Direct to Discovery

​​​​​​Direct to Discovery: Delivering opportunities for authentic STEM discovery directly to Georgia's K12 classrooms 

Direct to Discovery remotely delivers the expertise of Georgia Tech (GT) and the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI). Accompanied by classroom resources, each session is an opportunity to engage students in authentic STEM learning. 

Upcoming Direct to Discovery opportunities

D2D Read with a Researcher Image

Reading with a Researcher!

March 3, 2021 from 10-10:30 am 
Target Audience: K-2

Join us as we listen to Georgia Tech Research Institute’s Sheila Isbell read from one of her favorite children’s books. Here’s a hint… it’s about one very sleepy pigeon! Sheila will read a passage from the book, and then share stories from her work at the intersection of technology and wellness.

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D2D with SLT

¡Un cuento con una científica!

March 5, 2021 from 11-11:30 am 
Target Audience: K-2

Vamos a escuchar Samantha Lie-Tjauw, una científica de tecnológica a Georgia Tech Research Institute. We will hear from Samantha Lie-Tjauw, a research scientist at Georgia Tech Research Institute. She’ll read a short story and also share related experiences from her work in technology and health. This session will be held in Spanish to support Dual-Language Immersion schools and classes in Spanish. 

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D2D Wastewater Treatment 2021

Live in the Lab - Treating wastewater with nanoparticles!

March 5, 2021 from 10-10:45 am 
GSE Alignment: 4th grade science, 7th grade science

Join researchers from GTRI's Agricultural Technology Research Program to learn about remediating waste water with magnetic nanoparticles.

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Lien Diaz D2D


What is it like being a Director of Innovation?
There's More Than You Think!

March 10, 2021 from 12:00 - 12:45 pm 
Target Audience: 3-12 Computer Science, STEM

This session will feature Lien Diaz, Director of Educational Innovation and Leadership at the Constellations Center for Equity in Computing. Lien will share her experiences in the CS field, her perspective on the future of the technology field, and advice for students. 

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D2D Drones 2021

Direct to Discovery with the Flying Classroom:
A swarm... of drones?

March 11, 2021 from 10:00 - 10:45 am 
GSE Alignment: Physical Science, 6-12 Computer Science

Join us as we learn from Georgia Tech Research Institute's Donald Strausberger and Captain Barrington Irving about the future of unmanned flight. We'll talk about exciting advances in UAVs and “drone swarms”.

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Size of Science ASF

Live in the Lab - The Size of Science!

March 19, 2021 from 1:00 - 2:15 pm 
Target Audience: 3-12 Science, STEM

From planets to nanoparticles, science studies the incredibly large and the unimaginably small! In this virtual event, we'll look through a telescope and electron microscope to explore the differences - and similarities - between some of the largest and smallest objects in the universe. This session is part of STEM@GTRI's participation in Atlanta Science Festival

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D2D Forensic Science 2021

Direct to Discovery with the Flying Classroom: How do math and science solve crimes?

April 1, 2021 from 10:00 to 10:45 am 
GSE Alignment: Life Science, Geometry

Join STEM@GTRI and Captain Irving as we learn from Savannah State University's Dr. Karla Sue-Marriott about solving crimes with science and math. We'll explore what forensic science actually involves, and how students can pursue a career in laboratory forensic science.

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D2D with Jim Sowell 2021

Live in the Lab - Say Hello to the Moon with the Aloha Telescope!

April 6, 2021 from 10-10:45 am 
GSE Alignment: 4th Science, 6th Earth Science

Join Dr. Jim Sowell to explore the surface of the Moon with the Aloha telescope in real-time! This interactive session will feature a live viewing from the telescope, Q&A with Dr. Sowell, and more.

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Margarita D2D 21


What is it like to be a Chief of Usability?
There's More Than You Think!

April 13, 2021 from 1-1:45 pm 
Target Audience: 3-12 Computer Science, STEM

This session will feature Margarita Gonzalez, Branch Chief of Usability and Policy at Georgia Tech Research Institute. Margarita will share her career experiences in technology, perspectives on the future of the field, and advice for students.

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D2D - Doctors Office 2021

Direct to Discovery with the Flying Classroom: Can you fit a doctor's office in a briefcase?

April 15, 2021 from 10-10:45 am
GSE Alignment: Physical Science

Join us as we learn from Georgia Tech Research Institute's Jack Wood and Captain Barrington Irving about the future of field medicine. From floating hospitals, to modular medical equipment, we'll talk about the science and engineering behind advances in medicine for rural populations.

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About Direct to Discovery

Direct to Discovery is a free program for K12 teachers in the state of Georgia. Created with the goal of connecting Georgia's K12 classrooms with Georgia Tech's STEM expertise, Direct to Discovery includes a variety of programming to meet the needs of our state's diverse K12 schools and communities. 

Working on STEM (re)certification?

Engage your students in authentic STEM with Direct to Discovery. Extended programming, such as Direct to Discovery Design Challenges, offer an opportunity for deeper STEM experiences with expert guidance from GT/GTRI faculty. Other series provide opportunity for authentic STEM learning, with accompanying classroom resources extending the learning beyond the single session. 

Searching for authentic phenomena and scenarios to drive STEM learning?

Each Direct to Discovery is situated within the real research and engineering of Georgia Tech/GTRI. GSE-alignment drives our planning and classroom resource development. We aim for an experience that is seamless from the daily learning and doing of classrooms - aside from the engagement of our researchers, of course!

Attempting Project-Based Learning, but not sure where or how to find external experts?

Look out for Direct to Discovery Design Challenges, or use of the many other opportunities as a launch pad for your own project. Accompanying classroom resources provide access to the disciplinary knowledge of the topic at-hand. Lastly, participating in the sessions allows you and your students the rare opportunity ask global leaders in STEM fields questions - you'll receive answers during our live, interactive Direct to Discovery sessions!

Want to expose your students to real-life STEM and diverse STEM role models?

Working in STEM is rarely how students imagine it - and we want to make sure every student in Georgia has the opportunity to feel like they are capable and welcome in STEM! Our researchers share more than just their knowledge during these sessions. They'll tell stories, share experiences, and give a unique glimpse into what it's like to be a STEM professional. 

What are the sessions like? 

Session formats depend on the Direct to Discovery series:

Direct to Discovery with Captain Barrington Irving

45 minute sessions hosted by the Flying Classroom's Captain Barrington Irving that focus on unpacking big questions related to curious research and engineering in STEM. From low-water toilets to sound-sensing weather monitoring, Captain Irving will help students explore topics alongside our STEM experts. Each session is supported by 1-2 lesson plans associated with the topic aimed at building student curiosity and connecting the topic with prior learning. 

Direct to Discovery - Live in the lab!

These sessions with STEM experts are done in the lab, field, observatory - wherever STEM can be found! Researchers will engage students not only in the knowledge of the topic, but how they do their work, the type of instruments they use, and Q&A. These sessions are supported by 1-2 lessons that focus on introducing key concepts related to the "lab" of focus and connecting the researcher's work to prior learning. 

Direct to Discovery - Design Challenges

These extended engagement opportunities leverage GT/GTRI expertise to support participating classrooms through a multi-week design challenge on a GSE-aligned topic. Participating classrooms are supported by a mix of synchronous sessions, asynchronous resources, and a design showcase to highlight student designs and celebrate student work. 

Direct to Discovery - There's More Than You Think! CS Careers Series 

These sessions engage students in conversations with computer science and technology leaders to learn more about the diversity of roles and individuals that make up the CS field. Participating classrooms will have the opportunity to engage in Q&A with these leaders to learn more about what it's truly like to work in CS and technology. Each session is supported by instructional resources to foster greater awareness of career opportunities in technology and the need to prepare tomorrow's workforce today. 

Direct to Discovery - Reading with a researcher

Aimed at the youngest scientists and engineers, these sessions foster STEM awareness and enthusiasm in the K-2 audience with guest readers. Our readers will read a book or passage related to their work, and then share a STEM-related story or two from their own careers and experiences. 

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