CDAT was established to support students on the principles of Authenticity, Creativity and Efficiency. Authenticity means real-world, meaningful work, and we see that in various ways. Some clear avenues are competition and other recognition, and this page is a little "trophy room" for our CDAT students. They are pretty amazing, as you will see!


  • Year #8!!!
  • Marissa Sorkin is a National Winner in the Aspirations Awards, hosted by the National Council of Women In Technology (, and sponsored by companies like Google and more. In addition, Stephanie Meneses and Teishana Antoine were National Semi-Finalists!! Congratulations to these amazing young ladies!! We anticipate more of our smart girls winning at the State level, to be announced soon.
  • Lanier Middle School gets STEM certified, so now we are the only K-12 school cluster to have that certification in the State of Georgia! Yes, a child can be in a STEM/STEAM environment their whole K-12 journey from White Oak Elementary to Lanier Middle to Lanier High, and nowhere else in Georgia!
  • And not just STEM, but 21C skills too! 21st Century Skills are in high demand, as all workers need to collaborate, communicate, be critical thinkers and embrace creativity. We were selected as the first school in Georgia - ever! - by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills as "Exemplars". In fact, they approved our whole cluster!
  • Another great start to the year with State Farm IT! We are in round 3 of financial support of $15,000 (thank you!). This support allows us to try more innovative STEM efforts that we could not otherwise complete. For example, we held our inaugural FIRST Lego League tournament! This is the elementary level of robotics, and is intended to inform and inspire our youngest students to have fun with STEM! Our tournament hosted 22 teams of about 10 kids each, and 14 of the teams were rookies! An amazing event!
  • Our Engineering students helped out with the sets for Theater again, supporting "Peter and the Starcatcher". The set won "Best in Region"! Also, special mention for a "magical chest" we developed. Fun application of engineering!!
  • 3 of our young ladies applied for and received ANOTHER $3,000 grant to host an IT camp and inspire their middle school counterparts, through the AspireIT outreach program.
  • The Nordson Corporation once again supported our high school FIRST Robotics Team (4509) with a grant of $5,000! This will be an amazing asset as we grow our team and the robotics within our cluster of schools.
  • When you enter our school, check out the Patent displayed on the very first wall! It was a long time, but so worth it! We hope it will be an inspiration to others as they join Lanier!


  • Year #7!!! We start the year with one of our feeder elementary schools, White Oak, having been certified as a STEM School, the first one in Gwinnett! While we may have inspired their initial transition to inquiry-based learning, we are learning so much from them!
  • State Farm IT was so happy with our performance with their grant, they gave us round 2!! Another $15,000 of support to enable initiatives for CDAT and STEM related efforts in our cluster. Thanks State Farm!!
  • Another presentation in October at the STEMGeorgia STEMForum. All 3 levels of our cluster presented, and some students led their sessions for programming in elementary and middle schools.
  • 3 of our young ladies applied for and received a $3,000 grant to host an IT camp and inspire their middle school counterparts, through the AspireIT outreach program.
  • The Nordson Corporation donated $2500 to our cluster to host a robotics tournament at Lanier Middle School, and to support the LHS FIRST Robotics team, #4509 the "Mechanical Bulls"
  • We showed up in yet another book! Here they are (someday we might write one):
  • On January 17, 2017, we were notified by the United States Patent and Trademark Office ( that 3 of our students were awarded their patent! We will have a great party when it arrives!!!
  • Our Engineering classes teamed up with Theatre again, to make sets for their competitions. Last year we won Region, and came in second this year. A great partnership!
  • Hackathon 2017 was a great time, with lots of code, fun and food! Thanks to Laron Walker from for judging, as well as the IT staff of State Farm #statefarmSTEM for helping make this another great event! Over 50 students spent a weekend coding, collaborating and creating.
  • We rocked Science Fair again! Our local winners went to the Gwinnett County Fair, and we had 2 winners, and others place. We had 4 entries to the State of Georgia Fair, with all "placing" in the top 4, and one special recognition for computing!
  • Another "tour de force" in the NCWIT Aspirations Awards. 26 of our young ladies were recognized by NCWIT and Georgia Tech for their involvement with information technology. Of those ladies, 4 were State Winners, and 2 were National Semifinalists!!
  • Just getting started...


  • Our 6th year, and keep growing! We started Fall 2015 with approximately 440 kids in our program! Our group also added numerous teachers. We are very proud of the fact that continues to refer to us as the only certified STEM high school program in Georgia that is completely inclusive, that 100% of applicants can join us.
  • CDAT students decided to "give back" with major project, raising $1700 for Relay for Life through the "Carnaval del Dia de los Muertos".
  • Our program received a visit from MIT instructor and Battlebots captain Charles Guan, as CDAT Engineer students develop a new curriculum focused on electric gokarts that parallels the MIT class created by Charles. This is supported by a grant from Jim Ellis Chevrolet.
  • CDAT was selected by the State Farm Corporate IT offices to receive a grant of $15,000 to support more IT initiatives, internships and other relationships for CDAT students.
  • The Mazda Racing Team visited CDAT to show how STEM is so involved in all aspects of racing, from the obvious engines, etc., to driver nutrition and exercise.
  • We once again presented at the STEMGeorgia conference, for both STEM and PBL initiatives, but we also worked with students from Lanier Middle and White Oak, who co-presented on computer science in their schools.
  • Another great year for Science Fair, as we have 25 students moving on to the County level. UPDATE: two of our 9th graders WON First Place at Science Fair, and went on to a strong showing at the State Science Fair. We had multiple awards winners again.
  • Another great year at the Aspirations Awards, sponsored by Georgia Tech and State Farm. We had 5 State Winners, and 35 Runner-ups, making up about 1/3 of all young tech ladies present!
  • A massively successful Maker Fest hosted by the City of Sugar Hill to wrap up the year. We estimate 2,000 visitors, and we had makers from around the area, local maker spaces, as well as our schools. Time to start planning for next year!
  • 3 of our students will be interning with State Farm IT, and many others have summer internships as well.


  • Starting our 5th year, we have grown from our "original" 30 kids in Fall 2010 to approximately 300 kids in our program!
  • We presented at the International Society for Technology in Education in Atlanta in June: one presentation with our K-12 PBL vertical effort, and one invitation to join Suzie Boss in her web-cast presentation on PBL.
  • Mr. Reilly was invited to attend the Harvard Public Education Leadership Project in July, along with Superintendent Wilbanks and other district leaders. He was the first Gwinnett teacher to receive this invitation.
  • To start the year, approximately 10% of our 11th and 12th graders chose dual enrollment! That is, they are going to college for at least 2 of their classes, and back to us for the rest. We will probably see this number grow, as our kids think "college is easy"!
  • Since we're STEM certified now, we want to "own" Science Fair at our school. We sent 12 groups to County, taking numerous 2nd and 3rd place awards, including one Symposium presenter!
  • As you may have seen in a news/blog post, in November we had 4 groups that were selected by an investor to pursue patents for their concepts in a recent project! In addition, that investor would like to pursue a trademark for the design/logo produced by another group!
  • A team of 3 10th grade girls received the first Copyright AND first "Patent Pending" status of any Lanier, if not Gwinnett, student, for their makeup applicator
  • Our teachers were asked to present at STEMGeorgia's STEM Forum at UGA in Athens, and we had a wonderful packed house.Based on their previous work, 2 current students have now been hired to work on 3D modeling the future City of Sugar Hill, so town leaders virtually walk around buildings, streets, and more before the structures ever exist.
  • We were informed that we are in another book! In Deeper Learning, Suzie Boss uses CDAT as a model of how to do project-based learning with a technology focus.
  • 15 young ladies recognized at Georgia Tech at the National Center of Women In Technology (NCWIT) awards, including one State Winner (
  • CDAT hosted a cluster-wide "space phone call" with the International Space Station, allowing student representatives from all schools in our cluster to directly ask questions of an astronaut!
  • Mrs. Wilson blogged from the Atlantic Ocean, teaching the students about the evaluation of fish species with NOAA.
  • CDAT was a Finalist for the Technology Association of Georgia STEM Outreach Award
  • We were speakers at numerous STEM events, and host of even more visits for other schools pursuing PBL and/or STEM initiatives.
  • Mr. Reilly was asked to be on the Governor's Computer Science Task Force, to help improve Computer Science Education in the State of Georgia.


  • 4 of 5 Science Fair projects to move on to the County Science Fair were CDAT projects, and all projects came in 3rd at the County Science Fair, and one received top prize for "Most Sustainable".
  • The PBS work from last year did air in September, so our student team has applied for an official EMMY Award in Graphics/Animation.
  • Our Solar Car team can in 3rd place overall at the Gwinnett County FLARE Challenge, and first place overall for technical merit.
  • 8 of our young ladies were selected as Finalists in the NCWIT Aspirations Awards in Georgia.
  • Mr. Reilly was named the 2014 Georgia Computing Education Teacher of the Year by the NWCIT.
  • 6 of our CDAT 10th graders won "Best in State" in the Verizon App Challenge, and went on to "Best in Region" as one of 12 national semi-finalists!
  • Our FIRST robotics team (almost all CDAT students) was honored by the Board of Ed for winning the Georgia Robotics Invitational Tournament and Showcase Championship held in October, known as the State Championships for Robotics.
  • The FIRST Robotics team then competed for the Southeast regional championship on March 29, finishing 5th of 65 teams.
  • We received confirmation that we will be presenting at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) regarding our vertical PBL relationship in middle and elementary grades
  • We are presenting with Georgia Tech at the Special Interest Group for Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) for our national pilot of the EarSketch curriculum
  • Our first student to take the Autodesk Inventor User Certification test passed with flying colors!
  • CDAT 12th graders set a new record for testing: 100% pass and 78% exceeds on the Economics EOCT!
  • Congratulations to CDAT Senior Ben Lewin for winning the a video contest by the Metropolitan North Georgia Water District!
  • CDAT began work with the City of Sugar Hill to develop a town history book, as well as a new bike and walk trail system.
  • Mariah Campbell was asked by the United Way to record and edit their Legacy Awards video.
  • We had the honor of presenting at two STEM "mini-conferences" held by GCPS, and will host the training for all GCPS Academies in May, affecting 5 high schools and approximately 10,000 students.
  • We had a great visit by and have become the first traditional public high school (non-magnet, non-charter) to be a STEM Certified Program by the State of Georgia!

2012-2013, getting bigger and better

  • A team of CDAT students was asked to make a 3D animation for PBS special to air in March 2013.
  • 3 CDAT young ladies achieve "Runner Up" status in NCWIT "Aspirations Awards" in Georgia.
  • CDAT is discussed in a new book "Bringing Innovation to School" by Suzie Boss
  • CDAT's Mr. Reilly is a speaker at the national Autodesk University in Las Vegas.
  • Teachers are asked to present CDAT to STEMGeorgia as a model of innovative science education.
  • CDAT 11th graders host the post-production group Atlanta Cutters' monthly meeting.
  • Dr. Rohrbaugh's most recent work is published!
  • Gwinnett Media Festival submissions once again went on to State competition
  • In our first year in FIRST Robotics, the "Mechanical Bulls" were finalists in the State of Georgia!
  • CDAT11 students were finalists in the national contest
  • The National Association of Television Arts and Sciences Southeast (they award the Emmys) awarded CDAT with 2 awards for products in Fiction Video as well as Graphics/Animation!
  • A small group of students finished an animation for the Carter Foundation, to be part of a PBS documentary that will be released this October!
  • ALL schools in the Lanier cluster will now have some type of project-based or inquiry-based learning, almost 500 students total!
  • Mr. Reilly was asked to be one of 2 teachers on the new Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Team for GCPS. This is a testament to the work of our students and teachers in the CDAT program.

2011-2012, news starts to get out

  • Over 50 submissions to Gwinnett Media Festival, 12 on to State, and 2 win "Excellence" at the International level, and 1 "Judges Favorite" award
  • CDAT starts to make news:
  • Autodesk Corporation asks Mr. Reilly to be a member of their National Teacher Advisory Council.
  • 3 CDAT 9th graders win "Best Implementation" of a mobile-learning website from the Technology Association of Georgia's Webchallenge, including $1500 in scholarships!

2010-2011, our inaugural year

  • Over 30 submissions to Gwinnett Media Festival, 7 of which went on to State, and 1 to International
  • Autodesk Corporation visits CDAT, invites staff to attend their Autodesk University
  • 3 students place third in StartupCamp Atlanta, a weekend-long entrepreneurial contest (the only high school students!)