FUTURES Foundation Receives Grant from FPL for STEM Teacher Learning
The Consortium of Florida Education Foundations (CFEF) recently awarded the FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Schools $15,000 for a Florida Power and Light Company (FPL) EmPOWERing STEM Educators grant for a STEM-focused teacher peer-to-peer learning opportunity.
The project includes two Ford Next Generation STEM trained lead teachers, 20 selected teacher observers and students who will meet on three Saturdays between October and April. “This year’s grant will make STEM education deliberate for the different schools and work on scaffolding the STEM skills students will learn as they move through each level of schooling (elementary, middle and high),” according Amy Monahan, District STEM Specialist., who is leading the project. “Teachers learn best from other teachers who know where they are at and their concerns. Volusia County Schools is fortunate to have highly trained and passionate STEM educators that have worked hard to provide great experiences for students and have improved student outcomes as a result. Teachers appreciate teachers that have a lot to offer and work alongside them to create congruency in schools regarding STEM.” Volusia County Schools have created a solid understanding of STEM and through this project participating teachers will create the STEM plan for their feeder pattern schools that will enhance STEM learning from one level to the next.
The goal of the FPL program is to increase teacher knowledge of effective math and science instructional practices that align with Florida Standards through classroom-based, teacher-to-teacher learning of effective instructional strategies.
“FPL is pleased to partner with CFEF to bring the EmPOWERing STEM Educators Program to school districts in Florida. The program will help teachers to improve their knowledge and continue to be the single most important factor to the success of students,” said Maureen Wilt, education program manager for FPL. “Supporting our local education system is one of the ways that FPL works with the communities we serve to make Florida an even better place to work and raise a family.”
Since 2010, the CFEF has administered hands-on, workplace-based STEM classroom learning experiences to increase student awareness and interest in STEM careers. These projects are managed at the school level through local education foundations that understand the needs and capacity of district schools and teachers and can target the funds for largest impact. In 2016 through 2018, the CFEF piloted 15 Peers in Public Practice projects supporting days of observable instruction for K-12 teachers to learn from their highly effective peers in real-world, real-time classroom situations.
As long-time partners with the CFEF, FPL observed the great outcomes from this pilot program and understood the CFEF’s capacity to implement impactful projects through their membership. Together, they developed EmPOWERing STEM Educators to offer this type of professional development specific to math and science teachers throughout FPL’s service territory in six initiatives supported in the inaugural year.
“We were overwhelmed with the positive feedback from teachers in the first year of the program,” said Mary Chance, president of the CFEF. “They were encouraged to try new instructional practices with the support of their peers and many developed ongoing supportive relationships with teachers in other schools. Through this program FPL is demonstrating how much they value Florida’s teachers by providing the space and time for them to learn and grow together.”
For more information about the statewide program visit: https://educationfoundationsfl.org/partner-programs/fpl-empowering-stem-educators
About the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations
The CFEF is the membership organization for Florida’s school district-wide local education foundations. Established in 1987, the CFEF maximizes the individual and collective strength of Florida local education foundations to support local partners and schools. The CFEF now has 64 member foundations with 1,100 business and community leaders serving as volunteer board members. Collectively, they raise more than $64 million annually to support students, teachers and schools through a variety of programs. The CFEF has provided nearly $52 million to local education foundations since 2002 through various private- and public-sector partnerships, including the State of Florida School District Education Foundation Matching Grants Program. For more information about the CFEF, visit: www.educationfoundationsfl.org
About Florida Power & Light Company:
Florida Power & Light Company is the third-largest electric utility in the United States, serving nearly 5 million customer accounts or an estimated 10 million+ people across nearly half of the state of Florida. FPL's typical 1,000-kWh residential customer bill is approximately 30 percent lower than the latest national average and among the lowest in the U.S. FPL's service reliability is better than 99.98 percent, and its highly fuel-efficient power plant fleet is one of the cleanest among all utilities nationwide. The company was recognized in 2017 as one of the most trusted U.S. electric utilities by Market Strategies International for the fourth consecutive year. A leading Florida employer with approximately 8,700 employees, FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Florida-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE), a clean energy company widely recognized for its efforts in sustainability, ethics and diversity, and has been ranked No. 1 in the electric and gas utilities industry in Fortune's 2018 list of "World's Most Admired Companies." NextEra Energy is also the parent company of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, which, together with its affiliated entities, is the world's largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun. For more information about NextEra Energy companies, visit these websites: www.NextEraEnergy.com, www.FPL.com, www.NextEraEnergyResources.com.
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