LAWRENCEVILLE -- Gwinnett School of Math, Science and Technology recently earned state certification as a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) school. It's the only school in the district and one of only a handful in the entire state to have received the distinction.
In commemoration of the milestone, the deputy state superintendent for curriculum, instruction and assessment showed up at the school Friday to present administrators with a banner.
"What you're doing here in this high school ... you are setting forth a model for us all over the state," said Martha Reichrath.
The state education official addressed much of the school's staff and student body at about noon Friday.
"We're in a world of hurt in the United States," Reichrath said. "We have not kept up. Nations all over this world have surpassed us in this field, and I don't know about you but I don't want that. I want our nation to get back on top, and I certainly want to get Georgia back on top. That's where schools like GSMST come in."
Principal Jeff Mathews told students to "be proud to know that this certification represents a well-deserved celebration not just for GSMST but also for Gwinnett County. It recognizes that GSMST is dedicated to STEM education for every student in the school."
According to the STEM Georgia website, the initiative aims to "empower students to become innovators and technologically proficient problem solvers."
The charter school was also recently recognized by the Technology Association of Georgia and the TAG Education Collaborative for inspiring interest in STEM and incorporating the advancement of STEM education with curriculum and community partnerships.
After meeting certain requirements, Georgia schools may apply for state certification as an official STEM school.
For more information, visit www.stemgeorgia.org.