Dobbs Elementary and TAG Academy Are STEM-Certified!

Atlanta Public Schools is proud to announce that J.W. Dobbs Elementary School and Tuskegee Airmen Global (TAG) Academy have earned Cognia STEM certification!

Cognia STEM Certification is a mark of distinction and excellence for schools and programs that meet the organization’s high standards. The Cognia STEM certification process is carried out by qualified reviewers who examine a school’s or program’s adherence and commitment to the research-aligned Cognia K-12 STEM Standard

The STEM Certification reviewers use the Cognia STEM Standards and related criteria to guide the analysis, looking not only for adherence to the standards, but also for whether and how STEM institutions build a STEM learning ecosystem in a manner that embodies the practices and characteristics of a quality, relevant, and age-appropriate STEM education.

“Over the past five years, students and teachers have actively engaged in teacher-created and student-inspired problem/project-based units to explore how STEM can positively impact their lives.,” said Dr. Ruby Champion, STEM program specialist at Dobbs Elementary. “This inquiry-based approach has proven to be a dynamic way for teachers to help students to articulate and share how STEM can help them to engage in real-world practices.” 

At Dobbs, teachers, administrators, students, parents, partners, and members from the surrounding community worked diligently to create a dynamic school whose primary focus is to implement STEM in a way that consistently allows the students to engage in real-world practices.

Dobbs is dedicated to the goal of implementing science, technology, engineering and math as a part of the South Atlanta Cluster’s K-12 STEM signature program. 

Dr. Champion noted that Dobbs’ dedication to implementing STEM throughout the school’s curriculum has facilitated meaningful exploration and broadened the students’ exposure to 21st century practices. The aim is for Dobbs to grow its impact on students and community to achieve the school’s vision of “Learning Without Limits: Growing Leaders Through STEM to Build a Sustainable Community.”

“The excitement of our journey to embed STEM in the students’ everyday lives at Dobbs Elementary School is evident,” she said. “As a school, the goal for Dobbs is to continue to explore all that STEM has to offer by continuing to grow in the pedagogy of STEM.”

According to the Cognia report, TAG Academy received high scores for its STEM implementation and outcomes. The school’s vision is to create innovative leaders, healthy families, vibrant communities and transformative change in society.

Principal Yolanda Weems said she couldn’t be more proud of her school’s achievement.

“We have leveraged STEM education to increase student engagement and achievement. Students are provided learning experiences that provide them an avenue to be creative, use critical thinking and enact positive change in their community,” Weems said. “We are dedicated to empowering our learners to navigate and improve the community in which they live. Additionally, we challenge them to achieve their full potential by promoting innovation and creativity, so that they become productive citizens.”

TAG Academy’s mission is to cultivate “change agents” through high quality, stimulating real-world learning experiences through Divisions of Learning that include: agriculture, aerospace and aviation, health science, engineering, social and environmental justice, and entrepreneurship.


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