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The Unique Research Curriculum, Motivations, And Results Of The Rockdale Magnet School For Science And Technology

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

K-12 Outreach Initiatives

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1178.1 - 8.1178.6

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Paper Authors

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William Smith

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Angela Quick

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2530

The Unique Research Curriculum, Motivations, and Results of the Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology William W. Smith, Jr / Angela Hinson Quick Georgia Tech / Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology

Introduction Opening in the 2000 academic year, the Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology is an alliance between the Georgia Institute of Technology’s College of Engineering and the Rockdale County (Georgia) Public Schools. This magnet high school provides a unique combination of required research classes and projects, an international research partnership with a French high school, and direct liaison with college engineering personnel. Specialized AP and magnet school science, mathematics, and research classes are taught to the participating 130 magnet students by magnet school teachers, while non-magnet school classes are taken with the general population and their teachers in a 1300 student high school. Each student participates in required research and formally defines, executes, and presents their research project in multiple fora. The relationship with Georgia Tech provides access to personnel (a dedicated liaison engineering PhD, professorial, graduate, and undergraduate assistance) and facilities (i.e. nuclear, biomedical, chemical, instrumentation, military) typically unavailable and often unknown to traditional high school science students. Although only beginning its third year and incorporating about 45 rising 9th graders each year, to date and amongst other honors, the school has dominated regional science and engineering fair awards, sent two students to the International Science and Engineering Fair, and produced two Siemens Westinghouse semi- finalists. This paper presents the school’s curriculum, its motivating goals and philosophy, and some results to date.

Georgia Tech Relationship The Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology is a four year public high school located in the county seat of Conyers, Georgia about 25 miles east of Georgia Tech which is located in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. Until the last ten years, Conyers was an independent community. However, the Metro Atlanta region is one of the fastest growing US cities and is beginning to include Conyers as a suburb. Because the county hosts many technology-oriented business firms and has various ties to the nearby Georgia Tech community, Rockdale business and community leadership decided to implement a specialized high school and entered into a dialog with Georgia Tech near inception.

Like most research universities, Georgia Tech continuously searches for and fosters an indigenous pool of well prepared applicants. Georgia Tech has an active center for K-12 outreach. However, the liaison between Georgia Tech and the magnet high school was to be different. In dialog with the Rockdale County Public Schools (RCPS), Georgia Tech’s Dean of Engineering committed to a direct connection between his office and the magnet school to facilitate the development and operation of the magnet school.

“Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education”

Smith, W., & Quick, A. (2003, June), The Unique Research Curriculum, Motivations, And Results Of The Rockdale Magnet School For Science And Technology Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2003 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015