Georgia Tech’s mission is three-pronged: education, research, and service—and we take the third element of our mission just as seriously as the other two. The Institute provides vital support to our local, state, and regional communities not only because it’s the right thing to do, but that support is also multiplied exponentially. The return on these investments is substantial.
As one of the nation’s top-ranked public universities, Georgia Tech provides the lion’s share of its community support services in the form of education.
The Institute is already renowned for providing K-12 students with learning opportunities that encourage them to pursue advanced studies in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields and for supporting teacher professional development in the STEM disciplines. As a result, in partnership with the Georgia Department of Education, Georgia Tech will receive $7.5 million in funding through the U.S. Department of Education’s Race to the Top program to expand STEM programs through its outreach center, the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC).
In addition to the introduction of new engaging and rigorous courses for students, the Institute’s initiatives will be based on the NASA Electronic Professional Development Network model provided through Georgia Tech Professional Education for teachers pursuing advanced courses. Georgia Tech will also continue to expand the Georgia Intern-Fellowships for Teachers (GIFT) program that places high school STEM teachers as partners in STEM-focused summer internships in industry and university research.
“Through this program, we are able to increase access to STEM education for both K-12 teachers and students throughout the state, helping not only those individuals, but also improving Georgia’s competitiveness by creating a more educated workforce and developing future leaders,” said President G. P. “Bud” Peterson. “We have world-class programs in STEM education, and we look forward to continuing to leverage this expertise to enhance the economic competitiveness of the state of Georgia.”
NASA Electronic Professional Development Network (ePDN) is a partnership between Georgia Tech and NASA to enhance the teaching skills of K-12 teachers in STEM subjects—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Above, students at Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy participate in a robotics exercise via the ePDN program.
Another federal grant—from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)—will provide manufacturing education programs to high school students. The base development contract includes about $1 million for the first year, with the potential of $10 million over four years to expand the projects.
Georgia Tech will provide prize-based educational challenges for high school students, encouraging them to use the latest technology to design and build items such as wind-turbine blades, mobile air and ground robots, and electric car bodies—hopefully inspiring the next generation of manufacturers.
The project is part of DARPA’s Manufacturing Experimentation and Outreach (MENTOR) program. MENTOR is aimed at bolstering the U.S. manufacturing industry by sparking teens’ interest in engineering, design manufacturing, and math- and science-related university programs. Georgia Tech’s program will focus on introducing students to design and manufacturing processes by using 3-D printers and additive manufacturing. Social media will also play a role, as students will be able to connect via social networking sites and form teams that will compete to showcase their work.
In the arena of humanitarian relief, the Health & Humanitarian Logistics Center in the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering launched a Humanitarian Logistics Professional Certificate program for practitioners in non-governmental organizations, government, industry, and the military who are active participants in humanitarian relief operations. The executive learning program is intended to build skills to improve decision making in preparedness, response, and system design.
Addressing the unique skills needed by professionals in the humanitarian world, Humanitarian Logistics Professional courses include methodologies for assessment, mobilization of resources, procurement, transportation, and distribution. The program is comprised of three courses: Pre-planning Strategy for Humanitarian Organizations, Systems Operations in Humanitarian Response, and Tactical Decision Making in Public Health and Humanitarian Response.
The courses include many interactive components, such as case studies and games, which help professionals in the humanitarian world to link the challenges and decision-making trade-offs they face in practice with the systematic approaches, tools, and techniques presented.
During last year’s holiday season, Enterprise to Empower (En2Em) and the Georgia Tech Library hosted book drives for children locally and worldwide.
En2Em partnered with Better World Books, an online bookseller that donates a book to a child in need for each one it sells. Better World Books has raised $10 million to support libraries and global literacy and education programs.
The Library’s book drive helped fill bookshelves for the pediatric patients at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
In a competition hosted by the City of Atlanta and Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, a team of Georgia Tech students earned first prize for proposing a system for electric vehicle adoption in Atlanta.
Undergraduates Corbin Klett, Matt Jacobson, Logan Marett, and Kevin Miron earned $5,000 for their proposal of how to drive demand for 50,000 electric cars on Atlanta’s roads during a two-year period. The students are part of Solar Jackets, Georgia Tech’s student group dedicated to the design, creation, and expansion of solar technology.
“Our approach was to devise creative and unique solutions to electric vehicle adoption, emphasizing ways of reducing the cost to the city government,” said Jacobson. “We stressed branding and education, creating a new electric vehicle brand we dubbed ChargeATL, and a website mockup to go along with it.”
The City will use funding received from the U.S. Department of Energy to implement ideas generated from the competition, with the goal of the Atlanta area being the first region in the country to have 50,000 electric vehicles on its roads.
These efforts will be supported by a separate initiative allowing drivers of electric vehicles to recharge their systems at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center in Technology Square.
The pilot installation project, in partnership with Recharge Solutions International, provides a level II, 240-volt electric vehicle charging system, as well as a 110-volt electric fleet charging system for Georgia Tech service vehicles. The 240-volt chargers are available 24 hours a day to both the campus and general communities. Users will be able to register with the RSI system for either short- or long-term charging, paying by credit card or through monthly billing.