Education Foundation of Palm Beach County Receives AT&T Foundation Grant for Students to Experience 'STEM@Work'

           

AT&T Stem at Work photos of students with rockets they built

Students at Jupiter Middle School will benefit from a statewide investment by 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 11th 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 35 separate projects to be organized and funded through Consortium member local education foundations, including the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County.

Jupiter Middle Engineering Academy's Rocket Build and Launch program will engage over fifty 7th and 8th grade students in building and launching rockets through their engineering course and STEM Club. Students will learn first-hand information from experts in the field regarding careers in engineering, software development, information technology, and quality control. Completion of rocket building and launching will take place within scheduled time frame to include virtual meetings with the participating students by Lockheed Martin & Aerojet Rocketdyne engineers. The business partner interactions will also include a site-visit to the school by Lockheed Martin and Aerojet Rocketdyne representatives when students are ready for live rocket launching. The project will be designed to increase the student’s knowledge of rocketry, procedures, assembly, construction, and flying while incorporating local industry experts in field to further connect the curriculum and concepts being taught to career pathways by focusing on aerospace engineering and how space flight has been achieved from an engineering vantage point.

The Education Foundation of Palm Beach County’s President/CEO, James S. Gavrilos stated, “It’s a well-known fact that students learn best by ‘doing’. AT&T’s STEM@Work program is like nothing we have ever seen before. Combining the best of ‘experiential learning’ with expert mentorship from the most brilliant minds in Palm Beach County, this program is going to open up a world of possibilities to so many students. AT&T has grasped the fundamental truth of education. It’s not filling up a young mind with facts and figures. True education is ‘opening up the mind” to a world of dreams and possibilities.”

According to Brenda Joyce, Engineering Teacher, Jupiter Middle School, “The rocket build and launch program provides students the opportunity to make real world connections to rocketry and how the science of rocketry impacts, and will impact, our world. As students delve into these studies, they realize the positive impact they can make as they interact with professionals who work in the field of rocketry. Our students are developing and fine tuning the skills to be future change makers in our society. The project focuses on developing creative thinking skills, fostering collaboration and honing problem solving skills. Students identify modern day issues and utilize the design process to create solutions. Our thanks go out to AT&T and the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County; if students can imagine it, they can create a better world.

"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 The AT&T Foundation over eleven years to more than $1 million. More than 75,000 students have been directly impacted through 469 projects involving 932 local workplace partners in 53 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.

About the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County
The Education Foundation of Palm Beach County is the nexus of Palm Beach County’s public-school system, the private sector and the community. The Foundation facilitates student achievement by supporting high quality public-education through partnerships, grants, events and public awareness. Established in 1984 by Palm Beach County business leaders, the Education Foundation serves as the philanthropic support organization for K-12 public education and partners closely with the School District of Palm Beach County and the greater business and charitable community to fund programs that close achievement gaps in learning and that create positive, measurable change for students. This is accomplished by using the funding to provide innovative classroom grants as well as providing quality professional development to foster excellence in teaching.

Through a unique matching grant program, the Education Foundation works with corporate and private investors to fund innovative projects and curriculum that improve literacy and grade-level performance, increase graduation rates, support STEM and career academies and target support to low-performing students and schools. For more information on the Education Foundation please visit educationfoundationPBC.org

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