Pryor Middle School Wins Motorola STEM Solutions Grant
Greg Rynearson, Brittany Tate, and Sarah Wilson, all teachers at Pryor Middle School, are the recipients of a $5,000 Motorola STEM Solutions grant offered through the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation (OPSF) and the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations (CFEF). This is a state-wide competitive grant. Twenty grant applicants were submitted across the state this year and Pryor Middle School was chosen as one of the top-scoring projects.
For the past ten years local education foundations have been invited to apply for $5,000 grants in a competitive process managed by the CFEF, giving Motorola meaningful statewide impact with one single grant. More than 22,000 students have been impacted, 580 teachers involved, and 240 local workplace partners engaged.
Building and programming robots to work in surgical centers, on farms and in public safety. Measuring microplastics and nitrates in our waterways and exploring solutions with environmental scientists. Experiencing how integral computer science and engineering are to the future of manufacturing and construction industry jobs. These memorable learning experiences to explore STEM solutions are all made possible for Florida students by a single grant to the CFEF from the Motorola Solutions Foundation.
Pryor Middle School’s Motorola grant, Enhancing Career and Technical Education (CTE) Experiences, will increase student engagement in CTE programs and provide valuable hands-on STEM activities and corresponding materials for two CTE courses. This project would enhance current curriculum and will provide more opportunities for students to learn about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math in STEMM and Carpentry courses.
Career and Technical Education at Pryor Middle School is a robust program that provides hands-on, workforce development. Pryor Middle School values workforce development and offers several electives for students to engage in during their time at the school. The majority of Pryor students in grades 6-8 take at least one CTE course, if not more. It is during these programs that students not only gain practical knowledge but are also earn industry certifications and certificates. For this reason, it is vital that the materials these students are using, and learning to use, model the industry-grade supplies used in the current workforce. This project, Enhancing CTE experiences at Pryor Middle School, will provide two teachers with new, industry-grade materials that will better prepare students with STEM skills that will lead to a qualified future workforce.
This first component of this project is to provide a class set of coding Cue Robots for the STEMM courses (Robotics and Engineering). With these robots, students will practice coding and programming skills with individual robots. This will enhance the classroom instruction while also developing practical STEM skills. The second components of the project are to provide the Carpentry Courses with Transit Levels and basic carpentry tools. The Carpentry students will use the new transit levels and tools to survey projects, mark corner locations, accurately measure distances, and determine "level" from a distance. These tools will allow the instructor to teach basic surveying skills and aid in teaching construction math.
CTE programs would not be possible if not for business partners and this project is no exception. Students will get a glimpse into how industries are using coding, robotics, engineering and carpentry, in their respective fields, by virtually interacting with business partners. Business partners will deliver a virtual lesson/interview/information through zoom or other virtual conferencing service during one block period, for homework or appropriate online delivery platform. These will include, but will not be limited to, coding experiences, career options and tool use. Students will also have the opportunity to ask questions and communicate with business partners throughout the program year. This will represent the total 20 contact hours. Business partners include the Building Industry Association, Emerald Coast Science Center, Fort Walton Beach Lowes, Lord and Son Construction, and J.P. Carducci Construction. All interactions between businesses and students will be done virtually as schools are not allowing volunteers or guests in the classroom because of Covid-19.
About the Motorola Solutions Foundation
The Motorola Solutions Foundation is the charitable and philanthropic arm of Motorola Solutions, the leading provider of mission-critical communications, software and video solutions that help build safer cities and thriving communities. The Motorola Solutions Foundation makes strategic grants, forges strong community partnerships and fosters innovation by funding programs in public safety education, disaster relief, employee giving programs, and technology education. The Motorola Solutions Foundation provides over $11 million in support to over 250 charitable organizations and universities in over 30 countries annually. For more information on Motorola Solutions Corporate and Foundation giving, visit our website: www.motorolasolutions.com/foundation
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 64 member foundations with 1,100 business and community leaders serving as volunteer board members. Collectively, they raise more than $64 million annually to support students, teachers, and schools through a variety of programs. The CFEF has provided more than $46 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 Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation (OPSF)
The Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation, Inc. (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.