On Dec. 19, The Education Foundation of Alachua County awarded three Alachua County Public Schools with $1,900 each to fund projects thanks to an AT&T “STEM@Work” grant received through the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations (CFEF).
Students at Oak View Middle School, Mebane High School and Santa Fe High School will have the opportunity to see for themselves how what they are learning in the classroom is used in various occupations. At Oak View Middle School, Eric Perez’s students will team up with the Wildlife Ecology and Conservation department at the University of Florida to work on “Freshwater Ecosystems: Living Together.” For this project, students will have the opportunity to observe a freshwater ecosystem and explore the interactions that maintain similar ecosystems around North Central Florida.
Timothy Hinchman’s students at Mebane Middle School will work on the project “Physics of the Future: A World with Superpowers” to create modern robots and robotic suits that will be operated and tested using the scientific method and basic algebraic reasoning. June Camerlengo’s project at Santa Fe High School – “Propagating Nematodes Through Plant Tissue Culture” – will provide students with an opportunity to team up with a local company, Pasteuria. The project will investigate cutting-edge biotechnology practices and provide students with an opportunity to work with professional scientists.
The Education Foundation is excited for these projects, made possible by AT&T Florida and the CFEF. AT&T Florida has provided $90,000 to Florida’s district-wide local education foundations to create STEM workplace experiences throughout the state this school year through a grant to the CFEF. With $320,000 in funding from the past three years, 130 projects involving 15,865 students and 203 local workplace partners have taken place throughout Florida, and similar outcomes are anticipated for the 2013-14 program year with 42 funded projects impacting a minimum of 1,000 students and including more than 40 local workforce partners.
“We are pleased to make this contribution because Florida’s K-12 education foundations are well positioned to be the link between schools and local businesses for students, which enables students to build connections with local businesses,” said Marshall Criser III, AT&T Florida President. “By concentrating on a science, technology, engineering and math curriculum, this program will provide real life experience that can help increase the number of Florida’s students graduating high school college- and career-ready.”