STEM initiative encouraged by Archway Partnership
In an effort to engage students in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), school leaders in Hart County, Ga., have developed a plan of action. Partnering with the UGA Archway Partnership and Office of School Engagement, the Hart County School System is implementing a STEM initiative. Already a bring your own technology (BYOT) program has been piloted at the high school level, and now the elementary schools are ready to participate. Working with three designated STEM facilitators from the Hart County School System, the Archway partnership is providing workshops to help develop the teaching of STEM at the elementary level. An emphasis is being placed on student-created activities that will incorporate important concepts from the STEM fields using a cross- disciplinary approach.
This summer, the Archway Partnership and College of Education continued their commitment to their community partners and brought Benjamin Parker aboard as a graduate assistant. Parker's background in education allows him to work with partner counties and address their specific educational goals. He is currently assisting Hart County with their STEM initiative at the elementary level as well as working with a team in Dalton- Whitfield County on their ongoing early literacy initiative.
Parker is Ph.D. student in the Department of Educational Theory and Practice at the University of Georgia. His focus is on educational access, equity, and community partnerships. He earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, a master's degree in middle and secondary level instruction from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, as well as a level I teaching certificate from Delaware Valley College. In addition to his doctoral program, Parker is a member of the UGA Obesity Initiative and volunteers as a conversation partner in an adult ESL class in Clarke County. Prior to his work at UGA, he taught both seventh-grade and eighth-grade social studies at Grover Cleveland Public School located in Philadelphia, Pa. He also worked as a program technician for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Lancaster, Pa., implementing programs for the farming community of Lancaster County. Parker is excited to continue his work in Georgia and provide assistance to local communities with educational needs.