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Front row, left to right, Stephen Cochran, UAV Program Director, students, Noah Budnitz, Josh Taylor, Smith Patel, Thermon the Infinite Energy mascot, students William Tomsik, Seysla Chann-Hong, and Lee Conger, School Technology Coordinator. Back row, left to right, school principal Dr. Jonathan Wetherington and Peachtree Corners Mayor Mike Mason.

The school was awarded the 2019 Infinite Energy STEAM Education Grant

The City of Peachtree Corners, long associated with Technology Park Atlanta, a technology hub developed by Paul Duke, has partnered with a local STEM specialty high school to assist in advancing the school’s drone program.

Thanks to the school’s collaboration with the city and Prototype Prime, the city’s startup incubator, the new Paul Duke STEM High School was awarded a 2019 Infinite Energy STEAM Education Grant of $2,000. The monies will be used to launch an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Program (UAV). The program is designed to engage students in the full life cycle of designing, building and operating drones for professional applications as well as racing.

It was the students’ practical application that was the deciding factor in awarding the grant to the Paul Duke STEM High School. With the city’s support, students will be working with its Public Works Department assisting with storm water inspections utilizing drones to photograph areas not easily assessable on foot.

The new Paul Duke STEM High School, the first STEM focused high school in Gwinnett County, opened its doors in August 2018. Located in the city of Norcross, its curriculum focuses on applied engineering concepts, artificial intelligence and technology in graphic design, television and film, animation and game design.

“The UAV Program is a natural extension of our STEM curriculum,” said Jonathan Wetherington, Paul Duke STEM School’s principal. “Students apply their knowledge from classes in math, physics, engineering, and the arts to specific real-world drone applications. Thanks to the support of Peachtree Corners and Prototype Prime, our students have meaningful projects waiting for them.”

The award will allow the school to begin purchasing the specialty equipment for conducting aerial photography and videography for city planning and marketing projects and producing a live drone show, explained Stephen Cochran, the school’s program sponsor and engineering and computer science teacher.

Students will also have access to Prototype Prime’s intelligent mobility experts, 3D laboratory, and Sprint’s 5G capable Curiosity™ Lab at Peachtree Corners.

“The students at Paul Duke STEM High School have an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit,” said Peachtree Corners Mayor Mike Mason. “They are our future technology leaders. The city of Peachtree Corners is thrilled to support their training and development, and we look forward to partnering on many exciting projects.”

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