STEM Strong: South Atlanta Takes First Place in 3DE National Challenge

The Home Depot had a challenge, and South Atlanta High School had the best solution! Tenth graders took first place honors at the inaugural 3DE Schools National Championship Home Depot Case Challenge Competition.

The Home Depot partnered with 3DE Schools for the national STEM competition that took place virtually Jan. 22. 3DE Schools is an instructional model that re-engineers high school education to be more relevant, experiential, and authentically connected to the complexities of the real world in order to more fully prepare today’s students for the demands of tomorrow’s economy.

“This is only the second year of implementation of 3DE at South Atlanta and we just won the 3DE National Challenge,” said South Atlanta Principal Patricia Ford. “3DE has afforded South Atlanta’s scholars opportunities to be exposed to Fortune 500 companies and to present their innovative solutions to the company’s real problems. Winning this competition by beating out schools that have had 3DE longer than South Atlanta was the boost that the students needed to empower them. They are beginning to see what I’ve always seen all along: their ability to be great!”

All 3DE Schools’ 10th-grade students attended the Home Depot Case launch in October 2020. During the case launch, students were charged with using the STEM Design Thinking Process to assist The Home Depot in creating innovative ideas to bring the in-store experience for Do-It-Yourself (DIY) customers. Students had five weeks to complete their projects.

During the five weeks of collaborative work with their group members, students received coaching from various community business professionals, including The Home Depot. Students created cost-effective and scalable solution that maximizes the impact for all involved by addressing the following core competencies:

• Creativity & Innovation

• Effective Collaboration

• Cultural Agility

• Self-Direction

• Engaging Communication

• Critical & Analytical Thinking

On the national level, South Atlanta scholars had a tough competition against three other schools:  Northview High School in John’s Creek, Osborne High School in Marietta, and Lake Worth High School in Lake Worth, Fla.

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