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G-P, school system honor STEM graduates
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Effingham County High School students show off the certificates they received for completing Georgia-Pacifics STEM Scholars program. - photo by Photo by Paul Floeckher

More than 300 high school students in Effingham County were honored last week for completing Georgia-Pacific’s STEM Scholars program.

The course teaches students STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills and inspires students to maximize the opportunity of a math- and science-based career. Georgia-Pacific partnered with education technology company EverFi, Inc., to bring the interactive, Web-based program to Effingham County.

“There are so many opportunities in science and math, so we want to make sure students take advantage of those opportunities,” said Effingham County Schools Superintendent Randy Shearouse. “This gives them the exposure they really need to see which areas interest them.”

Students received certificates for completing the program. Nearly 250 students were recognized at Effingham County High School’s ceremony.

“Effingham County Schools strive to create well-rounded students in all aspects of life, inside and outside the classroom,” Shearouse said. “We are grateful for our business partnerships with companies like Georgia-Pacific that enable us to provide innovative resources and new opportunities for students in our district.”

More than 70 students completed the G-P STEM Scholars program at South Effingham High School. SEHS estimates approximately 150 more students will take the course in the spring.

Georgia-Pacific partnered with EverFi, Inc., to bring the program to local students at no cost to the schools. The Web-based program uses online gaming and simulations to teach technology and coding skills, ignite interest in STEM and expose students to STEM opportunities.

For example, STEM program graduate Tyler Bullard said he learned about encrypting and decrypting codes on a computer.

“My favorite part was using things I learned in STEM to figure out complex problems,” said Bullard, a freshman at ECHS.

The 10-hour course is divided into 16 learning modules that incorporate the real-world application of math and basic computer science skills in a secret agent-themed course. Students complete the 10 hours at their own pace.

“Georgia-Pacific has made this commitment in this community because of our strong belief that, if we can light the spark in students to connect them to all the possibilities and opportunities in STEM, we can help to ensure their future success and propel our country forward to meet next-generation challenges and opportunities,” said Monty Brown, vice president of manufacturing at Georgia-Pacific’s Savannah River Mill.

To see more pictures from the STEM Scholars ceremony at ECHS, click on "Your Photos" on the home page of