Stephens County High School partners with Georgia Tech in computer science

(Stephens County High School/Facebook)

Stephens County students are benefiting from a statewide initiative to expand computer science education in Georgia. Partnering with Georgia Tech, the county’s high school is now offering lessons on emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, data analytics, and cybersecurity.

Stephens County High is among the first schools in the state to take advantage of the new program, which launched in January.

The Rural Computer Science Initiative

The Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) Rural Computer Science Initiative offers co-teaching lessons prepared by Georgia Tech professors. The program offers virtual classes in computer science and manufacturing, developing career pathways in both areas.

The program came about at the urging of the Georgia General Assembly, which asked Georgia Tech to collaborate with school districts across the state.

According to Consultant Sean Mulvanity of the Georgia Tech Research Institute, “The program consists of four major components: Instructional Modules, One-Day Interactions, Ask an Expert, and Professional Development. In addition to these core functions, the program management team will assist school districts in accessing other Georgia Tech services, like visits to the Georgia Tech campus.”

Schools can implement instructional modules that include one week of virtual instruction by faculty from Georgia Tech and one week of student-centered activities based on the course content. That content includes Introduction to Coding, Advanced Coding, Physical Computing, Sensors and Data Visualization, Principles of Cybersecurity, and Foundations of Artificial Intelligence.

Collaborative effort

Stephens County High School Teacher Jeff Lovegrove is one of the collaborating teachers utilizing this program in his computer science and manufacturing classes. He recently attended a kickoff meeting and curriculum training at Georgia Tech.

Lovegrove said he was very excited about being able to bring these lessons directly to the students at Stephens County. As a collaborating teacher, Lovegrove has access to Ask an Expert, where more than 2,000 available researchers can answer questions. Experts in particular fields can also visit classrooms virtually.

Dr. Connie Franklin, Superintendent of Stephens County Schools, adds, “We appreciate the opportunity to connect our students with not only experts in the field but also to the various careers available in computer science. This partnership will broaden the learning experience for our students while providing professional learning and development for our teachers.”

The Georgia General Assembly funds this program, and there are no costs to the Stephens County School System.

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