3 schools get grants to explore jobs from STEM courses
Published: Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 6:14 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 6:14 p.m.
Three Alachua County schools received grants for $1,900 each to explore science, technology, engineering and math in the workforce.
Oak View Middle, Mebane Middle and Santa Fe High are recipients of an AT&T “STEM @ Work” grant, administered through the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations.
The Education Foundation of Alachua County presented the grants Thursday.
AT&T distributed about $90,000 in grants to Florida’s district education foundations this year for the creation of STEM workplace experiences.
The goal is to help increase the number of Florida students who are career-ready and interested in STEM jobs post-graduation, AT&T Florida President Marshall Criser III wrote in a prepared statement.
“A lot of times, the STEM stuff is interesting,” but students don’t make the connection about how it could translate into a job, said Rachel Stimler of the Education Foundation of Alachua County. “These are jobs they can actually have.”
Teachers applied for grants of up to $2,000 through the Education Foundation of Alachua County, Stimler said.
The applications were sent to CFEF, which worked with AT&T Florida to get the grant money.
The three teachers who received funding represented everyone who applied from Alachua County, Stimler said.
“We were really excited about that,” she said.
At Oak View Middle, Eric Perez’s students will work with the University of Florida’s Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Department. They’ll study a freshwater ecosystem and learn about similar ecosystems around the region.
Tim Hinchman’s students at Mebane Middle will build robots and a robotic suit — based on the comic book superhero Iron Man — with the Pneumatic Scale Angelus company, Stimler said.
Students in June Camerlengo’s class at Santa Fe High will work with professional scientists and team up with local company Pasteuria to investigate biotechnology practices.