By Emi Lundberg
On September 23rd, 2023, two of Science ATL’s major STEM education programs, the Chief Science Officers and the STEM Professional School Partnership, met at the Michelle Obama STEM Elementary Academy for a day of workshops, collaboration, and STEM transformations.
The Chief Science Officer (CSO) program is a STEM leadership program for students in grades 6-12. Their training was led by five high school students who have been recognized by Science ATL for their experience and excellence as CSOs and are now part of the 2023-2024 Science ATL Leadership Council. They guided the new CSOs through training sessions, detailing the expectations and responsibilities for the new cohort. Each CSO is encouraged to lead their own STEM-based initiative at their school, called their Action Plan. In addition to learning more about their charge as CSOs, students were invited to participate in the Georgia Youth Sustainability Conference and to connect with Get Hype INC, an organization that empowers girls of color with computer skills and prepares them for careers in the tech industry.
While the students were busy with their CSO trainings, the adults were also in session. Participants in the STEM Professional School Partnership (SPSP), an Science ATL initiative which partners STEM professionals and K-12 educators to increase access to STEM in education, underwent training for their upcoming collaborations. The partners had the opportunity to develop ideas for the STEM initiatives they wanted to enact at their schools. The ideas ranged from the implementation of a school garden to using arduino boards to develop a collaborative class arcade.
The enthusiasm for science education that is present every day in Atlanta was especially palpable at this event. We can’t wait to witness the contributions from both the Chief Science Officers and STEM Professional School Partnerships this year! Special thanks to the sponsors who made this conference possible and to all the participants!