FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Schools receives AT&T Foundation Grant for Students to Experience ‘STEM@Work’
Public high school students within Volusia County Schools will benefit from a statewide grant from the AT&T Foundation this year, one that seeks to increase understanding of how classroom curriculum translates into STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers.
For the 10th consecutive year, AT&T is working with the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations (Consortium) to provide experiential learning opportunities for students in school districts across Florida through “STEM@Work.” Real-world application of STEM education concepts, problem-solving and critical thinking skills will all be key elements of the 42 separate projects to be organized and funded through Consortium member local education foundations, including FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Schools.
The local project “Solving a Real-Life Environmental Problem Using STEM” will be facilitated by District Enviro/STEM Resource Teacher Louise Chapman, involving Museum of Arts & Sciences(MOAS)/Smithsonian Interns from high schools throughout the Volusia County School District. Students will design and engineer a real-life solution to one of three pressing environmental issues: invasive plants, fire, and vandalism. Students will interact with STEM leaders at MOAS and in the Volusia County Environmental Management Division. Students will learn about STEM careers and how to use STEM as a process to solve a real-world problem. They will test their solutions, present their final findings to the local experts and complete a small-scale project (with potential plans for expansion) on one of three outdoor sites: Spruce Creek Park, Gamble Place, or Tuscawilla Preserve in Volusia County, Florida. Students will be engaged, enriched and encouraged to interact with their community while solving a real-world local environmental problem.
“Industries engaged in STEM disciplines will create many of the high-value, high-wage jobs of tomorrow, and we also know that many jobs today – and even more tomorrow – will require education beyond a high school degree,” said Joe York, President, AT&T Florida. “The Consortium and other organizations are key to ensuring that young people are exposed to the educational and skills development opportunities to prepare them for success in their careers.” This year’s statewide grant brings the total investment by AT&T and the AT&T Foundation over 10 years to nearly $1 million. More than 75,000 students have been directly impacted through 476 projects involving 950 local workplace partners in 51 school districts throughout Florida.
“When I think back on my school years, the times I got to do something hands-on and outside the classroom are my strongest memories and some of those experiences influenced my career path,” said Mary Chance, president of the Consortium. “We are so grateful that AT&T continues to see the value of giving students experiences that allow them to experience how math and science are applied in careers through STEM@Work.”
About Philanthropy & Social Innovation at AT&T
Our society doesn't work if it doesn't work equally for all. We recognize that inequalities are pervasive and we have a role to play in helping to address them. That’s why we’re committed to advancing education, creating opportunities, strengthening communities and improving lives, particularly amongst historically underserved populations. We have a long history of investing in projects that promote academic and economic achievement and addressing community needs that promote social justice and racial equality. With a financial commitment of $600 million through AT&T Aspire since 2008, AT&T has leveraged technology, relationships and social innovation to help give people – regardless of age, gender, race or socioeconomic status – the opportunity to succeed.
About the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations:
The Consortium is the membership organization for Florida’s school district-wide local education foundations. Established in 1987, the Consortium maximizes the individual and collective strength of Florida local education foundations to support local partners and schools. The Consortium has 64 member foundations with 1,100 business and community leaders serving as volunteer board members. Collectively, they raise nearly $83 million annually to support students, teachers and schools through a variety of programs. The Consortium has provided nearly $55 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.
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