FUTURES Foundation Receives AT&T Grants
Daytona Beach, FL -- Students at Pine Ridge High School and University High School will benefit from a statewide investment by AT&T this year, one that seeks to increase understanding of how classroom curriculum translates into STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers.
To provide a critical link from classroom to careers, AT&T is once again partnering with the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations (CFEF) to provide experiential learning opportunities for students in school districts across Florida. Real-world application of STEM education concepts, problem-solving and critical thinking skills all will be key elements of the 47 separate projects to be organized and funded through CFEF member local education foundations, including FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Schools.
Three local projects will be funded through a $6,000 grant. Designed by Enviro/STEM Resource Teacher Louise Chapman and University High Teacher Jennifer Cherry, the goal of the first project – “Fishing" for Microfibers -- is to increase the participation of underrepresented groups in the sciences and especially STEM careers while approaching a real life environmental STEM concern in the aquatic environments in Central Florida. Students will research and work with local engineers on filtration of microplastics in hopes of creating solutions to their removal without destroying water treatment plants and local water bodies. Brian Peek at Thompson Pump in Port Orange has agreed to serve as a resource partner on this project.
Two additional projects -- Rose Bay Robovasion and Saving the World with a Micro Bead Tornado – were designed by Mrs. Chapman and Director of the Pine Ridge Advanced Manufacturing Academy James “Jim” Maynard. Robovasion’s project goal is to use the engineering process, scientific principles, and advanced manufacturing technology to design and build underwater remotely operated vehicles to sample microplastic contamination in the Rose Bay Estuary while simultaneously engaging students from diverse disciplines in science to work with engineers.
Saving the World with a Micro Bead Tornado’s goal is to build a centripetal vortex filter with the capability of removing suspended microplastics from the Rose Bay Estuary at Spruce Creek Park in Port Orange, FL. David Romeo from Miller-Leaman, Inc. in Daytona Beach has agreed to be the business partner on these two projects.
“We know that industries engaged in STEM disciplines will create a majority of high-value, high-wage jobs and within ten years, almost nine out of ten new jobs will require education beyond a high school degree,” said Joe York, AT&T Florida President. “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, enabling them to build connections with potential employers in their communities, get a sense of what careers they offer and the skill sets they require.”
Another CFEF contributor has followed AT&T’s lead to provide a similar STEM program with local impact throughout Florida. The Motorola Solutions Foundation is funding nine larger-scale projects through a competitive grant process.
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About the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations (CFEF):
The CFEF is the membership organization for Florida’s school district-wide local education foundations. Established in 1987, the CFEF seeks to advance student achievement in Florida by increasing private sector investment and involvement in public education. The CFEF now has 64 member foundations with 1,100 business and community leaders serving as volunteer board members. Collectively, they raise more than $63 million annually to support students, teachers and schools through a variety of programs. The CFEF has provided more than $44 million to local education foundations since 2001 through various private- and public-sector partnerships, including the State of Florida School District Education Foundation Matching Grant Program.