The Georgia Tech Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC) is on a mission to enhance PreK-12 and post-secondary STEM education, especially for those underrepresented in STEM. The CEISMC team achieves this by serving as the connection point between Georgia Tech faculty and students and the PreK-12 STEM education community.
Tim Cone has been the CEISMC Savannah Progam Director since 2018. His role is to create STEAM curriculum that benefits the K-12 students preparing to enter a career in these industries as well as the area companies that may employ them someday. To achieve this, Cone develops creative science, math, and computing programs for area youth in conjunction with the potential needs of local business owners, industry partners, and educators.
“Over the past three years, we really have been very intentional about growing high-quality student experiences through our Saturday, summer, and after-school programs, and also better engaging with local teachers to make sure that they have the resources for their classrooms to bring high-quality stem and steam experiences to their students,” says Cone.
Cone has an impressive history in education and his passion for the job is evident. Before CEISMC, he spent eight years as a high school engineering, robotics, and manufacturing teacher in Savannah and other cities in Georiga. In July 2011 he was awarded the New Teacher of the Year by Georgia Affiliate for Engineering and Technology Education and was also recognized as the Savannah Chatham County District High School Teacher of the Year in 2014. In 2013, Cone co-founded Savannah’s first maker’s space in which he worked to teach local youth how to be creators and innovators through camps and workshops. “Through all those experiences of teaching, going through grad school, working inside the maker space, I started to lean towards the development of programs and activities for students outside of their traditional classroom environment.”
CEISMC students learn through hands-on, interactive experiences focussed on areas including coding, virtual reality, robotics, and more. These workshops and camps typically involve activities that the students do not see in school and change with each session so attendees learn something new every time. “We want to expose students to as many different types of career opportunities within STEM and STEAM. To achieve that, we prioritize not repeating our content within the year,” explains Cone
Starting this fall, CEISMC will launch its Saturday STEMlabs, which are workshops for 3rd to 12th-grade students that will take place at the Georgia Tech Savanah Campus. These sessions are the first to integrate Art into the curriculum based on a partnership between CEISMC and a 501(c) 3 non-profit called ArtsNow. ArtsNow’s mission is to transform lives through customized solutions to meet educational needs utilizing arts integration and innovative strategies.
The first workshop will incorporate design thinking, art media, and even dance into elements of biology and coding as students build their own animals and teach them to move and adapt through computer programming. The first session is on October 9th, and registration closes on October 6th. This curriculum for October’s classes is for students in 4th to 8th grade. Each sessions costs $55 to attend and will occur from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm, running once per month from October 2021 until April 2022.
CEISMC will also offer virtual after-school sessions this fall, which are four weeks long, two days per week, and an hour per day of live instructional times. Participants get to log on and meet with a virtual instructor. CEISMC sends all the materials to the students’ homes for interactive STEAM activities. The curriculum for these sessions is still in development. However, Cone shares a bit about past workshops: “The project we did last year was Code, Craft, and Storytelling, which taught students how to use coding, sensors, motors, and storytelling to build storybooks and interactive dioramas that told a story they came up with.” CEISMC anticipates having two four-week sessions this fall. Dates are TBD. The cost to participate in a four-week session is $200.
In an effort to reach more youth in the Savannah Chatham County Public School System, CEISMC is partnering with The Creative Coast, which is offering qualifying students scholarships to the Saturday STEMlabs and After-School programs. For more information on eligibility requirements and available scholarships, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about CEISMSC’s Saturday and After-School Programming, please follow the links below.
Saturday STEMlabs https://ceismc.gatech.edu/savannah/sp/stemlabs
After-school Workshops https://studentprograms.ceismc.gatech.edu/afterschool