Charles R. Drew Charter School Elementary Academy Named First STEAM-Certified School in APS

The Georgia Department of Education has awarded Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) certification to Atlanta Public Schools’ (APS) Charles R. Drew Charter School Elementary Academy. Drew Charter is the second STEAM-certified school in the state of Georgia, the first STEAM-certified school charter school in Georgia, and the first STEAM-certified school in APS.  State School Superintendent Richard Woods presented the certification in a special ceremony at the school on April 20, 2017.

“Our team came and observed what was happening at Drew Elementary,” said Superintendent Woods. “We saw that a variety of enrichment classes such as dance, visual arts, robotics engineering design are available to all students, and there are opportunities to evaluate the arts in a variety of settings.  Drew also collaborates with STEAM-focused institutions and industries including Georgia State, in which professional musicians come and work on compositions that directly relate to core content. You have dedicated teachers, family and community involvement where students are exposed to many different STEAM careers that will one day inspire the next generations of engineers, artists, doctors, entrepreneurs and innovators.”

Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Meria Carstarphen congratulated Drew Charter Head of Schools Don Doran and encouraged Drew students to pursue STEAM careers.  “It’s never too early to start thinking about college and a potential career,” said Carstarphen. “We need scientists, we need people who are going to be computer programmers, we need engineers, we need artists, and we need mathematicians. Explore and tinker, and really start thinking about your futures in STEAM.”

STEAM is the integration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics infused with meaningful arts integration. STEAM utilizes the arts as a vehicle for demonstrating what has been learned, while increasing creativity and teaching “habits of mind” that can be applied to any subject. The STEAM Georgia certification program aligns with the STEM Georgia certification program and shares a common vocabulary, timeline, and design.

“Our new STEAM certification is all about recognizing schools that are doing an exemplary job integrating the fine arts with STEM subjects,” added Woods.

On April 20, 2017, Superintendent Woods awarded M. Agnes Jones Elementary School the first Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) certification in the district.