The Goizueta Foundation has awarded Atlanta Girls’ School (AGS) a $350,OOO grant to support and sustain the school’s established Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM) initiative.
Designated funds from the grant will support the STEAM initiative over three years including:
- $250,000 for STEAM integration consultation and professional development; the creation and implementation of a revised daily schedule to allow for maximum interdisciplinary learning opportunities; faculty stipends and resources that support STEAM courses and curriculum redesign; and the position of a new Design Thinking Curriculum Coordinator
- $100,000 to establish The Goizueta Foundation Endowed Fund for STEAM
“As we prepare our students for graduation, success in college, future careers that may not even exist yet, and global competency, this grant will make a significant impact on AGS’s strategic focus on ensuring key STEAM principles are fully integrated throughout our curriculum,” stated AGS Head of School Ayanna Hill-Gill. “It not only provides a solid foundation for the future of the school’s STEAM initiative, but also directly supports our mission to provide a learning environment designed to foster the full potential of each student and to enable her to become a vital contributor to our complex global society. The skills students acquire through STEAM—creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, prototyping, testing—are all paramount in solving problems as informed global citizens.”
Hill-Gill added, “I, along with our faculty and staff, am extremely grateful to The Goizueta Foundation for this significant award. We express our deepest condolences for the recent passing of Mrs. Goizueta, whose legacy will live on indefinitely through the wonderful work she has done through the Goizueta Foundation for the metro-Atlanta community and beyond. Many lives have, and will, be touched by Mrs. Goizueta and the Foundation’s generosity.”
More than 12% of girls from single-sex schools go on to study in the STEM fields compared to roughly two percent of girls from traditional coed schools. STEAM curriculum has been a hallmark of AGS teaching and learning for years, and STEAM skills in their purest forms–design thinking, problem solving, resiliency, creativity–have been shown through numerous studies to have enormous effect on the way girls learn best.
An interdisciplinary and integrated STEAM curriculum will allow AGS students to drive change throughout the community and become active participants in creative problem solving and innovation, contributing to a vibrant and ever-changing global society. Building on existing strengths in STEAM, internship, and problem-based learning, AGS began research and development of such a curriculum over the past two years. A STEAM leadership team was also created to assess current curricula and to begin to weave STEAM skills and programming across all disciplines.
“Over the next three years, our goal is to develop a comprehensive, interdisciplinary curriculum that integrates critical design-thinking and problem-solving STEAM skills—with specific emphasis on how this impacts the way a girl learns best,” commented Dr. Sylvia Rodriguez Vargas, AGS’s Associate Head of School and Academic Dean. “A curriculum of this nature would, for example, allow AGS students to build on classroom experiences to partner with researchers or nonprofits throughout the city, as they gain real-world experience solving real-world problems.”
Since the school’s founding in 2000, Atlanta Girls’ School has enjoyed a partnership with The Goizueta Foundation, receiving $300,000 to establish and endow The Goizueta Foundation Scholars Fund to provide need-based scholarships annually to Hispanic students.
The Goizueta Foundation
The Goizueta Foundation aims to positively affect the academic success of K-12 students in metropolitan Atlanta by partnering with high-performing independent schools and large-scale organizations working within school systems. The Foundation believes STEAM is an important component of 21st-century learning and will be a key to many students’ future successes, and has launched an initiative, GoSTEAM (Goizueta + STEAM), focused primarily on inspiring and promising academic programs that support STEAM efforts in schools.
Atlanta Girls’ School
Founded in 2000, Atlanta Girls’ School is the 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 AGS’s signature global travel and community service programs, fuel a robust opportunity of extracurricular learning that culminates with senior speeches to the entire school. For more information about AGS, please visit www.atlantagirlsschool.org