Sen. Ossoff announces new STEM resources for CSU and Muscogee County Schools

Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 9:24 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - New resources for Columbus State University and schools in Muscogee County are now on the way.

“I have a 13-month-old baby girl at home, and I know there’s nothing more important than the safety, security, and opportunity for our kids,” says U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff, D-Georgia.

Ossoff and Congressman Sanford Bishop, D-Georgia, are working with local education leaders and Columbus State University to expand Columbus State’s Coca-Cola Space Science Center by building a new steam facility in the city.

“This is a $4 million contribution to expand this facility, to help kids achieve their dreams and be inspired in the careers in these important fields,” says Ossoff.

Muscogee County School Superintendent Dr. David Lewis says its difficult to have k-12 and post secondary institutions to be in the same room working towards the same cause.

“This is not common and it’s something that we need to continue to embrace and capitalize upon and I think we will,” says Lewis.

The collaboration is between Muscogee County School District, Columbus State University’s robotics program and the Space Science Center to build an integrated facility that will inspire the next generation of engineers, scientists, or even science educators.

The expansion is all about having a better technically trained workforce and community, starting at an early age.

“You can’t start in the stem disciplines in high school, you have to start in the lower grades,” says Congressman Bishop.

Executive Director of the Space Science Center Dr. Shawn Cruzan says space science, robotics and STEAM as a whole are gateways for a child’s future.

“When they get interested when they’re young, we can help them maintain that enthusiasm, so they’ll pursue those careers when they get older,” says Cruzan.

Fifth grade science teacher and robotics Coach at Rigdon Road Elementary Carrie Willis says she loves to watch her students enjoy STEM.

“It does my heart some good to see this project come through,” says Willis. “You just see they light up, especially when they get the robot to move. I do see that a lot. I enjoy being with them experiencing that.”

Two Veterans Memorial Middle School students, say they are looking forward to the expansion.

”It makes me feel as though more people will engage in the fact that there will be more resources,” says 7th grader, Jer’lyn Mascorro. “Hopefully, that also inspires children to join the robotics teams. We are the generation that is going to led up into the next.”

“I think it’s fun and it helps me progress along my engineering path because when I grow up I want to be an engineer, so, I think that it’s going to be good for me,” says 8th grader, Talmage Carroll.

There isn’t a set place for this new, integrated facility just yet. However Superintendent Lewis says it will be in a central location to continue Muscogee Co. School’s commitment to easy access and equity for all students, teachers, and families.