Governor Nathan Deal - Georgia’s 82nd Governor (2011-2019)

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Deal announces Innovation Fund grant award winners

December 15, 2014

Gov. Nathan Deal today announced 18 award winners for the Innovation Fund, a competitive grant program that provides more than $4.5 million to local education authorities, schools, institutions of higher education and nonprofit organizations to further advance student achievement in Georgia. 

“These deserving organizations are among Georgia’s most dedicated to advancing academic achievement throughout the state,” said Deal. “I am confident these funds will give our schools and groups devoted to education the opportunity to focus on applied learning techniques and STEM development. Together, we can help every Georgia student experience an innovative and enriching educational environment.”

The programs are aligned in the following priority areas: applied learning with a focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, development and replication of blended learning school models, development and replication of innovative resource management models, and teacher and leader induction and development.

The award winners will use the money to aid in planning, implementing or scaling innovative education programs across the state. Planning grants will provide each winner with $10,000 over one year, implementation grants will provide approximately $1 million to each winner over two years and scaling grants will provide each winner $200,000 over two years to scale a successful existing program.

The grant award winners and their respective programs are listed below:

Planning Grants

Clarke County School District, Inquiring Minds STE[A]M Program

Georgia State University, Educating and Empowering Urban Teachers and Students in Quality STEM Classroom Infusion

Jackson County Schools, INSPIRE (Innovative, Student-centered, Personalized Instruction That is Rigorous and Engaging)

Mercer University, Interdisciplinary STEM Teacher Endorsements: A Pathway to Improve Teacher Capacity in 21st Century STEM Reasoning Modalities

Morehouse College, Scientific Literacy Center

Oconee River Georgia Youth Science and Technology Center (GYSTC), STEM Network Resources for Georgia (N-RG)

Paulding County School District, New Hope Academy

Savannah Chatham County Public Schools, Middle School Blended Learning

Savannah Chatham County Public School System, STEM Collaborative Planning Grant

Tift County School System, Tift @cademy

Implementation Grants

Gwinnett County Public Schools, Transforming STEM Education through Leader and Teacher Development

Fulton County Public Schools, Teach to One: Math

Thomas County Schools, Bishop Hall Charter School Blended Learning Model for High Risk Students

Scaling Grants

Community Guilds, Inc., STE(A)M Truck

Georgia Institute of Technology Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics and Computing (CEISMC), Project ENG(2)AGES: Engaging the Next Generation of Girls at Georgia Tech via Engineering and Science

Georgia Southern University, Real STEM

Gwinnett County Public Schools, S.T.E.M. Targeted Education Program (STEP)

Tift County School System, Replication of Tift County Mechatronics to a College and Career Academy

The award winners will evaluate the effectiveness of their programs and submit their findings to the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement. The state will use these findings to determine best practices in STEM education, applied learning, blended learning, and teacher and leader induction and development.

About the Innovation Fund

The Innovation Fund began as a $19.4 million fund under Georgia’s Race to the Top plan. During Race to the Top, the Innovation Fund provided 23 grants to programs focused on providing applied learning opportunities to students, creating teacher and leader induction programs, growing the teacher and leader pipeline and developing or expanding charter schools. Most of these grantees will receive grant funds through June 2015. To continue the Innovation Fund’s work beyond Race to the Top, Deal included $5 million in his FY 2015 budget. In addition, the state will  seek contributions from philanthropic organizations, nonprofits and businesses as a continuing source of start-up capital for promising innovations. The Innovation Fund also operates the Innovation in Teaching Competition, a recognition and reward opportunity for teachers who demonstrate innovative teaching strategies for the Georgia standards in English/Language Arts and Mathematics. For more information about the Innovation Fund, including descriptions of the award-winning programs, click here