AGS Receives $600,000 to Advance STEAM Initiative
Designated funds from the 2018 grant will support the following initiatives over three years:
• $500,000 for STEAM interdisciplinary teaching and learning
• Professional development for faculty and staff
• A public/private partnership and summer training institute
• Educational tools and equipment that support STEAM courses and curriculum redesign
• Continuation of the STEAM Interdisciplinary Specialist position
• $100,000 to enhance The Goizueta Foundation Endowed Fund for STEAM
“As AGS prepares for its 20th anniversary next year, we are thankful to celebrate the many accomplishments of our STEAM initiative grant and look forward to what this new and extremely generous grant will allow us to achieve over the next 3 years. I, along with our faculty and staff, am extremely grateful for this significant award,” said AGS Head of School Ayanna Hill-Gill.
“The AGS approach to STEAM is different than most schools, as it is not solely focused on exposing students to more classes in science, technology, engineering, art, and math,” added Ms. Hill-Gill. “Research confirms that STEAM is an important interdisciplinary method that allows girls to develop skills such as creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication. Through this method, girls deepen their understanding of course material, can apply it to a broader context, and are provided purpose to their learning. Science and math have always been subjects that allow students to question, observe, iterate, and produce. Expanding the skills developed in a traditional STEAM model to intentionally connect learning across all subjects delivers girls the confidence and competency to study and pursue majors in college and careers that have been traditionally dominated by men.”
Atlanta Girls’ School is committed to having a greater reach into the community by creating meaningful partnerships that benefit both private and public schools. This grant will allow AGS to establish an institute for faculty serving both private and public school sectors through specifically designed STEAM interdisciplinary education training specific to girls. The institute will allow teachers to understand their unconscious bias and address gender stereotyping as they work with girls in their classrooms. A teacher and student institute of this nature would, for example, allow teachers to build upon their classroom experiences to partner with researchers or nonprofits throughout the city as they gain real-world experience solving real-world problems.
“AGS is dedicated to exploring and promoting the transformative ways in which interdisciplinary teaching and learning shape how girls are best engaged in STEAM,” shared AGS Associate Head of School Dr. Sylvia Rodríguez Vargas. “We look forward to working with teachers in both public and private coed settings to design and implement meaningful girl-centered STEAM lessons in which students will make connections, find ways to apply their understanding across disciplines, and develop strong and purposeful skills for those jobs and careers that do not yet exist.”
The partnership between Atlanta Girls’ School and The Goizueta Foundation began shortly after the school’s founding in 2000 with a $300,000 grant to establish and endow The Goizueta Foundation Scholars Fund to provide need-based scholarships annually to Hispanic students. This was followed by a 2015 grant for $350,000 that supported the school’s STEAM initiative and established The Goizueta Foundation Endowed Fund for STEAM.
Atlanta Girls’ School
Founded in 2000, Atlanta Girls’ School is Georgia’s only independent, nonsectarian, college-preparatory school for girls in grades 6 through 12. The curriculum and culture emerge from a distinct vision of what girls must learn individually and collectively to become thoughtful and capable leaders. We achieve this by using proven and emerging educational techniques tailored to how girls learn, integrating big-picture thinking, high expectations, and leading-edge technologies. AGS girls develop a deeper sense of self, confidence grounded in competence, and the understanding that they are able and impelled to influence change in the world. AGS students have unprecedented access to real-world experiences. All girls complete two customized internships with local, national, or international organizations. The internships, coupled with the AGS signature global travel and community service programs, fuel a robust opportunity of extracurricular learning that culminates with senior speeches presented in assembly to the entire school.