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Governor Deal To Serve As Keynote For 2015 STEM Education Awards

Governor Nathan Deal and Shan Cooper, VP and GM for Lockheed Martin will serve as keynote presenters for the 4th annual STEM Education Awards at the Carlos Center in Atlanta on August 28, 2015. The conference and awards program is an initiative of the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), the state’s leading association dedicated to the promotion and economic advancement of Georgia’s technology industry. The STEM Education Awards honor Georgia schools, programs, and companies for outstanding efforts and achievements in supporting and promoting science, technology, engineering, and math education. 

Governor Deal will serve as the lunchtime keynote presenter. Throughout his gubernatorial service, Governor Deal has focused on the importance of science, technology, engineering and math in education. In 2014, he launched the Woodrow Wilson Georgia Teaching Fellowship which seeks to incentivize gifted, devoted individuals with backgrounds in the STEM fields to teach in high-need Georgia secondary schools. Governor Deal has also dedicated more than 50 percent of state funds to education every year he’s been in office. As the keynote presenter, he is expected to talk about the next generation workforce and STEM skills.

Shan Cooper is Vice President of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company and General Manager of the company’s Marietta, Georgia, facility. As General Manager, she is responsible for the 5,700-employee Marietta operation, which designs, produces, modifies and maintains military aircraft for the United States and countries around the world. Ms. Cooper’s evening keynote presentation will touch on the talent requirements of our future workforce and the importance of corporate involvement in education. Following the luncheon keynote, there will be a series of panel discussions designed to provide the audience an opportunity for learning and networking.

At the evening awards event, TAG and TAG Education Collaborative will recognize 40 schools, organizations, and companies for their achievements. Presented by sponsors and community figures, eight finalists will take home awards for excellence in the categories of Elementary School, Middle School, High School, Post-Secondary Outreach, Extracurricular, Corporate Outreach, STEM Day Activity, and STEM Certified School Outreach. Sponsors of the 4th annual event include Georgia Tech Research Institute, Cisco, Google, Equifax, McKesson, Georgia Department of Labor, Lockheed Martin, Georgia Southern, and DeVry.

Awards will be presented at the conference in the following areas:

Elementary School- This category recognizes innovative STEM curriculum and programs in Elementary Schools that promote STEM Education in the classroom and expand STEM skills while helping to point students towards productive technology related careers.

Middle School- This category recognizes innovative STEM curriculum and programs in Middle Schools that promote STEM Education in the classroom and expand STEM skills while helping to point students towards productive technology related careers.

High School- This category recognizes innovative STEM curriculum and programs in High Schools that promote STEM Education in the classroom and expand STEM skills while helping to point students towards productive Technology related careers.

STEM Certified School Outreach- This category recognizes the crucial role that STEM Certified schools play in mentoring other schools that are working towards certification. Nominees for this award will be evaluated based on their outreach efforts supporting other schools and programs.

Post Secondary Outreach- This category was established to recognize the crucial work of attracting and transitioning students interested in STEM Education to post secondary programs that expand STEM skills and lead to productive technology related careers.

Extracurricular Program- This category recognizes extracurricular programs who provide innovative STEM opportunities for students in order to expand STEM skills and workforce readiness.

STEM Day Activity- This category was created to recognize the best activities conducted by a school or extracurricular program during Georgia’s 2nd Annual STEM Day.

Corporate Outreach- This category recognizes the efforts of the business community to get involved and better prepare our students for technology careers of the future.

According to TAG, by 2018 there will be 218,000 Georgia job openings in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, with a significant shortage of qualified applicants to fill them. TAG Education Collaborative (TAG-Ed) is designed to increase awareness of the importance of STEM education for the future economic well being of Georgia. Through key partnerships with education organizations and technology businesses, TAG-Ed aims to support middle and high school students in generating a high level of enthusiasm for STEM-oriented curriculum, create opportunities among low-income, underserved youth to unleash their talents and pursue STEM education, facilitate public/private partnerships between Georgia’s K-12 education system and technology business community, and connect students to reputable STEM programs to encourage lifelong STEM learning.

The STEM Education Awards helps to financially support these TAG Ed Programs by providing scholarship funds and helping to cover administrative costs for STEMreach.org, interview and application workshops, the High School and Middle School Web Challenge, the Summer Internship Program, and the Health IT Student Innovation Award.

About the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG)

TAG is the leading technology industry association in the state, serving more than 28,000 members through regional chapters in Metro Atlanta, Athens, Augusta, Columbus, Macon/Middle Georgia, and Savannah. TAG’s mission is to educate, promote, and unite Georgia’s technology community to foster an innovative and connected marketplace that stimulates and enhances a tech-based economy. The association provides networking and educational programs; celebrates Georgia’s technology leaders and companies; and advocates for legislative action that enhances the state’s economic climate for technology. TAG hosts over 200 events each year and serves as an umbrella organization for 34 professional societies.

For more information visit the TAG website at www.tagonline.org.

For information about the awards program and sponsorship opportunities, visit http://www.tagonline.org/events/stem-education-awards/ or contact Amanda Hendley at amanda@tagonline.org and 404-920-2023.