North Fayette student selected for National STEM program

Ian Blackshear holds his certificate of achievement from the National Youth Leadership Forum.
Ian Blackshear holds his certificate of achievement from the National Youth Leadership Forum.

Although a career might be years away for Ian Blackshear, a fifth-grader at North Fayette Elementary, he got a head start on his future after attending the National Youth Leadership Forum (NYLF) Explore STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) program at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia.

Blackshear was among several other students across the metro Atlanta area selected to participate in this six-day STEM program. Students were nominated for the program by a teacher or administrator from their school based on the student’s high academic achievement and behavioral performance.

North Fayette’s gifted teacher, Tina Harper, recommended Blackshear for the program. “Ian is a high achiever. He has scored in the distinguished level on the Milestones for the last two years. He is in the gifted program and maintains good grades and conduct,” says North Fayette’s assistant principal Dr. Monica Reckley.

Blackshear participated in various STEM-focused activities including career exploration where students examine, question, research, create, investigate, role-play, explore, study, and learn more about STEM-related careers. Students also engaged in STEM challenges to complete tasks through problem-solving and team-building. Additionally, Blackshear put his leadership skills to the test as he was given opportunities to showcase effective time management, collaboration, and goal setting.

NYLF is a unique learning experience for bright, forward-thinking elementary school students who will evolve into next-generation innovators, engineers, doctors, software developers, and scientists. Students learn by doing during hands-on simulations and workshops.