ATLANTA -- One Atlanta public school is being honored for bringing up the next generation of STEM students.
During a special ceremony Tuesday, Georgia Superintendent of Schools Richard Woods announced M. Agnes Jones Elementary School would become the first STEM Certified school in the Atlanta Public Schools district.
Woods presented the school, its principal and APS superintendent Meria Carstarphen with a banner to mark the milestone.
Across the state, the Georgia Department of Education is "dedicated to preparing students for 21st Century workplace careers" by providing education opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.
Principal for the school Margul Retha Woolfork told 11Alive in a statement that becoming STEM Certified is an important step for M. Agnes Jones and its students.
"Becoming STEM Certified means that our students and faculty/staff are engaging in STEM integrated teaching and learning experiences that are rigorous and in a relevant way," Woolfok said. "Our partners and community play a key role in ensuring an authentic and collaborative means of involving students and their teachers."
M. Agnes Jones joins a growing list of STEM Certified Schools across the state, including dozens here in the metro area. In Georgia, there are just under 40 schools who have earned STEM Certification, however, M. Agnes Jones in southwest Atlanta is the first APS school to be certified.
There are several steps a school must take in order to become a STEM Certified school, including meeting with industry and business partners, identifying a STEM director and applying for the certification. Schools must also have clear curriculum in place with emphasis on agriculture, biotechnology, computer science, energy, information technology and other areas.