High School STEM Students Prepare for Careers and College
Parents Play a Critical Role

The FloridaLearns STEM Scholars Initiative is well underway in the small and rural school districts of Florida. The program, which targets gifted and talented students, is depending on private and public partnerships as well as parents to help grow the number of students engaged in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math in high school and college. A series of “parent meetings” are planned throughout October and November so that both students and parents can learn more about college and exciting career opportunities afforded by the FloridaLearns STEM Scholars Initiative.

With a goal to better prepare and inspire high school students to pursue post-secondary education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)

, the FloridaLearns STEM Scholars project, a three-year initiative, was launched during 2011-2012 school year and is open to gifted and talented students in 9th, 10th, and 11th grades that are selected by the district’s high schools throughout the 27 rural Florida
school districts.

At the Parent/Student Nights, parents and their students learn about the variety of unique opportunities students are being provided through the project to problem-solve, to collaborate with other gifted and talented students across the region and state, and to maximize academic and leadership potential that would not otherwise be available in a small and rural school setting.

They become aware of the individualized, “STEM-centric” guidance counseling and activity-rich regional forums, as well as participating students’ eligibility to apply for the FloridaLearns STEM Scholars Summer Challenges, scholarships, internships, field research experiences and a University of Florida immersion experience during the summers.

Partnering in this initiative are regional state colleges, community colleges, local hospitals, technical centers and universities where some Parent/Student Nights are being held. STEM career offerings are being highlighted at the meetings to increase student and parental knowledge of postsecondary STEM career opportunities available locally and regionally.

According to Brenda Crouch, Project Manager of the FloridaLearns STEM Scholars Project, “The high school years are an extremely important and exciting time. But, as we know, the years go by quickly and during this time students are faced with making decisions that are critical to their future.”

Parent’s night also provides an opportunity to demonstrate the importance of a STEM education in terms of strengthening the nation’s ability to compete in a global economy which many consider a national security issue for the 21st Century.

View Agendas and News Releases:

Gulf and Franklin 10/29/12 Holmes Washington 11/12/12  Jackson Hospital News Release Jackson Hospital 10/2/12
 Jefferson High 10/22/12  Madson Taylor News Release  NWFSC 10/15/12  TCC 10/16/12
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