Lanier High School has received $24,100 from State Farm IT for the school’s commitment to STEM education — the money will be used to bolster the school’s robotics program, as well as robotics programs at its feeder elementary and middle schools. 

State Farm IT has been involved with the cluster’s robotics activities for a number of years and will now become the premier sponsor for robotics for the cluster of schools. 

“The financial support certainly makes things possible for our schools and our students, but the State Farm IT personnel also give up so much of their time and energy to make each event a success,” said Mike Reilly, who teaches at Lanier High School. “They really are part of our community. Their hashtag is appropriate: #ourstatefarm.”

Reilly said this donation brings the company’s total contribution to the Lanier Center for Design and Technology program to more than $100,000 over the past seven years, as well as thousands of hours of volunteer time. 

“During this time, computer science participation has more than doubled at Lanier High,” Reilly said, “and the participation rate in technology courses now mirrors that of the school population.”

The funding from State Farm IT will also support non-robotics initiatives, including hackathons and the annual Maker Fest in downtown Sugar Hill, an event where businesses and hobbyists can gather and show what they do and how they do it. In addition, State Farm IT has donated laptops that have made it possible for programming students to do more at home during the pandemic.

“The State Farm IT partnership with our CDAT STEM program has been a model in Gwinnett County Public Schools,” said Lanier High School Principal Dr. Christopher Martin. “The expansion of this relationship to other schools in our cluster helps to demonstrate our cluster’s leadership as a unified cluster of STEM schools.”

The Lanier CDAT STEM program was recently recognized at the Florida Educational Technology Conference as one of three model STEM schools and was also re-certified by the state as a STEM Certified program. In April, CDAT-STEM program students participated in the Lockheed Martin annual CodeQuest Competition, finishing second in their division, which featured 30 teams.

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