WEST POINT, Ga. – KIA Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc. has made investing in education a key part of its community involvement since the first vehicle rolled off the assembly line of its West Point plant in 2009. Since that time, the company has invested more than $2 million to support Science, Technology, Engineering and Math or STEM subjects and programs in Troup County and other neighboring school districts. As part of a partnership with WRBL News 3, the company’s efforts will be spotlighted in various news and promotional segments during the 2018-19 academic year.
“A World in Motion”
Through a partnership with the SAE Foundation, KMMG has helped implement a K – 12 STEM education program, SAE International’s A World in Motion (AWIM), in school districts in both West Central Georgia and East Alabama. The award-winning program is designed to engage and ignite excitement in students through various STEM-related lessons and activities. Company leaders see the program as an excellent way to improve education and foster collaboration between local communities, and help develop its future workforce.
The program has three stated goals:
• To expose students in Georgia and Alabama to the Engineering Design Experience.
• To provide students in Georgia and Alabama with the opportunity to participate in a variety of STEM-based activities through AWIM.
• To bring math and science to life for the next generation of scientists, engineers and problem solvers.
As part of its “KIA in the Classroom” partnership with News 3, the station will produce various news segments on the impact AWIM is having on students, teachers and volunteers who participate in it. Along with STEM-related education and competency development, AWIM seeks to develop soft skills in students such as communication, teamwork, problem solving and critical thinking. The goal is to help spread interest in the program to other education leaders and parents across the Chattahoochee Valley.
The segments will air Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. CT on “News 3 First Edition” and again on Saturday mornings at 7:00 a.m. ET/6:00 a.m. CT. They will also be archived on wrbl.com.
In addition to its investment in STEM education in various local schools, KMMG was a founding investor in the THINC College and Career Academy at West Georgia Technical College’s Troup County campus. THINC opened its doors in 2014, offering what its leaders call a new kind of education for Troup County students, one focused on community needs and driven by business and industry. Its mission is to develop “work savvy” students who are ready to succeed beyond high school –in college and in the workplace. The school prides itself in developing graduates who are not only equipped with important technical knowledge and career-specific skills, but also with the soft skills needed to excel in their careers such as a strong work ethic, the ability to solve complex challenges and working effectively and efficiently with others toward a common goal.
Open to 9th through 12th grade students in Troup County, THINC offers several career pathways including Health Science, Mechatronics, Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Energy, International Business, Marketing and Game Design. It features a hands-on, workplace-centered curriculum along with traditional classroom coursework, including Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment.
According to its Vision Statement, “THINC will realize the full potential of students through cutting-edge education and our business-minded culture of excellence to drive a new era of innovation, growth and productivity in Troup County and the surrounding region.”
THINC is filled with hundreds of student success stories and through its “KIA in the Classroom” partnership, News 3 will share those stories in recurring “Student of the Month” segments throughout the school year and a long-form special that will air in early 2019. The goal of the series is put a spotlight on a successful public-private partnership that is preparing local students for the changing economy and developing the skills they need not only to succeed – but to lead.