The Summer STEM Field Site/Workplace Experiences have allowed STEM Scholars to learn about STEM-related careers in their communities through personal experiences with STEM Talent Development Partners. This has been a valuable experience for participants and has contributed to their development which will help them to meet the demands of Florida’s future economy.
Through the FloridaLearns STEM Scholars Project’s Talent Development Program, high school Juniors and Seniors from small districts across Florida participated in Field Site/Workplace Experiences this summer. These experiences are made possible through partnerships with leaders in STEM industries such as local businesses, agencies, the military, and higher education faculty. The experiences offered by these STEM Talent Developers are preparing STEM Scholars to become STEM-ready by demonstrating the value of real world interactions with STEM.
The Center for Viticultural Sciences and Small Fruit in the College of Engineering Science, Technology and Agriculture at Florida A & M University offered opportunities for three students from Jefferson County Middle High School to work with scientists in their Biotechnology Lab, Viticulture and Product Development Lab, Genetics Lab, and Small Fruit Lab. Their experiences included an overview of the Viticulture and Small Fruit Program and field/vineyard and greenhouse experiences. Students learned how to extract DNA, distinguish male and female plants and/or flowers, and how to systematically cross pollinate flowers.
"This was an intense and extensive experience these students got to be involved in for a relatively short amount of time. However, it gave them excellent insight, knowledge and experience in a variety of career fields which will last a lifetime," stated Mr. Saffo. This was a culmination of activities for the STEM program for the 2013-2014 school year.
Also, the FloridaLearns STEM Summer Challenge was held during the week of June 9-12, 2014 at Tallahassee Community College. Six students from Jefferson County Middle High School attended and completed the challenge.
"These experiences and opportunities are extremely invaluable to the future success of our children", stated Mr. Saffo. Mr. Saffo is the mentor STEM teacher and advisor for the STEM Program. He is also accompanied by Ms. Algeletha Mitchell, co-advisor and Chief Kent Watson, consultant and advisor.