Debbie Cross and Laura Stitzer, Wright Elementary School, Win $2,000 AT&T STEM@Work Grant

Debbie Cross and Laura Stitzer, Wright Elementary School, Win $2,000 AT&T STEM@Work Grant

Debbie Cross and Laura Stitzer, teachers at Wright Elementary School, are the recipients of a $2,000 AT&T STEM@Work grant offered through the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation (OPSF) and the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations (CFEF). Their project, Aviator Flight School, received one of AT&T’s thirty-five STEM@Work grants.

The Aviator Flight School project will feature an after-school Aviation Club that will consist of two groups, Junior Aviators grades 2-3 and Senior Aviators grades 4-5. Using the AVKids program developed by the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), introductory lessons will include Forces of Flight, The Main Parts of an Airplane, and Airplane Design. Students will be provided with hands-on activities such as constructing wind turbines to simulate how air affects flight; planning and designing a three-dimensional airport; and construction of model planes and stomp rockets to record data of distance and thrust. Senior Aviators will also build and launch model rockets. All groups will participate in flight simulation. The local high school will be invited to demonstrate drones in action.

For eleven years, AT&T Florida has partnered with the CFEF to connect classrooms to careers to address both these challenges through their STEM@Work initiative. From engineering human-powered submarines to creating sustainable aquaponics farming systems, each project varies depending on the goals and workplace partners involved. AT&T funds are used to provide supplies, equipment, and transportation to eliminate barriers to learning beyond the classroom and make a teacher’s vision a reality.

Impact by the Numbers

One annual grant is leveraged by the CFEF for impressive impact:

  • 469 projects
  • 75,142 students directly impacted throughout the state
  • 932 local workplace partners engaged
  • $1,457,508 total investment (with local match)


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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 businesses. 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.