Stacey Abrams, Mayor Bottoms, Superintendent Herring Help Honor APS Student Innovators at 2021 Technology Oscars (TOSCARS)

The Atlanta Public Schools Office of Instructional Technology rolled out the virtual red carpet for the District’s most talented student innovators at the TOSCARS (Technology Oscars) on March 15 — announcing the winning projects of the 2021 APS Technology & Innovation Competition (APSTIC).  

This year, APSTIC volunteers judged (from the comfort of their homes) over a 10-day judging window held in early March. Students across the District in grades 3-12 competed in 15 categories with more than 300 innovations.  

The virtual TOSCARS featured remarks by politician and voting rights activist Stacey Abrams, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, and APS Superintendent Dr. Lisa Herring.

“As your superintendent, I could not be more proud of our young scholars who put so much hard work into this year’s technology fair, despite all of the challenges of the past year,” Dr. Herring said in her welcoming remarks. “Everyone in our District is so very proud of the work you have invested into creating your phenomenal projects. For this ceremony, we celebrate our first-place winners who will advance to the state competition, where we know you will represent our district well.”

Abrams surprised honorees with a special message:

“Congratulations to everyone participating in the Tech Oscars,” Abrams said in her pre-recorded remarks. “You each represent some of the brightest and most creative minds in our state and nation. We are so proud of your ingenuity, imagination, and dedication. Technology has dramatically changed our world. The way we communicate, activate, and innovate have all been influenced by technology. Across my organizations, we use technology to reach out. At Fair Fight, we talk with voters about the importance of making their voices heard in our elections. Fair Count uses technology to help disadvantaged communities access wifi. As our nation grapples with the issues related to voting rights, climate change, public health, COVID recovery and education, we will rely on your imagination and creativity to move our communities forward. As a former physics student turned politician, author and entrepreneur, I encourage you not to limit your ambition. Dream audaciously, aim higher, and build the world you want to see. The innovations you create today may solve the challenges of tomorrow.”

The event also featured a virtual photo booth, fun-with-tech interactive breakout rooms, as well as music and dance performances.

Mayor Bottoms closed out the event with heartfelt remarks to the honorees: “As a daughter of Atlanta, proud product of Atlanta Public Schools — shout out to Continental Colony Elementary School, Ralph Bunche Middle School, and Douglass High School — I believe in the mission and vision of academic excellence in our community,” she said in her pre-recorded remarks. “When you are a part of APS, you are a part of a family larger than your own. APS is a family that encourages young people to explore new heights, discover ideas that inspire and innovations that challenge the norm. To the students participating in this competition, you are here because you are willing to use your imagination to think outside of the box. You are here because you are willing to use your creativity and methods of innovation to ignite conversations on the possibilities of technology. We know that possibilities know no bounds.”

APSTIC 2021 Winners

Congratulations to our first and second place winners! Click here to view the entire list of award-winning APS student innovators.

All first-place winners have advanced to the Georgia Student Technology Competition (GaSTC), an annual student technology competition produced by the Georgia Educational Technology Consortium. The GaSTC is the highest level of student technology competition in Georgia with over 750 projects, representing the work of over 1000 students. GaSTC winners will be announced in May.

To view the entire TOSCARS awards, click here (the show starts at the 25:36 mark).


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