Through the Archway Partnership in Candler County, students in Metter Middle School are learning how to link science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines to service learning projects.

Public Service and Outreach Faculty Fellow T. J. Kopcha, assistant professor of learning design and technology in the College of Education, Archway Doctoral Assistant Lenie George, helped teachers to think about how to apply STEM principals to service learning projects they were already doing.

The session resulted in technology-integrated lesson plans for each grade level. Sixth graders will create an on-site a recycling program. Seventh graders will research social issues related to the local elderly population. Eighth graders will develop a plan to address gaps left by the loss of federal funding that paid for afterschool enrichment programs for students.

Kopcha said he and George would continue working with the school online to help teacher explore possible links between academics and service.

“For example, the sixth grade is working on recycling as their topic,” Kopsha said. “Some of our suggestions included exploring upcycling (reusing recyclable materials for other purposes, such as art), tracking the production of recyclable waste at the school in an effort to reduce it, and visiting a local recycling plant.

Betsy McGriff, Archway professional in Candler County, said that innovation and acceleration are two key initiatives of the Candler County Board of Education.

“Integrating STEM across disciplines fits squarely within these goals,” she said.

Learn more about the Archway Partnership at www.archwaypartnership.uga.edu.