group, organized by the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC), was created to help connect everyone engaged in K-12 programming and bring them together regularly to share ideas and network for future collaborations.

In her five years as CEISMC Program Director for Campus and Community Coordination, Heidi Turcotte – who oversees the campus group – has seen it change in size and scope. “Over the years there have been many new additions to our group,” Turcotte said. “It is exciting because, with each new addition, we gain new knowledge and opportunities to collaborate and grow how the Georgia Tech community engages with K-12. It

is a great space where sharing, learning, and brainstorming happens.”

The K-12 STEM Outreach Group meets quarterly during the academic year. Since the COVID pandemic, the group had been meeting virtually, but that changed for the first meeting of fall when the kickoff included an in-person and online option for attendance. The K-12 Lunch and Learn series will continue for a second year, having debuted last fall with topics ranging from hiring and hosting high school interns on campus to research and evaluation of K-12 programs.

“We have so many experts across campus in so many different facets of K-12, being able to share those resources with the Tech community is incredible,” said CEISMC Educational Outreach Manager Amanda Smith, who helps coordinate the events for the K-12 STEM Outreach Group.

For Georgia Tech faculty and staff interested in joining the K-12 STEM Outreach Group, please email k12stem@gatech.edu

STEAM Leadership Conference provides teachers with inspiring ways to engage their students

This past spring CEISMC’s Campus and Community Coordination team hosted its annual STEAM Leadership Conference with an in-person component for the first time since 2019. The conference, which focused on the theme “STEAM in Unexpected Ways,” provides a vast array of experiences to build and engage K-12 STEAM education leaders.

Day one of the conference brought together over 100 participants for the event’s virtual component. Following an inspiring keynote address by artist and educator Eric Mack, attendees from Georgia and beyond had the opportunity to gain new insights from 25 presentations in three different tracks: Supporting STEM/STEAM Certification, Beyond the Traditional, and Did You Know?, a look at how STEM intersects other disciplines.

“Each year we try to make new connections and provide the audience with new knowledge,” said CEISMC Program Director Heidi Turcotte. “This year was no different in that each of the three tracks encouraged participation from formal, informal, and even research-based educators. Each iteration of the STEAM Leadership Conference is better than the last.”

Day two attendees had a packed schedule that included a keynote address by music producer and entrepreneur

Craig King and a choice of three hands-on STEAM workshops. Participants also toured Tech’s revitalized green spaces called EcoCommons and had an opportunity to attend Georgia Tech Science and Engineering Day and the Guthman Music, Art, and Technology Fair, both part of the Atlanta Science Festival.

“We had a 96 percent attendance rate for day two, which is incredible,” said CEISMC Educational Outreach Manager Amanda Smith. “Our high level of participation speaks volumes about the programming we were able to put together, and the desire educators have for a return to in-person professional development opportunities.”


CS teacher attributes Code.org training through CEISMC to have transformative impact on students

Retired U.S. Navy flight engineer and instructor Dennis Courtney moved back to Georgia in 2020 to begin teaching computer science (CS) at Baconton Community Charter School in Mitchell County. Although he had experience at the high school and college level in engineering and robotics, Courtney sought out opportunities to receive professional development in CS.

“My wife, who was the curriculum instruction director in Tennessee when we lived up there, heard of a training program with Code.org,” Courtney said. “Through her research, she found the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC) so I could start taking Code.org courses.”

CEISMC, as the state’s regional partner with Code.org, delivers various online and in-person courses created by Code.org. The education innovation nonprofit is committed to the vision that every student in every school can learn CS as part of their core K-12 education.

Courtney immediately enrolled in the online CS Discoveries course that summer, which introduces students in grades 6-10 to building their own websites, apps, animations, games, and physical computing systems. He has subsequently joined the teacher cohorts for CS Principles and CS A, more in-depth high school courses that can also be used for Advanced Placement (AP) credit.

“Through the Code.org training provided by CEISMC, I have seen a tremendous impact on my students,” Courtney said. “For example, we have had upwards of 100 students take the AP exam in a rural school setting with zero experience in computer science. When you take that group on a three-year journey that results in establishing a strong, robust computer science program, that speaks for itself.”

He explained that most rural areas may not have the same resources as schools in the big cities. However, the STEM programs introduced into a school’s curriculum can change a student’s trajectory completely. He cited one former student, a self-taught computer hacker who was given an opportunity to be on Courtney’s robotics team to channel his skills in positive ways. That student went on to attend Georgia Tech as a computer science major, putting him on a path to a potential career in cybersecurity.

“Dennis Courtney is one of those teachers who is dedicated to ensuring that his students receive the best possible computer science education,” said CEISMC Program Director Alba Castillo Gutierrez, who manages the regional partnership. “He has been with us for the last few summers and has attended all the follow-up workshops throughout the year. He has always been in communication with the course facilitators and has connected us with others in his district to promote or try new initiatives.”

Courtney, whose school role has expanded to include STEM coordinator and robotics coach, has incorporated some of his own aviation experiences into the mix such as teaching block coding when working with drones. “I’m so appreciative of this CEISMC program,” he said. “Not only do people need to be aware of this, but more importantly, how CEISMC intentionally helps rural school districts deliver pertinent content that these students will need as they join the future workforce where some type of coding language or CS technology will play a prominent role.”

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Computer science pilot program connects rural area students and teachers to emerging high-tech opportunities

High school students in rural areas of the state have been learning how to harness powerful emerging technologies including artificial intelligence and cybersecurity while carving out new career pathways — thanks to the Computer Science for Rural Georgia High School Pilot initiative developed by Tech’s Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC) and STEM@GTRI, Georgia Tech Research Institute’s K-12 outreach program. Faculty led classes virtually in collaboration with in-person teachers in Cartersville City Schools, and Chattooga, Effingham, Fayette, Gordon, Haralson, Liberty, and Walker counties this past year.

This innovative project functions as a new kind of high-tech STEM education bridge that connects students and teachers in rural areas with fewer resources to Georgia Tech expertise, said CEISMC’s Associate Director for School and Community Engagement Norman “Storm” Robinson III. “Focusing on these students and shining a light on them has not only helped them increase their computer science capacity, but also put them in place to find further employment,” he said. “They are having new post-secondary experiences that they may not ever have had without being a part of this movement.”

According to computer science teacher Curt Hitchens of Saddle Ridge Elementary and Middle School in Walker County, just having an opportunity to interact with Georgia Tech boosted his students’ confidence and allowed them to push themselves farther into new areas and ideas. “The eighth-grade students had an opportunity to learn about programming robots and creating music with code. My students learned about problem solving, computational thinking, and other foundational computer science skills,” he said. “Both opportunities were important because they helped prepare my high school credit students for college, work, and life — which is our school system’s mission.”

The overall goal is to not only change students’ lives, but to also transform and strengthen entire Georgia communities, said Sean Mulvanity, a consultant with STEM@GTRI. “I’m from small-town Georgia, a farming community, which is getting much more high-tech as we go, but the kids there do not have this type of information or work at their fingertips on a regular basis,” he said. “We thought being able to provide school districts with a way to plug into the fantastic work that Georgia Tech does can show kids that they do not have to move out of their community or farming. They can earn a living by using a computer.”

Topics, developed in collaboration with participating schools, including coding, cybersecurity, sensors and data visualization, and artificial intelligence, are aimed at addressing current workforce development needs in Georgia. Approximately 800 students have participated since the project was launched last summer with funding of $600,000, provided by the state legislature. For the upcoming year, the budget has been expanded to $1.4 million.

“There are plethora of studies showing that this type of capacity, these types of skills, are needed in not only computer science fields, but in STEM fields and just in general for employment,” said Robinson. “So, as we move to a more technical society, it’s critical that we help these students succeed in life by building these competencies of problem solving, critical thinking, and creativity.”

With plans to add eight more counties this fall and eight more in spring 2024, Mulvanity said the ideas of the project are starting to take root. “We have begun to develop a community of teachers that stretches from the very northwest corner of the state down to the very southeast corner,” he said.


Summer residential program introduces firstgeneration college students to campus life

More than 90 first-generation rising 8th through 12th graders attended the second annual First-Generation College Institute in June in Atlanta. This three-day event included students staying in a residence hall for the weekend.

“I've always been a proponent of students receiving the whole college experience and I think this can really impact their lives and career trajectory,” said the Associate Director of First-Generation Student Initiatives Charmaine Troy. “For example, having exposure to campus life by spending a few nights in Tech housing with their peers, coupled with learning about various majors firsthand from college representatives, was a very valuable experience for the students.”

The First-Generation College Institute is supported by the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC) and First-Generation and Limited Income Student Initiatives in the Office of Undergraduate Education in collaboration with the Office of Undergraduate Admission and the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. Troy explained that the statewide summer initiative is designed to identify, engage, and prepare participants in making the successful transition to college while increasing their exposure to science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics enrichment. The program debuted last year as one-day events in Atlanta and Savannah.

The success of the program prompted organizers to expand to a three-day residential model, attracting students from all over the state and a few neighboring states, including New York and California. Faculty and staff from the College of Engineering, the College of Sciences, the College of Design, Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, and Scheller College of Business hosted informational sessions about their degree offerings. Current firstgeneration undergraduates talked about their Tech experiences. In separate sessions, parents and students learned about the processes for undergraduate admissions, financial aid, and scholarships.

“When designing this program, we wanted to also make sure the students had a chance to engage with Georgia Tech students, staff, and faculty by participating in hands-on STEM activities. This portion of the program was designed to allow students to explore activities that are directly related to Georga Tech majors and careers in STEM,” said the CEISMC Director of Expanded Learning Programs Sirocus Barnes. “The students had a chance to explore computer science, engineering, and biology concepts. The program perfectly aligns with Georgia Tech’s goal of expanding access as outlined in our current strategic plan.”

Future plans for the First-Generation College Institute include engaging with more students in rural Georgia and areas outside of metro-Atlanta.

CEISMC and the Center for the Visually Impaired collaborate to expand STEM access

The Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC) and Atlanta-based nonprofit, the Center for the Visually Impaired (CVI), provide afterschool and summer enrichment programs that support student learning, connectedness, and well-being. Both are also recipients of the Building Opportunities in Out-of-School Time (BOOST) grant program that is administered by the Georgia Department of Education in partnership with the Georgia Statewide Afterschool Network. With common goals, CVI’s Nick Reynolds and CEISMC’s Sirocus Barnes met at one of the BOOST grantee meetings and decided to combine forces to expand student opportunities in STEM.

“The Center for the Visually Impaired is grateful for the collaboration with CEISMC,” said Nick Reynolds, senior manager of children and youth services at CVI. “It gives our youth the opportunity to explore new STEM activities and beyond, while serving as an entry point to exploring a future with the sciences, like engineering or coding. We cannot wait to see how far we can take this innovative partnership.”

CEISMC and CVI hosted Saturday workshops on the Georgia Tech campus in March and April of this year during CEISMC’s programming – Kids Interested in Discovering STEAM (K.I.D.S.) Club for elementary students and STEAM Workshops for middle and high school students. Additionally, there was a program this past summer at CVI for its students exploring STEAM topics through problem-based learning activities.

All these opportunities, ranging from Bridge Building, Rock N’ Roller Coasters, and Building Dream Houses, focused on the Engineering Design Process through a STEAM lens. Longtime CEISMC instructor Gail Tate, whose 35-year career spans technology and project engineering, planned and adapted the hands-on activities that are a fusion of art and technology.

“I believe students of all abilities should have the same opportunities,” said Tate (pictured left). “Imagination does not require visual sight as it is an internal process! We can tap into an amazing wealth of ideas and ingenuity by giving these young people an opportunity to engineer solutions.”

Tate modified already available STEAM activities into simpler steps for the students. By focusing on touch and sound, she used specified art supplies that had a variety of textures that were easy to identify by touch and used building tools that added sound and movement to the students’ creations.

CEISMC Expanded Learning Programs Director Sirocus Barnes said that plans for future collaborations are already underway. “I am thankful to the Center for the Visually Impaired staff for partnering with us on this exciting program,” he said. “I want students of all abilities to have opportunities to engage with Georgia Tech’s staff, faculty, and students as well as experience the world-class facilities we have. This is just the beginning and I hope to continue to build upon this significant endeavor by exploring additional ways to collaborate with the center to support their students in STEM education.”


New talent development program links students from westside community with Tech

This past summer, twenty rising sixth graders from Atlanta Public Schools’ (APS) Washington Cluster visited campus to take part in Tech’s Talent Development Program in which they learned about the college admissions process, potential careers, and even what it’s like to take college courses. The program, coordinated by the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC) in collaboration with Enrollment Management, is an initiative supporting Georgia Tech’s Anchor Institute and the Institute’s strategic plan.

The Georgia Tech Anchor Institute initiative focuses on supporting the westside community adjacent to campus, formalizing an already existing partnership CEISMC has cultivated with APS the last seven years. In establishing Tech as a leader in preK-12 outreach,

CEISMC leaders have worked closely with Institute Relations to determine if any of their efforts can translate into educational opportunities for the Washington Cluster. The goal is to enhance STEM teaching and learning in the K-12 schools near campus and to develop a sustainable and effective model of school-university collaboration that can be replicated and scaled.

“It is important to start young with developing this type of curriculum because most students who are accepted to Georgia Tech, they’re exposed to this type of curriculum early since that’s the natural environment of their schools,” said Keisha Simmons, CEISMC’s precollege director for the Anchor Institute, who has worked with the Washington Cluster schools since arriving at Tech in 2019. “A lot of the students who will be in the Talent Development Program

may have been exposed to STEM/STEAM in small spurts because of available outside school options or clubs, but it’s not something that’s consistent and continuous as schools may not have the budget to dedicate funds for that year around.”

The Talent Development Program is designed to be a multi-year effort that students will return to over their middle and high school careers, maintaining engagement with Georgia Tech all the way through graduation. “When thinking about Tech’s recruitment strategy moving forward, overwhelmingly those in the working group identified an opportunity to bring kids to campus at an earlier age with a very intense focus on preparing them for Tech admission,” said CEISMC’s Expanded Learning Programs Director Sirocus Barnes, who is collaborating with Simmons on this initiative. “With

Georgia Tech | Fall 2023 29

this program we’re saying to a family, we want to partner with you and your family to support your student for the next six years.”

For this pilot year, activities focused on helping the participants visualize themselves as college students, including an academic focus on algebra and computer science. “Being intentional about their engagement this summer was important,” Simmons said. “For example, students gained exposure to different career paths by talking with Google employees when they visited the Atlanta office. Since all the students we had were students of color, we requested that the Google staff be people of color. Diversity leads innovation.”

Next year, the inaugural cohort will return as seventh graders, and a new group of sixth graders from the Washington Cluster will be welcomed into the program. Growing the program into other metro-Atlanta school districts and statewide is part of the long-term plan.

Student assistants empathize with and support young learners

Two Georgia Tech student assistants who work to support the Talent Development Program — fourth-year biomedical engineering student Maya Davis and fourth-year business administration student Sheila Trinh — said their own challenges in college help them relate to the young students in the program.

“There’s that side of things — ‘Can I make it through college?’ — and when we talk about Georgia Tech, I think we’ve all experienced how stressful that can be,” Davis said. “We want to make sure that we give these students not only the STEM education, but the maturity and emotional growth to go into college.”

Speaking as a transfer student pursuing a business degree with a minor in engineering, Trinh said potential students should realize that Georgia Tech can be for anyone. “Yes, it’s difficult, but it's so worth it because Tech can cater to whomever and whatever you want to satisfy your academic career.”

Maya Davis and Sheila Trinh

Mary O’Shea recognized with Horizons

National educator award

Mary O’Shea became the first in the 10-year history of the Horizons at Georgia Tech program to win the prestigious Lyn McNaught Teacher Award given by Horizons National. Recipients are honored for their exemplary leadership and instruction in the year-round Horizons classrooms that are out-of-school time academic and youth development programs located on campuses of independent and charter schools and colleges and universities.

“Mary is a pillar of the Horizons at Georgia Tech program. Through the many personal challenges she has faced in the past few years, she continues to show up every day, bringing her best to make sure our scholars are loved and to ensure they are excited about learning,” said CEISMC Director of Expanded Learning Programs Sirocus Barnes who nominated O’Shea. “The assistant teachers, many of whom are future teachers, learn so much from Mary, and are better educators because of having spent a summer working alongside her.”

O’Shea began her work with Horizons at Georgia Tech in summer 2014. After retiring from 30 years of teaching in 2016, she has continued to work each summer as one of two lead teachers for the rising first graders. “I think it’s really exciting to come back every summer,” she said. “We’re right in first grade so we get to catch them at that very beginning and then each year, they come back taller and taller than me. And I watch them learn and grow and just bloom. It’s one of the greatest experiences.”

Each award candidate must go through the process of being nominated by their colleagues and then chosen by a panel of previous winners. O’Shea attended the awards luncheon during Horizons National’s 2023 Annual Conference held in the spring.

Georgia Tech | Fall 2023 31

Youth advocacy helps communities become disaster resilient

Georgia Tech is leading the project “Visualizing Resilience: BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) Youth Advocacy through Mapmaking” with a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

The YARDs (Youth Advocacy for Resilience to Disasters) team is made of an interdisciplinary group from Georgia Tech, including CEISMC, Savannah State University, the University of Minnesota, the Harambee House, City of Savannah’s Office of Sustainability, and the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System.

The YARDs team, led by Georgia Tech researchers, created an after-school program in the fall of 2022 at Mercer Middle School, located in a historically Black community in Savannah, that helped students to understand the far-reaching impacts of hurricanes and flooding and how advocacy can impact decision-makers. Led by Allen Hyde, associate professor in the School of History and Sociology, the team equipped the middle school students with technology developed by coprincipal investigator Yanni Loukissas, named Map Spot, that enabled students to overlay data onto maps where they live, including census data, income levels, cancer rates, and various applicable flood levels, etc.

This data informed their recommendations for “gray” and “green” infrastructure that can help mitigate the impact of natural disasters. The students presented their ideas to local stakeholders and policymakers.

The YARDs team is currently analyzing their findings and continuing the project with a recent summer program for middle school students in Savannah.

CEISMC Savannah receives federal earmark to support programming for military families

The Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC) has been awarded $215,000 from the U.S. Department of Education to engage children of military families through early exposure to robotics, engineering, and invention-based STEM competitions in Southeast Georgia. The CEISMC team at Georgia Tech’s Savannah campus will lead this initiative, partnering with 37 public schools in Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, and Liberty counties and three Department of Defense Education Activity schools located on Fort Stewart, a U.S. Army post.

“Our goal is to use this funding to create sustainable programming that will impact military families,” said Timothy Cone, Program Director at CEISMC Savannah. “We plan to build upon our current K-12 competitions, FIRST LEGO League and K-12 InVenture Prize, by training out-ofschool professionals, teachers, and people working directly with military families on how to implement these programs and providing them funding for materials, supplies, and registration fees. This will take away some of the barriers associated with starting teams for these programs.”

Funding for this initiative is secured for at least two years with the possibility of an extension. Programming began this fall with professional development for K-12 InVenture Prize and FIRST LEGO League coaches.


Research strategies inform CEISMC team at initial scaling of middle school engineering curricula

In the first year of the project, “Measuring the Effectiveness of Middle School STEMInnovation and Engineering Design (STEM-ID) Curricula” (Award # 2101441), researchers from the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC) collected data from the first cohort of Gwinnett County middle school teachers who implemented the semester-based course during the 2022-2023 academic year.

The curricula, first implemented through a seven-year National Science Foundation (NSF) grant called AMP-IT-UP, integrate foundational mathematics and science in an engineering context through design challenges, using advanced manufacturing tools such as computeraided design (CAD) and 3D printing. The curricula also incorporate engineering concepts such as pneumatics, aeronautics, and robotics.

Principal Research Scientist Meltem Alemdar, who serves as the principal investigator of the current NSF grant, explained that some of the implementation data and teacher feedback collected addressed the contextual impacts of implementing the STEM-ID curricula in five different schools in six different engineering classrooms. These include factors such as school schedules, engineering class duration, teacher pedagogical content knowledge and level of experience, and teacher modifications to meet student learning needs.

“We can assess the transferability of the STEM-ID curricula through examining these contextual factors, while also ensuring that critical components of the lessons are not compromised that would drastically affect student learning outcomes,” explained Alemdar.

“Our goal is to take these influences to inform our research strategies so we can develop just-in-time teacher supports to embed within the curriculum, create an online professional development platform, and more importantly, create peer support through professional learning communities.”

Preliminary findings included the following:

• Teaching Strategies Informed Practice – The teachers used formal and informal resources to enhance their STEM-ID implementation experiences during check-ins with the research team. They offered advice on mathematics and science integration and shared pedagogical approaches.

• Teachers’ Experiences Established Feedback Loop – The information gathered from teacher implementation led to innovations in curriculum materials, including the development of “Tech Talks,” short videos that help guide teachers through design challenges.

• Curriculum Implementation Examined Along Components – Analysis of various data sources, which included surveys, observations, interviews, and focus groups, enabled targeted development of new resources to support current and future teachers.

“These results, along with a complete analysis of all data, may reveal even more practices and strategies critical to understanding K-12 engineering pedagogy,” Alemdar said. “These findings also have practical implications that will help teachers and researchers in the engineering education community scale engineering curricula and teacher professional development models.”

The four-year impact study will involve up to 20 middle schools and about 5,000 students, particularly those who have struggled to stay engaged with their STEM education.

Georgia Tech | Fall 2023 33

CEISMC helps Clayton County Public Schools

“STEMify” via national magnet program award

County” project. “With the world quickly changing and STEM becoming more and more relevant, projects like these are vital to ensure access and equity for all students regardless of race, socioeconomic status, and other factors that determine whether a student chooses a career in a STEM field or not,” said CEISMC’s Educational Outreach Manager Camille Moore.

Last year, Clayton County Public Schools was one of 19 school districts across the country to receive a Magnet Schools Assistance Program award from the U.S. Department of Education, which supports magnet programs focused on equity and accessibility. The school district was awarded more than $14 million over five years to expand the magnet programs in the county.

Now, with the assistance of CEISMC, Clayton County Public Schools is using the grant for their “STEMifying Clayton

She explained that CEISMC’s project role is to ensure cohesion between all partners involved in the grant, including administering teacher training on project/problem-based learning and design thinking, and spearheading STEM/ STEAM curriculum writing. Participants in CEISMC’s Innovators-in-Residence program will also provide additional support by working directly with teachers in developing and implementing high-quality STEM/STEAM curriculum.

Clayton County Public Schools’ plans include creating four new magnet schools, each having a theme. The schools include Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School with a botany and zoology focus; West Clayton Elementary School with a STEAM focus; and North Clayton Middle School with an aeronautical focus. Morrow High School will be developed into a full magnet school with an added engineering, aeronautical sciences, and pharmacy pathway.

CEISMC partners with GSAN to provide professional development for informal educators

CEISMC Expanded Learning Programs and the Georgia Statewide Afterschool Network (GSAN) have partnered several times this year to help support and expand STEAM programming and out-of-school learning across the state by providing targeted professional development for informal educators and afterschool professionals.

“Out-of-school learning is important because the work that we do supports and complements the learning that takes place during the school day. Our programs are a fantastic way to get students excited about STEM majors, careers, and content,” said CEISMC Director of Expanded Learning Programs Sirocus Barnes. “By partnering with GSAN, known for its work advancing, connecting, and supporting highquality afterschool and summer learning programs, we are committed to focusing on expanded access by serving as a resource for out-of-school time professionals.”

CEISMC and GSAN have hosted professional development workshops throughout Georgia. For example, an Afterschool Day at Tech was held during the second day of the STEAM Leadership Conference in March that CEISMC hosts every year to build and engage K-12 STEAM education leaders. The program included a visit to the Atlanta campus to highlight

some of CEISMC’s Saturday STEAM programming for grades 2-12 and a luncheon to discuss and reflect on best practices for engaging K-12 students in STEM outside of the traditional school day.

Another outcome of this partnership is the recent creation of the STEAM Afterschool Professionals Learning Community for afterschool professionals who are either providing or are interested in providing STEAM programming. CEISMC Expanded Learning Programs facilitates the bi-monthly meetings which include opportunities for members to network with other professionals and hear from STEAM experts about the latest education research, issues, and practices.

CEISMC Activity

Coastal Georgia middle schoolers learn about sea level rise in new NASA camp

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Sea Grant Programs, and affiliated research centers and nonprofits based in California, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana. The goal of the project is to improve understanding of sea level rise within coastal communities across the U.S., particularly those that are historically underserved and vulnerable to sea level rise impacts. It is supported by a $3 million multi-state, multi-partner grant from NASA’s Science Activation Program.

Middle school students from Chatham County participated in the inaugural NASA Sea Level Change Makers Summer Camp, recently piloted at the University of Georgia’s Marine Education Center and Aquarium. The camp, part of the NASA Sea Level Education, Awareness, and Literacy (SEAL) project, included hands-on activities and outdoor educational experiences in Savannah and on Skidaway, Tybee, and Wassaw Islands.

The SEAL project is a collaboration between scientists and educators from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and

State bill passed to fund inclusive postsecondary education scholarships

Many Georgia students who attend special-needs education programs do not consider college as a viable option due to the financial burden it imposes. In late spring, the passing of Senate Bill 246 by the state legislature will allocate almost $1 million in scholarships for the 2024 fiscal year for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities to attend Inclusive Post-Secondary Education (IPSE) opportunities.

With this bill, that is modeled after the HOPE scholarship, the five-year pilot program expands access for students to participate in IPSE opportunities across the state as now a portion of tuition costs can be covered by these IPSE scholarships. Nathan Heald, assistant director of the EXCEL program at Tech, explained that this breakthrough funding comes at a critical juncture as EXCEL, a four-year college certificate program that boasts over 93% of its graduates are gainfully employed, continues to grow and flourish.

“I am grateful that the Georgia legislature voted to allocate funding to support students with disabilities, thus being given a more equal opportunity to receive the benefits that college provides all students,” he said. “Many students previously unable to attend due to cost will now have the opportunity to grow and learn here in our state.”

“We are developing lessons and program resources, leveraging NASA’s existing research and infrastructure, to address educational content gaps and enhance affected coastal communities’ resilience to climate change through regionally tailored outreach,” explained Jill Gambill, Tech’s executive director of the Coastal Equity and Resilience Hub in Savannah, who serves as the principal investigator of the state’s subcontract of the grant.

In the project’s next phases, CEISMC’s Jayma Koval and Georgia Tech Research Institute’s Tyler Kinner will lead efforts to create new professional development opportunities and to ensure that the sea level rise curriculum created for Georgia teachers is aligned with national standards.

Georgia Tech | Fall 2023 35
IPSE Advocacy Day included a group photo with Gov. Brian Kemp. Photo by University of Georgia

CEISMC awarded NSF grant to address teacher retention

A CEISMC research team was recently awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) research grant (Award #2243288) to explore and identify issues that negatively impact teacher retention rates in computer science (CS) and engineering fields within underserved and underrepresented communities.

The three-year, $830,788 grant is sponsored by NSF’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, which supports the recruitment, retention, and preparation of STEM K-12 teachers. The researchers will investigate how engineering and CS teachers’ professional identity and support networks affect their retention and effectiveness in high-need schools.

“Historically the issue of CS and engineering teacher retention definitely affects school districts that are less advantaged and of lower economic status,” said Principal Research Scientist Meltem Alemdar, who serves as principal investigator. “Through grant opportunities such as the Noyce Scholarship Grant, there are more possibilities for us to study and contribute to an understanding of how to best support and retain engineering and CS teachers in the field.”

“There’s hope that through research we can narrow the gap in disparities in nationwide recruitment, specifically in the field of CS and engineering,” added Senior Research Scientist Jessica Gale, who serves as co-principal investigator.

Acoustic Water Tank Laboratory and CEISMC hosted underwater robotics training

The Acoustic Water Tank Laboratory in the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering and the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC) partnered last fall with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary Foundation to host a professional development underwater robotics training on campus.

The marine technology educator workshop provided participating teachers from across the country with the skills and experiences they need to incorporate marine technology and engineering topics into their classrooms. “We are always looking to partner with stakeholders to further engage the community,” said CEISMC Program Director for Campus and Community Coordination Heidi Turcotte. “This workshop allowed us to also collaborate with the Georgia Tech research community to help expand access and amplify impact.”

Jody Patterson, Chapter Director of Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, kicked off the two-day training with an in-depth review of simple circuits, switches, and soldering of electrical component parts and circuit boards. Each participant then built a submersible remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and tested it in the Acoustic Water Tank, a 40’ long, 21’ wide, and 24’ deep tank.

“The ROV building workshop gave us the opportunity to diversify our activities and use the water tank for educational purposes, a key part of the Acoustic Water Tank’s mission,” said François Guillot, senior research engineer in the Woodruff School, who was on hand to assist with the test piloting.

Teachers left the workshop with the knowledge to help prepare student teams for the Gray’s Reef Southeast MATE ROV Competition and received ROV kits for their students, courtesy of a grant from the Honda USA Foundation.

By Sean Van

Unit leader cultivates data-driven approach that helps complex research projects succeed

Among her many roles, CEISMC Executive Director Lizanne DeStefano is a nationally recognized external evaluator for research projects, providing real-time independent data that empowers the teams who work with her the unique flexibility to adjust, and re-focus research activities as needed throughout the life of a project. She explained that this exercise vastly increases the likelihood of success for the often complex, multi-institutional, multi-year research projects.

“It’s very important to have a data-driven culture in these research institutes,” DeStefano said. “A data-driven culture can jumpstart success if the researchers can identify the challenges and barriers to success early on and address them. It also makes employees and trainees happier if they work in an organization where they think that people care about them and their input.”

At Georgia Tech, the Office of Research Development provides strategic and practical support for development and launching of large-scale sponsored research projects. Director Rebecca Terns said that she often engages DeStefano to consult with researchers planning big complex projects.

“Lizanne is an invaluable resource,” she said. “Regardless of their initial level of familiarity with program evaluation, Lizanne quickly helps them understand what is required to develop an evaluation plan that will ensure that the project will be effectively managed.”

One of the large-scale research projects DeStefano has provided assessment and evaluation services for is the NSF Engineering Research Center for Cell Manufacturing Technologies (CMaT). The center works closely with

industry and clinical partners to enable scalable, low-cost biomanufacturing of high-quality therapeutic cells and create a diverse and inclusive bio-manufacturing workforce through education and training.

“Dr. DeStefano has been invaluable in helping us continually improve CMaT’s activities and courses,” said CMaT Director Johnna Temenoff. “Most importantly, the surveys and suggestions really facilitated moving all our programs completely virtual and then back to in-person during and after the pandemic, as it allowed us to focus on key changes that would have the most impact on the experience of the trainees in the center.”

DeStefano has also been involved in the creation and evaluation of the NSF Artificial Intelligence Institute for Advances in Optimization (AI4OPT), which fuses AI and mathematical optimization to improve automated decision making. AI4OPT also has a focus on diversity by delivering innovative education and professional development to historically Black high schools and colleges and Hispanicserving high schools and colleges. As quality control board leader, for example, DeStefano assisted in the development of the center’s Student Leadership Council, allowing graduate students from the different campuses to come together to create cohesion on the trainee level.

“I do not think that the Institute would be where it is now without Lizanne,” said AI4OPT Director Pascal Van Hentenryck. “She can see strengths and how to leverage them, and weaknesses and how to correct for them. Her biggest impact is to push us to run the best possible Institute, while making us understand that this is a process.”

Georgia Tech | Fall 2023 37
CEISMC faculty and staff at their 2023 annual retreat.

What’s The Buzz?


Zijun Alexander – Research Associate I

Nadiah Blackman – Lecturer

Cheyne Blow – Educational Outreach Coordinator I

Nisa Floyd – STEAM Innovation Facilitator

Lesa Hagins – Educational Outreach Manager I

Antonia McCain – Educational Outreach Coordinator I

Nia Nkosi – Graphic Designer

Yolanda Payne – Research Associate II

Randy Trammell – Communications Officer II

Rachel Warren – Educational Outreach Coordinator I

Shameka Williams – Program Director


Susan Belmonte – Assistant Director, Pre-Graduate Advising

Jorge Cervantes – Educational Outreach Manager II

Nisa Floyd – Educational Outreach Manager I

Nathan Heald – Senior Lecturer

Danyelle Larkin – Educational Outreach Manager II

Brandon Mitchell – Director – Financial Admin II

Camille Moore – Educational Outreach Manager II

Roxanne Moore – Principal Research Engineer

Love Park – Web Developer

Michael Turner – Educational Outreach Manager II

Keisha Simmons – Pre-College Director, Anchor Institute Initiative

Deidra Wirick – Educational Outreach Manager I


Doug Edwards – October 2023 (12 Years)

Jeff Rosen – August 2023 (16 years)

Faculty and Staff Recognition

Marion Usselman – July 2023 (26 years), now Emeritus Principal Research Scientist


Jorge Cervantes – MPA, University of Georgia, 2022

Nathan Heald – MBA, Georgia Tech, 2023

Ashley McKeen – Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Georgia State University, 2022


1 Year of Service

Aaron Artrip

Dyanne Baptiste Porter

Jorge Cervantes

Nisha Detchprohm

Ebony Minter

Crystal Nichols

Kellee Nixon

Dajuana Robinson

Norman “Storm” Robinson III

James Sands II

Michael Turner

Joëlle Walls

Dasja Williams

Deidra Wirick

5 Years of Service

Talia Capozzolli Kessler

Timothy Cone

Luke Roman

10 Years of Service

Alba Castillo Gutierrez

Roxanne Moore

15 Years of Service

Nina Climes

Bonnie Harris


Meltem Alemdar – 2022 CEISMC Leader/ Manager Recognition Award

Dyanne Baptiste Porter – 2023 Postdoctoral Leadership and Innovation Fellowship Experience

Katie Boice – 2022 Spirit of CEISMC Award

Rayne Bozeman – Spring 2023 CIOS Honor Roll Student Recognition of Excellence in Teaching, CEISMC 2022 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Outreach Award

Sept 2022 - Aug 2023

Nina Climes – Fall 2022 CIOS Honor Roll Student Recognition of Excellence in Teaching

Nisha Detchprohm – Spring 2023 CIOS Honor Roll Student Recognition of Excellence in Teaching

EXCEL Career Team – 2022 CEISMC Community Partnership Award

Edward Gnatiuk – 2022 CEISMC Outstanding Achievement in Research Enterprise Enhancement Award

GoSTEAM Team – 2022 CEISMC Education Partnership Award

Alba Castillo Gutierrez – 2023 Inclusive Leaders Academy

Jayma Koval, Doug Edwards, Marion Usselman – authors on paper (included in the publications section) which was the Computers in Education Division nominee for the American Society for Engineering Education Best Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Paper Award at the 2023 Annual Conference

Danyelle Larkin – 2022 CEISMC Service Award

Roxanne Moore – 2023 College of Engineering Outstanding Faculty Achievement in Research Award (Research Faculty), Spring 2023 CIOS Honor Roll Student Recognition of Excellence in Teaching, became associate director of LEARN, CREATE-X

Roxanne Moore and Nisha Detchprohm – 2022 CEISMC Outstanding Advancement in Research Innovation Award

Keisha Simmons – 2022 CEISMC Wreck Award for demonstrating leadership qualities

Justin Turner – 2022 CEISMC Director’s Award

Marion Usselman – 2023 Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans Gender Equity Award

Joëlle Walls – 2022 CEISMC Process Improvement Excellence Award


Marion Usselman – 2022 American Association for the Advancement of Science Honorary Fellow

Zijun Alexander – 2023 Outstanding Research, Measurement and Statistics

Ph.D. Student Award at Georgia State University

Lizanne DeStefano – invited to inaugural 2022 White House Summit on STEMM Equity and Excellence


Research Publications and Presentations

Alemdar, M. (2023, March 2-5). The Role of Social Networks and Self-Efficacy in Retention of Noyce Teachers [Panel discussion]. American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting, Washington, DC.

Alemdar, M., Baptiste Porter, D., Rehmat, A.P., Helms, M.E., Towner, A., Moore, R., Rosen, J., Varnedoe, J., & Weissburg, M. (2023, June). Biologically Inspired Design for High School Engineering Students [Paper presentation]. Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore, MD. https://peer.asee.org/42371

Alemdar, M., Cappelli, C., Gale, J., & Boice, K.L. (2022). An Exploratory Study of STEM Teachers’ Mentorship Networks. International Journal of STEM Education, 9, 64. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40594-022-00383-7

Alemdar, M., Jackson, J., & Alexander, Z. (2023, April 13-16). Mapping School/Community Partnerships: Utilizing Social Network Analysis in the Evaluation of a Statewide Literacy Initiative [Roundtable presentation]. American Educational Research Association Annual Conference, Chicago, IL.

Alemdar, M., Moore, R., & Ehsan, H. (2023). Reflections on the Impact of COVID-19 on Pre-College Engineering Education: An Afterword to the Special Issue. Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education Research (J-PEER), 12(2), Article 12. https://doi.org/10.7771/2157-9288.1387

Artrip, A. (2023, March 10-11). Visualizing Ratios with Art [Presentation]. STEAM Leadership Conference, Atlanta, GA.

Artrip, A. (2023, June 12-15). ART + CODE: Mechanized Drawing [Presentation]. GoSTEAM Summer Symposium, Atlanta, GA.

Artrip, A. (2023, June 12-15). Adobe Creative Software Alternatives [Presentation]. GoSTEAM Summer Symposium, Atlanta, GA.

Baptiste Porter, D., Gale, J.D., Alemdar, M., Newton, S.H., Rehmat, A.P., Capozzoli, T., Rosen, J., Choi, J., & Moore, R. (2023, June). Scaling STEM-ID—Research Strategies to Inform Initial Scaling of Middle School Engineering Curricula [Paper presentation]. Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore, MD. https://peer.asee.org/42563

Barnes, S. (2022, September 7-9). Creating a Quality SEL Program in Out-of-School Time with an Equity Focus [Presentation]. Georgia Afterschool and Youth Development Conference, Athens, GA.

Belghith, Y., Kim, J., Alemdar, M., Moore, R., Rosen, J., Riedl, M., & Roberts, J. (2023, June 10-15). Problem-solving or Solved Problems: Constricting Design Challenges in High-school Engineering Education to Avoid (Disruptive) Failures [Presentation]. Proceedings of the International Society of the Learning Sciences Annual Meeting, Montréal, QC.

Belghith, Y., Moore, R., Alemdar, M., Rosen, J., Riedl, M., & Roberts, J. (2023, April 13-16). Examining Hard and Soft Skill Prioritization in High-School Engineering Education [Paper presentation]. American Educational Research Association Annual Conference, Chicago, IL.

Boice, K.L., Alemdar, M., Capozzoli, T., & Jackson, J. (2023, March 10-11). Helping Students Feel Rightfully Present in STEAM Classrooms [Presentation]. STEAM Leadership Conference, Atlanta, GA.

Bozeman, R., Mallett, R.K., Mitchell, L., & Tindale, R.S. (2023). May we take the test as a group? Examining group processes and member learning in a collaborative testing environment. Active Learning in Higher Education. https://doi.org/10.1177/14697874231163340

Cone, T., & Barnes, S. (2022, September 7-9). Cultivating Sustainable Partnerships by Being a Team Player [Presentation]. Georgia Afterschool and Youth Development Conference, Athens, GA.

Dicks, H., Contreras, A., Owusu, K., Guillaume, M., & Rafferty, T. (2022, October 19-20). The Road from Inclusive Postsecondary Education to Competitive, Integrated Employment [Presentation]. State of the Art Conference/Student Leadership Conference, Syracuse, NY.

Detchprohm, N. (2023, July 11-14). Jam Session: Compose, Collaborate, and Code [Presentation]. National Academy Foundation Next Conference, Phoenix, AZ.

Detchprohm, N., & Grossman, S. (2023, July 11-14). Code Jam: Make Beats, Learn Code, and Inspire Your Students [Presentation]. National Academy Foundation Next Conference, Phoenix, AZ.

Edwards, D. (2023, March 22-25). Student Centered Computing: A Framework Beyond Computing [Presentation]. National Science Teaching Association Annual Conference, Atlanta, GA.

Ehsan, H., Rehmat, A.P., & Askarian Khanamani, S. (2023, June). Parents Becoming Informal Engineering Educators: Workshop for Parents (Resource Exchange) [Paper presentation]. Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore, MD. https://peer.asee.org/43857

Floyd, N. (2023, March 10-11). The Art of Distractions [Presentation]. STEAM Leadership Conference, Atlanta, GA.

Franco, B., & Garcia, A. (2023, March 10-11). Building a Classroom of Possibilities [Presentation]. STEAM Leadership Conference, Atlanta, GA.

Gale, J., Koval, J., Alemdar, M., Grossman, S., & Usselman, M. (2022). Sustaining Shifts in Science Teaching through a Research–Practice Partnership. School Science and Mathematics, 122(6), 298–310. https://doi.org/10.1111/ssm.12545

Georgia Tech | Fall 2023 39

Grossman, S., Larkin, D., & Moore, R. (2022, November 30-December 3). Your Voice is Power: Make Beats, Learn Code, Promote Equity [Presentation]. Association for Career & Technical Education CareerTech Vision Conference, Las Vegas, NV.

Grossman, S., Moore, R., Hernandez Cervantes, J., & Turner, M. (2023, February 9-12). Your Voice is Power: Make Beats. Learn Code. Promote Equity. [Presentation]. Beyond School Hours Conference, Orlando, FL.

Grossman, S., Moore, R., Trammell, R., & Wilson, J. Make Beats, Learn to Code. (2022, September). Techniques: Connecting Education and Careers, 97(3), 22-27. https://www.acteonline.org/tech-yvip-learn-to-code/

Hernández, D., Koval, J., McKlin, T., Padro Collazo, P., Arce-Nazario, R., Quiñones Perez, I., Carroll Miranda, J., Lee Brown, T., Rao, A., Edwards, D., & Freeman, J. (2023, April 12-15). Using a Cultural Equivalency Methodology to Develop an Attitudinal Bilingual Instrument [Paper presentation]. National Council on Measurement in Education Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL.

Hyde, H., Omunga, P., Loukissas, Y., Reckner, M., Cone, T., Alemdar, M., & Shabazz, M. (2023, March 10-11). Youth Advocacy for Resilience to Disasters (YARDs): An Overview of a Middle School Program Pilot [Presentation]. STEAM Leadership Conference, Atlanta, GA.

Jackson, J., Boice, K., & Alemdar, M. (2023, June 12). Co-Constructing “Good Trouble:” Understanding and Supporting Teacher Practices for Rightful Presence in STEAM Classrooms. ARISE Blog Series, American Association for the Advancement of Science. https://aaas-arise.org/2023/06/12/co-constructing-good-trouble-understanding-and-supporting-teacher-practices-for-rightfulpresence-in-steam-classrooms/

Jackson, J., Boice, K., Alemdar, M., & Capozzoli, T. (2023, April 13-16). Reauthoring Rights through STEAM Education [Roundtable presentation]. American Educational Research Association Annual Conference, Chicago, IL.

Jackson, J., Boice, K.L., Alemdar, M., & Worsley, T. (2023, March 22-25). Supporting STEAM Teachers’ Practices in Social Justice & Rightful Presence [Presentation]. National Science Teaching Association Annual Conference, Atlanta, GA.

Jackson, J., Boice, K.L., Capozzoli, T., & Alemdar, M. (2022, November 7-12). Applications of Decolonizing Approaches in K-12 STEAM Education Evaluation [Roundtable]. American Evaluation Association Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA.

Jackson, J.R., Boice, K.L., Cochran, S., Skelton, B., Rosen, J., & Usselman, M. (2023). School Personnel Lived Experiences Related to High School Engineering Education and the Covid-19 Pandemic. Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education Research (J-PEER), 12(2), Article 9. https://doi.org/10.7771/2157-9288.1344

Kaneria, A., Edwards, D., Carroll Miranda, J., Arce-Nazario, R., Koval, J., Hernández, D., Padro Collazo, P., Lee, T., McKlin, T., Freeman, J., Quiñones Perez, I., & Marrero Solis, L. (2023, June). Equity Pedagogies in Computer Science Education: A Critical Sociocultural and Humanizing Perspective for Latinx Youth [Paper presentation]. Proceedings of the Conference on Research on Equity and Sustained Participation in Engineering, Computing, and Technology, Atlanta, GA.

Koolman, E., Yraguen, B.F., Moore, R., & Fu, K. (2023, June). Analyzing Student Learning Level for the Authentic Learning Assignment “Design Your Own Problem” Using Bloom’s Taxonomy [Paper presentation]. Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore, MD. https://peer.asee.org/42440

Koval, J. (2023, March 22-25). Are the Tides Getting too High? Using Science + Statistics for Informed Decision Making. [Presentation]. National Science Teaching Association Annual Conference, Atlanta, GA.

Koval, J., & Grossman, S. (2023, March 22-25). Under the Sea: Promoting Visual Literacy through Image Analysis [Workshop]. National Science Teaching Association Annual Conference, Atlanta, GA.

Koval, J., Hernández, D., McKlin, T., Edwards, D., Arce-Nazario, R., Carroll-Miranda, J., Quiñones Perez, I., Marrero-Solis, L., Freeman, J., Lee Brown, T., Padro, P., Garrett, S., Rao, A., & Usselman, M. (2023, June). Latinx Culture, Music, and Computer Science Remix in a Summer Camp Experience: Results from a Pilot Study [Paper presentation]. Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore, MD. https://peer.asee.org/43935

Larkin, D., & Turner, M. (2023, March 11). Your Voice is Power: Creative Coding & Music for a Purpose with EarSketch [Presentation]. Code/Art Festival, Miami, FL.

McCall, L., & Grossman, S. (2023, March 10-11). EarSketch: Make Beats, Learn Code, Tell Your Story [Presentation]. STEAM Leadership Conference, Atlanta, GA.

Moore, C. (2023, March 10-11). STEM/STEAM Certification: Why It Matters [Presentation]. STEAM Leadership Conference, Atlanta, GA.

Moore, R. (2022, September 20-23). Promoting Inventiveness at the Intersection of Entrepreneurship and Engineering Design [Invited talk]. International Symposium on Advances in Technology Education, Singapore, virtual conference.

Moore, R. (2022, October 19). Perspectives from the Field: Representation Part 1 with Special Guest Roxanne Moore [Interactive webinar]. Beyond the Conference: Foundations Webinar Series.

Moore, R. (2023, February 2-4). Cultivating Inventiveness [Keynote address]. Georgia Engineering & Technology Education Association Winter Conference, Chamblee, GA.

Moore, R. (2023, May 31-June 2). Designing the Future: Empowering K-12 Students to Find Their Passion in STEM through Inventiveness [Keynote address]. Out-of-School Time Initiatives Conference, Corpus Christi, TX.


Moore, R., da Luz, J., Wilson, J., Newton, S., M’Lot, C., & Grossman, S. (2022, October 27-29). Your Voice is Power: Make Beats, Learn Code, Promote Equity. How are computer science, entrepreneurship, and music all pathways to achieving social justice? [Panel presentation & discussion]. Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science National Diversity in STEM Conference, San Juan, PR.

Moore, R. & Flynn, L. (2022, November 15-17). Promoting Inventiveness: A Student-Centered Approach to Inclusive Innovation [Presentation]. InventEd Convening, Alexandria, VA.

Moskalik, C.L., Hays, K., Travelini, J., & Robinson III, N. (2023, March 22-25). Informal + Formal = Synergistic Learning Ecosystems [Panel discussion]. National Science Teaching Association Annual Conference, Atlanta, GA.

Mulvanity, S., & Robinson, III, N. (2023, March 27-29). Rural CS Project [Presentation]. CS4GA Virtual Summit: Connecting Rural CS Opportunities To Make The New Crop Digital.

Newton, S.H., Alemdar, M., Gale, J., Hernández, D., Edwards, D., Ryan, M., Helms, M., & Usselman, M. (2023). Student-Centered Computing: Teacher Experiences in a New Introductory Computer Science Curriculum. Association for Computing Machinery Transactions on Computing Education. https://doi.org/10.1145/3614101

Newton, S.H., Alemdar, M., Jackson, J., Grossman, S., & Moore, R. (2022, November 7-12). Ignite Talk: Evaluation of a Virtual K-12 Music Coding Program [Presentation]. American Evaluation Association Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA.

Newton, S.H., Moore, R., Alemdar, M., Wilson, J., & Grossman, S. (2023 June). Music, Coding, and Equity: An Exploration of Student and Teacher Experiences in Decoding Messaging and Discussing Equity with the “Your Voice Is Power” Curriculum [Paper presentation]. Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore, MD. https://peer.asee.org/43698

Petty, S., Brown, R., Francis-Thompson, N., Miller, M., Moore, R., & Santiago, J. (2023, February 9-12). Perspectives from the Field: Representation [Panel discussion]. Beyond School Hours Conference, Orlando, FL.

Rehmat, A.P., Ehsan, H., & Cardella, M.E. (2023, June). K-2 Grade-Age Children and Their Parents’ Experiences Engaging in Engineering and Computational Thinking Activities in Informal Learning Setting [Paper presentation]. Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore, MD. https://peer.asee.org/43898

Rehmat, A.P., Owens, M.C., & Choi, J. (2023, June). I Can Be an Engineer: Using Problem-Based Learning to Enhance Students’ Engineering Experiences [Paper presentation]. Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore, MD. https://peer.asee.org/43408

Rehmat, A.P., Towner, A., Alemdar, M., Helms, M., Baptiste Porter, D., Rosen, J., Moore, R., & Weissburg, M. (2023, June). A Case Study Investigating High School Teachers’ Implementation of an Engineering-focused Biologically Inspired Design Curriculum [Paper presentation]. Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore, MD. https://peer.asee.org/42356

Robinson, D., & Minter, E. (2022, September 7-9). Accessing and Maximizing the Resources of Your Local University [Presentation]. Georgia Afterschool and Youth Development Conference, Athens, GA.

Robinson III, N., Interviewer. (2023, March 27-29). Keynote with Ryan Kilgore [Keynote address]. CS4GA Virtual Summit: Connecting Rural CS Opportunities To Make The New Crop Digital.

Robinson III, N., Meronard, K., Toler, E., & Swann, S. (2023, March 27-29). Post-Secondary – Transition Stories and Projects [Panel discussion]. CS4GA Virtual Summit: Connecting Rural CS Opportunities To Make The New Crop Digital.

Rosen, J. (2022, November 30-December 3). STEM Innovation and Design: T&E to Support Academic Achievement [Presentation]. Association for Career & Technical Education CareerTech Vision Conference, Las Vegas, NV.

Rosen, J. (2023, April 12-15). Inspiring Design Solutions with Biology [Presentation]. International Technology & Engineering Educators Association Annual Conference, Minneapolis, MN.

Rosen, J., Alemdar, M., Gale., J., & Usselman, M. (2023, March 22-25). The Cellphone Holder Design Challenge: Promoting STEM Learning Through Engineering Design and 3-D Printing [Presentation]. National Science Teaching Association Annual Conference, Atlanta, GA.

Schulz, A., Stathatos, S., Shriver, C., & Moore, R. (2023, June). Utilizing Online & Open-Source Machine Learning Toolkits to Leverage the Future of Sustainable Engineering [Paper presentation]. Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore, MD. https://peer.asee.org/44595

Simmons, K., & Howard, L. (2022, October 23-25). K-12 to Higher Education Pipeline: How Cultivating Strong Higher Education Partnerships Helps to Expand Student Access to STEM/STEAM Opportunities [Presentation]. Georgia STEM/STEAM Forum, Athens, GA.

Wirick, D., & Francis, R. (2022, September 7-9). Connecting Hands-on STEM Activities with Real World Problems and Careers [Presentation]. Georgia Afterschool and Youth Development Conference, Athens, GA.

Yoo, S., Robinson, A., & Gnatiuk, E. (2023, March 22-25). Bringing Geometry to Life through 3-D Printing African Masks with Tinkercad [Workshop]. National Science Teaching Association Annual Conference, Atlanta, GA.

Georgia Tech | Fall 2023 41

Georgia Schools and Districts

Adventist Fellowship Church

Amana Academy Charter Schools

Athens-Clarke County

Atlanta Girls’ School

Atlanta International School

Atlanta Public Schools

Augusta Preparatory Day School

Baconton Community Charter


Baker County

Banks County

Barrow County

Bartow County

Ben Hill County

Bibb County

Brooks County

Bryan County

Burke County

Butts County

Calhoun County

Camden County

Candler County

Carroll County

Cartersville City Schools

Charlton County

Chattahoochee County

Chattooga County

Cherokee County

Cirrus Academy Charter School

Clay County

Clayton County

Cobb County

Coffee County

Columbia County

Cook County

Coweta County

Cumberland Academy of GA

Crisp County

Decatur County

DeKalb County

Diocese of Savannah

Dooly County

Double Helix STEAM School

Dougherty County

Douglas County

Dublin City Schools

DuBois Academy

Effingham County

Elbert County

Evans County

Fayette County

Floyd County

Forsyth County

Fulton County

Fulton Science Academy

Gainesville City Schools

Georgia DOE State Schools

Georgia/Alabama District

Glascock County

Gordon County

Grady County

Greene County

Griffin-Spalding County

Gwinnett County

Hall County

Haralson County

Harris County

Hart County

Heard County

Henry County

Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School

Houston County

Imhotep Academy

Jackson County

Jefferson County

Jones County

Lakeview Academy

Lamar County

Lanier County

Laurens County

Lee County

Liberty County

Living Science Academy

Lyndon Academy

Marietta City Schools

McDuffie County

Mcginnis Woods Country Day


Meriwether County

Mitchell County

Mohammed Schools of ATL

Monroe County

Morgan County

Mount de Sales Academy

Mount Paran Christian School

Mt. Bethel Christian Academy

Muscogee County

Newton County

Oconee County

Oglethorpe County

Pace Academy

Paulding County

Peach County

Perimeter School

Pike County

Polk County

Pulaski County

Putnam County

Queen of Angels Catholic School

R. Kirk Landon Learning Ctr

Rabun County

Randolph County

Richmond County

Rockdale County

Rome City Schools

Savannah Christian Preparatory School

Savannah-Chatham County

Seminole County

Spaulding County

Please note that private and/or independent schools not affiliated with school districts are listed separately.

Institute Collaborators

Acoustic Water Tank Laboratory

Bioengineering & Bioscience Unified

Graduate Students


BuzzCard Center

Campus Recreation Center - Facilities

Campus Recreation Center - Member Services

Center for Advanced Communications Policy

Center for Inclusive Design & Innovation

Center for Music Technology

Center for Teaching & Learning

Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons


School of Computer Science

School of Interactive Computing


School of Building Construction

School of Industrial Design

School of Music


Dean’s Office

School of Aerospace Engineering

School of Biomedical Engineering

School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

School of Civil & Environmental Engineering

School of Electrical & Computer Engineering

School of Industrial & Systems Engineering

School of Materials Science & Engineering

School of Mechanical Engineering


School of Biological Sciences

School of Chemistry & Biochemistry

School of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences

School of Mathematics

School of Physics

School of Psychology

Constellations Center for Equity in Computing


Data Science & Policy Lab

DramaTech Theatre

Energy Policy & Innovation Center

Enterprise Innovation Institute

Entertainment Intelligence Lab

Ferst Center for the Arts

St. Andrews Independent School

St. Anne-Pacelli Catholic School

St. Joseph Catholic School

St. Mary’s Academy

Stephens County

Stewart County

Stratford Academy

STREM HQ Academy

Sumter County

Sunshine Academy

Taliaferro County

Tattnall County

Taylor County

Terrell County

The Anchor School

The Heritage School

The New School

The Ron Clark Academy

The SAE School

The Walker School

Thomas County

Thomasville City Schools

Timothy Ministry

Toombs County

Treutlen County

Troup County

Turner County

Twiggs County

Union County

Vidalia City Schools

Walker County

Ware County

Westminster School

Woodward Academy

Worth County

First-Generation & Limited Income Student


Georgia Smart

Georgia Tech Alumni Association

Georgia Tech Facilities

Georgia Tech Fire Safety Office

Georgia Tech Housing - Warehouse

Georgia Tech Library - Facilities

Georgia Tech Motorsports

Georgia Tech Office of Information

Technology - AV Services

Georgia Tech Post Office

Georgia Tech Professional Education

Georgia Tech Research Institute

Georgia Tech Student Center – Tech Rec

Georgia Tech Student Center Operations -

Event Planning & Management

Global Research & Internship Program

Institute Communications

Institute Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Institute for Leadership & Social Impact

Institute for Robotics & Intelligent Machines

Institute Relations



School of History & Sociology

School of Literature, Media, & Communication

School of Modern Languages

School of Public Policy

Johnna S. Temenoff Lab

Klemins Kitchen & STAR Health Services

Krishnendu Roy Lab

Laboratory for Intelligent Decision & Autonomous Robots

Office of Hispanic Initiatives

Office of the President

Office of the Provost

Office of Undergraduate Admission

Pre-Graduate & Pre-Professional Advising

Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking

RoboMed Lab

Scheller College of Business - IT Services


Social & Language Technologies Lab

Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers

Strategic Energy Institute

Tech Catering

Tech Dining

Visual Intelligence Lab

Yellow Jackets Baseball

Youth Programs

Sponsors and Partners


Advanced Auto Alliance Theatre

Amazon Future Engineer

AMC North DeKalb

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Ansley Golf Course

Anthem (Georgia Families 360)

Apple Aramark


Atlanta Botanical Garden

Atlanta Science Festival

Bark and Board

Barnes and Noble Black Girls Code


BOOST grant program

California Sea Grant

Center for Puppetry Arts

Center for Visually Impaired

Challenger Sports

City of Savannah - Office of Sustainability Climate Science Alliance Code Art


Colegio Bilingüe New Horizons International School

Computer Science Teachers Association




Dauphin Island Sea Lab - Discovery Hall Programs

Decatur CoWorks

DGX (Dollar General Express)

Dr. Noze Best

Ellis Center

Foundational Leadership Entrepreneurship & X-perience (FLEX)

Francis Wood Wilson Foundation

Fulton County Government

Fulton County Innovation Lab

GearUP Dougherty

Georgia AIM

Georgia Center of Innovation

Georgia Coastal Equity and Resilience (CEAR)


Georgia Council on Development Disabilities

Georgia Department of Education

Georgia General Assembly

Georgia Inclusive Post-Secondary Education


Georgia Intellectual Property Alliance

Georgia Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities

Georgia Power

Georgia Statewide Afterschool Network

Goodwill - Forklift Training


Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary Foundation

Gulfstream Aerospace

Gwinnett County Afterschool Programs

High Museum of Art

Hines Family Foundation

Horizons Atlanta

Horizons National

Hotel Indigo Atlanta Midtown


IK Hoffman

Imagine Thomasville

Insight Global


Latin American Association

LifeSouth Community Blood Centers



Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium

Museum of Aviation

Museum of Design Atlanta

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA Science Activation Program

NASA Space Grant K-12 Inclusiveness & Diversity in STEM

National Center for Civil and Human Rights

National Inventors Hall of Fame

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

National Science Foundation

Northside Hospital Foundation

Open Hand Atlanta

NSF Engineering Research Center for Cell Manufacturing Technologies

NSF Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program

Paradies Lagardère

Parallel International Consulting Partnership for Inclusive Innovation

Paul Duke Endowment

Post Office – Central Processing


Rocky Mountain Pizza

Shell Corporation

Southwest Georgia Regional Commission

Spelman College Bookstore


Synchronicity Theatre

TAG Manufacturing



The ARC Georgia

The Ark Animal Hospital

The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation

The Cottage School

The Creative Coast

The Goddard School - Chamblee

The Goizueta Foundation

The Harambee House

The Phase Family Learning Center

The Water Institute - Gulf Center for Equitable Climate Resilience

Think College


UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant

Up3 Atlanta


U.S. Department of Commerce

U.S. Department of Education

Village Park Senior Living Center


Walgreens - Sandy Springs

Westside Future Fund

Woodruff Arts Center


Zoo Atlanta


Albany State University

Arizona State University

Atlanta University Center Consortium

Carnegie Mellon University

Georgia College and State University

Georgia State University

Indiana University

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Mercer University

Mississippi State University

Morehouse College

Purdue University

Savannah State University

Southern Regional Technical College

Syracuse University

Technical College System of Georgia

University of Georgia

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

University of Iowa

University of Minnesota

University of North Georgia

University of Puerto Rico – Río Piedras

University of Tennessee, Chattanooga

Valdosta State University

Georgia Tech | Fall 2023 43
505 10th Street, NW Atlanta, GA 30332-0282 ceismcgt ceismc ceismc georgiatechceismc
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