Advanced Manufacturing and Prototyping Integrated to Unlock Potential (AMP-IT-UP) is a National Science Foundation (NSF) Math and Science Partnership to promote workforce development and to identify and cultivate the next generation of creative science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) innovators. The core partners of AMP-IT-UP are Georgia Institute of Technology (GT) and Griffin-Spalding County School System (GSCS). The major components of AMP-IT-UP include:
- Middle school STEM Innovation and Design (STEM-ID) exploratory courses that enable students to explore their creativity using robotics and rapid prototyping.
- Middle school math and science modules that promote inquiry and connect with AMP-IT-UP manufacturing themes.
- High school engineering courses that focus on design-build challenges.
- Extracurricular enrichment (Junior Makers Clubs, robotics competitions, summer research internships, etc.) for GSCS students where Georgia Tech faculty and students serve as mentors.
- Research on how AMP-IT-UP affects academic engagement, content understanding, knowledge transfer and student persistence in STEM.
AMP-IT-UP’s intention is to impact middle school student engagement and interest in STEM, develop students’ 21st century skills, and improve academic achievement in the target schools. Through the use of real-world contexts, the partnership creates, implements, and evaluates an array of manufacturing-focused experiential learning programs designed to make explicit the inherent science and math. The project also involves a collaborative university-based research program from several fields of education, industrial and mechanical engineering, and public policy to explore the nature, barriers, and enablers to change within the complex system of education. AMP-IT-UP provides a unique opportunity to implement substantial reform of STEM education in a way that will connect science and math to local industries and jobs. All AMP-IT-UP components, both curricular and extra-curricular, will be continued after the life of the project.