Georgia Tech came to the campus of Tuskegee Airmen Global Academy like a wrecking ball, or perhaps more like a blast from the past. Tech’s official automobile mascot, the Ramblin’ Wreck, is a 1930 Model A sport coupe cared for by Tech students since 1961.
On the morning of Friday, Feb. 5, the Ramblin’ Wreck parked in front of the newly remodeled TAG Academy, a $30.5 million facility and campus upgrade that encapsulates the school’s namesake with an aviation theme and architectural finishes that honor the school’s Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) pathway.
It is because of TAG Academy’s commitment to STEM that the Ramblin’ Wreck rolled in for a special appearance to spectacular STEM students.
“We are so excited to begin our pipeline into aerospace and engineering with the support of one of our newest partners, Georgia Tech’s Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering,” said Principal Yolanda Weems. “Our goal is to streamline our focus on STEM and provide opportunities for our scholars to engage with current aerospace engineering students and experts in the industry.”
Georgia Tech partners include Kelly Griendling, Steve Ruffin, Lori Skillings, Kelsey Gulledge and Ethan Rossman. Thanks to the new partnership, TAG Academy second graders got a front seat experience in the Ramblin’ Wreck. Jahnquez Puckett and Carmin Lowe, students in Michelle Denson’s second-grade class, also presented their model airplanes—one made of notebook paper and another made of a plastic bottle and construction paper.
In alignment with Atlanta Public Schools’ COVID-19 safety and mitigation protocols, second graders wore their masks the entire time and were escorted to the mascot car in small groups in front of the school building.
Throughout the District, students in grades PreK-2 whose families chose to return to the school building for in-person instruction started class on January 25. Students in grades 3-5 and grades 6-12 whose families chose in-person instruction are scheduled to return Feb. 8 and Feb. 16, respectively.
So, while second graders enjoyed the Ramblin’ Wreck on campus, fourth graders who have not yet returned to school received a special STEM delivery from Georgia Tech — right at their doorstep!
TAG and Tech staff rode in an APS school bus – with the Ramblin’ Wreck following behind – to personally deliver STEM kits to fourth graders. The kits included all the essentials needed to build their very own gliders: a sheet of cardboard to construct wings and a tail; a thin rod for the body of the glider; Playdoh to help balance the weight; and tape to hold it all together. Their mission: use these materials to build a glider that will fly straight for at least 10 feet.
Principal Weems explains that it’s all apart of the “Gliding into Aerospace” initiative for fourth graders.
“Through this partnership, our fourth graders are looking into the future of transportation, where everyday travel and delivery tasks can be achieved in the most efficient and environmentally friendly way,” Weems said. “The TAG and GA Tech teams came together today as one family to kick off our ‘Gliding into Aerospace’ problem-based learning. Complete with the Ramblin’ Wreck, we traveled through the community to hand deliver the supplies students will need to complete their goal. Incorporating fourth-grade science and math standards as well as concepts of aerospace, scholars are being tasked with producing a functioning model of a glider that can travel a distance of at least 10 feet, all while progressing through the engineering design process.”