Okaloosa STEMM Center Receives Phase Two of Team Eglin and the Air Force Research Lab Grant

Phase two of the Team Eglin and the Air Force Research Lab grant to the Okaloosa STEMM Center has enabled the development of the Center for STEMM Innovation (CSI), a training center for all math and science teachers, STEMM Camp location, home for the Regional Science and Engineering Fair, and a partnership development base.  An upcoming CSI district-outreach-project is the development of Algebra 1 labs. Two kits are planned for each nine- weeks, providing real-world applications for required Algebraic concepts and skills.

The Center for STEMM Innovation also houses the CPO Physical Science Lab. A partnership with CPO provides quarterly, high-level, physics and physical science teacher workshops.  Phase one provided lab tables, for the donated equipment, and phase two provided lab stools and a projection system.

“The CSI is part of a synergistic center,” said Shawnea Tallman, Assistant Director Okaloosa STEMM Center.  “For example, a middle school Physical Science Honors teacher, who attended a CPO workshop, helped to develop an Engineer for America (EFA) sortie, ‘Racing from Gate to Gate,’ which utilizes the lab equipment. This sortie affords all Middle School EFA partner- teachers the opportunity to bring their students to the CPO lab. Teachers can use the equipment to gain knowledge and comfort in high-level hands-on-labs, and students can deeply engage in course benchmarks!”

Phase two of the grant also includes EFA initiatives, such as teacher workshops, curriculum development, and student programing. By the end of last school year over 5500 students from around the county “piloted” through EFA.

In addition to teacher training, EFA scheduled several outreach programs over the summer for underserved populations, mentors, and partnership organizations.  

A partner at the STEMM, Doolittle Institute, supports the Innovative Dimension Lab (IDL) at the STEMM Center.  This non- profit sponsors the Okaloosa STEMM Academy’s Technology Club where, among other things, students design and test linear robotic systems.  This summer IDL provided district teacher and student cutting-edge training opportunities.

“We are aspiring to create an environment of innovation by collaborating with our partners, teachers, and schools to champion Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medical education. We are proud to work with Team Eglin, the AFRL, and our partners in this critical endeavor,” said Tallman.

For more information on the STEMM Center, please call (850) 833-4120.

STEMM students pictured above were participating in an EFA Sortie on STEMM Community Day.