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Lanier High receives grant for robotics program

May 12, 2021

     State Farm IT has awarded Lanier High School more than $24,000 for its commitment to STEM education. Lanier High’s Center for Design and Technology (CDAT) STEM program will use the $24,100 grant to bolster its robotics program and robotics programs at its feeder elementary and middle schools. State Farm IT has actively been involved as a volunteer group for the cluster robotics activities for years, and now will become the premier sponsor of robotics throughout the cluster.

     Mike Reilly, a teacher at Lanier High, says State Farm is an ideal partner. He explains, “The financial support certainly makes things possible for our schools and our students, but the State Farm IT personnel also give up so much of their time and energy to make each event a success. They really are part of our community. Their hashtag is appropriate: #ourstatefarm. This most recent State Farm IT donation brings the company’s total contribution to the Lanier CDAT program to more than $100,000 over the past 7 years, as well as thousands of hours of volunteer time. During this time, computer science participation has more than doubled at Lanier High, and the participation rate in technology courses now mirrors that of the school population.”

     The funding from State Farm IT also supports non-robotics initiatives, including hackathons and the annual Maker Fest in downtown Sugar Hill. In addition, State Farm IT has donated laptops that have made it possible for programming students to do more at home during the pandemic. Dr. Christopher Martin, Lanier High’s principal, is excited about the expanded relationship. He says, “The State Farm IT partnership with our CDAT STEM program has been a model in Gwinnett County Public Schools. The expansion of this relationship to other schools in our cluster helps to demonstrate our cluster’s leadership as a unified cluster of STEM schools.”

     The Lanier CDAT STEM program was recently recognized at the Florida Educational Technology Conference as one of three model STEM schools and was also re-certified by the state as a STEM Certified program. In April, CDAT-STEM program students participated in the Lockheed Martin annual “CodeQuest Competition,” finishing second in their division which featured 30 teams. Lockheed Martin hosts national competitions across all of their facilities, and the local Marietta challenge hosted teams from all across Georgia. Teams are given 30 programs to code, from simple logic up through calculus and air traffic simulation.