GoSTEM is a collaboration between Georgia Tech and the Gwinnett County Public School District to enhance the educational experience of Latino students in Georgia and strengthen the pipeline of these students into post-secondary STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education.
The project's long-term goal is to create a research-supported model for how technical universities, school systems, and philanthropic foundations can partner to promote academic achievement in STEM fields among Hispanic K-12 students. The GoSTEM model will include both programs that foster achievement within a defined cohort of students from one high school/middle school cluster at Gwinnett County Public Schools, specifically the Meadowcreek Cluster; and activities open to the broader community. As part of the model we have developed a vertical mentoring chain in which Georgia Tech faculty mentor K-12 teachers, Georgia Tech undergraduate and graduate students mentor and tutor high school students, and high school students mentor and provide support to middle school students. Elementary students might interact with older students all the way up the chain through a variety of different programs. K-12 students from different grades will be able to participate in programs sponsored by Georgia Tech, such as summer camps, research internships, STEM competitions such as FIRST® LEGO ® League, or junior chapters of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). GoSTEM will also promote life-long learning for teachers by sponsoring a variety of professional development opportunities that include courses provided through Georgia's Race to the Top initiative and research internships for teachers coordinated through Georgia Tech's Georgia Internship Fellowship for Teachers (GIFT) program.
In addition to our cluster initiative, the program also includes an array of community-based initiatives aimed at providing information about STEM, college preparation and admission, and Latino cultural and local issues to families, teachers and the broader community.
In September 2010, Georgia Tech adopted a new Strategic Plan, which sets forth the ambitious goals and aspirations of the Institute as it seeks to define the technological research university of the 21st century. Informed by the Strategic Plan, our proposed K-12 STEM Hispanic Initiative is reflective of Institute's priorities and seeks to engage Hispanic students as early as elementary school, through middle school and high school and into college; the second and third phases will expand resources for Hispanic undergraduates, and ultimately, to increase resources for Hispanic students pursuing master's degree and Ph.D. programs. These key outreach programs and initiatives will assist Georgia Tech in our efforts to build the pipeline of Hispanic students in STEM fields; for, to recruit the top Hispanic students, and once matriculated, to provide them with the enhanced resources and support necessary to graduate a cadre of the most successful and prepared professional leaders in STEM fields; and to expand the resources and leadership opportunities available to our students in advanced degrees in STEM. GoSTEM comes alive thanks to the collaboration of several departments at Georgia Tech and the generous funding from The Goizueta Foundation.