14 November 2012
Posted in Press and Media
After-School STEM Workshops Receive AT&T Contribution
Orlando Science Center Provides Title I Students with Tools for Future Success
The AT&T Foundation awarded a $25,000 grant to the Orlando Science Center to support new “Destination: STEM” After-School Workshops for 50 underserved Orange County middle school students. Orlando Science Center will develop and present forty 90-minute hands-on workshops that introduce science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines and career paths, focusing on engineering and modeling/simulation.
These fields were chosen because the Central Florida region is a hub for technology-based industries and innovation. Metro Orlando is the 26th largest metropolitan area in the United States and boasts a gross domestic product of more than $100 billion dollars.
“AT&T and the Orlando Science Center have teamed up to bring engineering and simulation activities as well as career options in science and engineering fields to middle schoolers,” said JoAnn Newman, President and CEO of the Orlando Science Center. “Learning about STEM and the opportunities that exist will not only help today’s youth, but also our country’s future.”
The “Destination: STEM” After-School Workshops will engage underserved students in inspiring hands-on, experiential informal science and math activities geared toward today’s technologies and tomorrow’s innovations. This new after-school program will enable two groups of 25 students each to attend 20 unique, 90-minute hands-on after-school workshops throughout the academic year.
Students will attend the “Destination: STEM” After-School Program three times per month, beginning in fall 2012 and continuing through May 2013. Each month will focus on a new STEM discipline and will reinforce science and math concepts essential to those career pathways. The final session, held in June 2013, will serve as a capstone event, allowing the students to showcase their “Destination STEM” project work and to position them as future STEM ambassadors for their school. To support classroom curricula, all program activities will be aligned with the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards and Common Core Standards specified by Orange County Public Schools.
The “Destination: STEM” After-School Workshops are designed to inspire and excite 50 middle school students about the academic and professional opportunities associated with the thriving, ever-growing STEM industries. Through the workshops, the Science Center will expose them to emerging and existing career opportunities in STEM fields, and connect each experience to the importance of attaining strong science and math skills. Project activities conducted by students in the workshops will connect to each session’s topic.
At mid-year, students will be encouraged to volunteer and attend OTRONICON, Orlando Science Center’s annual digital media festival, as another “Invitation to Learning.” OTRONICON is a four-day event highlighting innovations in science, technology, education and art. During the event, the Science Center is transformed into an exciting and immersive environment filled with interactive technology demonstrations, simulation experiences, game competitions and career-oriented workshops.
“Underserved students participating in Destination: STEM will learn the impact that strong science and math skills can have on their future lives” say Troy McNichols, Regional Director AT&T Central Florida. “Their pursuit of STEM Courses in high school and college will ultimately lead to a STEM career that will provide higher pay opportunities in a growth area in our economy.”
“Destination: STEM provides an influential learning experience,” Newman said. “When we engage youth in active learning, we have the chance to inspire them in the fields of science and engineering, which is what the Science Center is all about.”
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About Philanthropy at AT&T
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its philanthropic initiatives, AT&T has a long history of supporting projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; and address community needs. In 2011, more than $115 million was contributed through corporate-, employee- and AT&T Foundation-giving programs.
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