It’s 8 a.m. on a weekday morning. Throughout Georgia, adults are driving to work, and children are arriving at school. But on this particular morning, hundreds of students, educators, parents, and community members are gathered at one very special school — a vibrant, innovative school that is being recognized as the first of its kind in the state of Georgia: Henderson Mill Elementary.
This was the setting on April 17, 2017 as state and local educators opened the ceremony:
“I am delighted to be a part of this momentous occasion,” said DeKalb County School District Superintendent R. Stephen Green. “Today we not only honor the Henderson Mill leadership, teachers, and staff who have worked diligently to obtain this groundbreaking certification, but we celebrate all the exceptional students who are daily learning, growing, experimenting, and solving real-world problems through STEAM-applied education.”
“Henderson Mill is characterized by an administrative team that supports innovative efforts, and by teachers who refuse to quit,” added State School Superintendent Richard Woods. “Together, they enable students to do more than learn about science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. Henderson Mill educators inspire their students to be scientists, technology leaders, engineers, artists, mathematicians, and so much more.”
STEAM education, defined as “Science and Technology, interpreted through Engineering and the Arts, all based in Mathematical elements,” is interdisciplinary, contextual teaching and high-level cognitive learning. As such, STEAM provides students with hands-on, reality-based life application that encourages both personal growth and global development.
Henderson Mill’s STEAM certification status follows a comprehensive evaluation by the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE). During their March 15, 2017 site visit, the GaDOE conducted an extensive review that included classroom observations and in-depth interviews with students, staff, parents, community members, and business partners.
“Certifications such as this are vital,” notes Superintendent Green, “because they demonstrate that our schools can and do deliver specialized instruction in subjects that lead to successful transitions to college and careers. We are extremely pleased that Henderson Mill, already a certified STEM school, has stepped forward to acquire this additional certification. They have truly raised the bar on the rigor and relevance of what our students are learning. And we know they will continue to do so — every day.”
Click here to view photos of the ceremony and tour.
Click here to learn more about STEAM and GaDOE STEAM certification processes and requirements.