Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation Receives AT&T Grants

Students at Baker School, Destin Middle School and the STEMM Academy will benefit from a statewide investment by AT&T this year, once that seeks to increase understanding of how classroom curriculum translates into STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers.  

To provide a critical link from classroom to careers, AT&T is once again partnering with the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations (CFEF) to provide experiential learning opportunities for students in school districts across Florida.   Real-world application of STEM education concepts, problem-solving and critical thinking skills will all be key elements of the 47 separate projects to be organized and funded through CFEF member local education foundations, including the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation.

At Baker School, the AT&T STEM Solutions Grant will fund the purchase of Tetrix Max kits to complement the use of LEGO EV3 Mindstorm robotics programs for middle school and high school students.  Teacher Stacy Burlison has said that the grant will enable her students to “…create and implement more advanced algorithms to solve more complex robotics problems.”

The AT&T STEM Solutions funding at Destin Middle School will support “Engineering the Future”—a program that will help students take STEM education to the next level.  In partnership with the Northwest Florida Section of the American Institute of Aeronautics, Destin Middle School students and engineers from the Okaloosa County community and Eglin Air Force Base will build and launch rockets, analyze the flight of those rockets and determine ways to improve the performance of those rockets.

Teachers at the STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medical) Academy will be provided with LEGO EV3 robots through the AT&T STEM Solutions grant award.   Staff members will integrate robotics, engineering and programming in a variety of math courses offered to students in grades four through nine.  Students will then participate in real-world applications of engineering and robotics—from surveying the perimeter of a farmer’s field to plotting the path of an extra-planetary rover.

“We know that industries engaged in STEM disciplines will create a majority of high-value, high-wage jobs and within ten years, almost nine out of ten new jobs will require education beyond a high school degree,” said Joe York, AT&T Florida President. “We are pleased to make this contribution because Florida’s K-12 education foundations are well positioned to be the link between schools and local businesses for students, enabling them to build connections with potential employers in their communities, get a sense of what careers they offer and the skill sets they require.”

Two additional CFEF contributors have followed AT&T’s lead to provide similar programs with local impact throughout Florida.  The Motorola Solutions Foundation is funding 11 larger-scale projects through a competitive grant process.  CenturyLink is funding 25 projects in their “Teachers and Technology Two additional CFEF contributors have followed AT&T’s lead to provide similar programs with local impact throughout Florida.  The Motorola Solutions Foundation is funding 11 larger-scale projects through a competitive grant process.  CenturyLink is funding 25 projects in their “Teachers and Technology Grant” initiative providing training and needed equipment to enhance digital learning in the classroom. 

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About the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation (OPSF)

The OPSF is a not-for-profit community-based public schools foundation.  It is a partnership between families, schools, community and business.  The Foundation is dedicated to supporting and extending the educational opportunities of all individuals within Okaloosa County.  Since its establishment in 1995, OPSF has funded educational enrichment programs including teacher grants for unique programs, student scholars in the Take Stock in Children Program, community educational initiatives, and student and teacher recognition awards. For more information about Take Stock in Children and the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation, visit www.OkaloosaSchools.com/OPSF.

About the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations (CFEF):

The CFEF is the membership organization for Florida’s school district-wide local education foundations. Established in 1987, the CFEF seeks to advance student achievement in Florida by increasing private sector investment and involvement in public education.  The CFEF now has 61 member foundations with 1,100 business and community leaders serving as volunteer board members.  Collectively, they raise more than $45 million annually to support students, teachers and schools through a variety of programs. The CFEF has provided more than $27 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 AT&T

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s fastest mobile broadband network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. A leader in mobile broadband and emerging 4G capabilities, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide of any U.S. carrier, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries.  It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verse® and AT&T │DIRECTV brands. The company’s suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world. In domestic markets, AT&T Advertising Solutions and AT&T Interactive are known for their leadership in local search and advertising. 

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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 2010, more than $148.2 million was contributed through corporate-, employee- and AT&T Foundation-giving programs.

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