Georgia Tech and the K-12 Mission

A chalkboard with the words, "Georgia Tech and the K-12 Mission" written on it. An apple and a stack of books.

Georgia Tech and the K-12 Mission

It may be a lack of exposure for some, an issue of intimidation for others, while there are still others who may simply have bought into the notion that science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects are just not cool.

Enter Georgia Tech.

Recognizing the gap industry faces between STEM-based graduates and the rapidly rising demand for STEM professionals, Tech is on a mission to capture the hearts and minds today of those who will make up the workforce of tomorrow. The idea is to connect with students early in their school careers to at least familiarize them with STEM subjects so that they realize these subjects can not only be fun – but that they are the gateway to careers that are secure, financially rewarding, personally fulfilling, and even world-changing.

“Research shows that early exposure to STEM is key to students pursuing higher education and careers in STEM fields, and because the STEM fields continue to be dominated by white males, encouraging diversity at an early age is extremely important to creating a diverse STEM workforce,” says Chris Thompson, associate director at Tech’s Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC). “Community outreach is an integral part of Tech, and we are excited about helping to meet the great needs that exist in the K-12 community surrounding our institution and across the state.”

Extensive Outreach

From summer camps onsite, to virtual connections, to roving outreach, the efforts to reach students in the K-12 age range are Institute-wide, interdisciplinary, and year-round. In fact, so extensive is the outreach at Tech, it’s impossible to list all initiatives, but the following examples give a sense of the scope:


Kevin McCage of Barrow Country schools (left), and Jud Ready of GTRI converse in real time with an educator in Sydney, Australia, using a high-definition videoconferencing system called Direct-to-Discovery (D2D)

The Direct-to-Discovery program connects high school classrooms with Georgia Tech teachers and researchers via HD videoconferencing.

Teachable Moments

These summer campers engaged in an "Exploring Materials: Ferrofluid" activity when they visited Tech's Institute of Electronics and Nanotechnology in June as part of Teachable Moments for STEM.

Interactive demonstrations prove that science, technology, engineering, and math are not nearly as intimidating as they have been reputed to be.

BBUGS Education & Outreach

Three students involved in the program

This student group from eight different Georgia Tech schools showcases science and future career opportunities through open houses and mentoring.

Project Engages

Katrina Burch in lab coat

Project Engages provides paid research experiences for local high school students throughout the academic year, kicking off with a summer boot camp.

GE Girls at Georgia Tech

Group photo of girls who are participating in GE Girls at Georgia Tech Summer Camp

This GE-sponsored CEISMC summer camp aims to inspire the next generation of female scientists and engineers by getting them excited at an earlier age.


Students participating in GoSTEM in a classroom setting with a polyhedron

GoSTEM is a collaboration with the Gwinnett County Public School District to enhance the educational experience of Latino K-12 students in Georgia.

Additional K-12 Programs at Georgia Tech


Writer: Brigitte Espinet
Graphics/Page Design: Erica Endicott, Melanie Goux