FLATE’s Student Outreach - Supporting STEM Education Mentoring Engineering Capstone Projects for Middle School’s 8th Grade

 Every year, the Florida Advanced Technological Center-FLATE, helps middle school students by mentoring in their Engineering Capstone projects. The 8th grade STEM students are tasked to exhibit technical expertise to solve challenging problems by producing ideas and products that have the potential to be marketed in the real world.
Among some of the schools that FLATE serves as mentor is the James Madison Middle School (MMS) in Tampa, FL. MMS opened in 1952 and is recognized as a leader in STEM education in Hillsborough County. The school prides itself in designing enriching and engaging curriculum that takes students on a “learning adventure” focused on applying key engineering skills that are critical to problem-solving and developing higher order thinking skills. During 2008 J. Madison Middle school was selected to host, on behalf of Hillsborough County Schools, the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math - STEM Aerospace Engineering Academy with a strong focus on leadership skills.  Part of J. Madison Middle School’s success can be attributed to its successful strategy in formulating key mentorships/partnership with industry and education institution like FLATE (the Florida-based National Science Foundation Regional Center of Excellence for technological education). This strategic mentorship offers real educational opportunities for students to interact with top professionals in different STEM fields.
To support some of its STEM based initiatives, J. Madison Middle School also created the “Ghost Riders STEM Institute”, now referred to as the “STEM Aerospace Engineering Academy”, and has recently started the 8th grade capstone project which involves the development and creation of an innovative product over the period of the whole year. Each student group is mentored by an "expert professional" in the field. These professionals, or experts, would help them complete their projects with their guidance.  Meetings with mentors are performed via phone, emails, and video provide each group with the proper direction for the creation of their product.
Each group is to develop a company and create a plan to introduce a product to the market. A product that will be presented to a panel of judges, like the TV show Shark Tank. Products are to address current environmental issues, solve problems with waste and inefficiency, meet the increasing demand for power, make lives safer and healthier, etc.

Dr. Marilyn Barger and Danielly Orozco, Principal Investigator and Associate Director of FLATE, are currently part of the mentor/expert professionals program for the 8th grade capstone project. Daniel Mills is the lead instructor of Madison Middle's STEM Aerospace Engineering Academy. For more information on the list of the 2018 8th Grade students’ Capstone project please visit http://tinyurl.com/madisoncapstone17 or contact Daniel Mills at daniel.mills@sdhc.k12.fl.us.

Middleton HS Engineering Capstone Final Projects: “Project Lead the Way” - Pathways to Engineering

Engineering Capstone Project- Lead The Way (PLTW), another project supported by FLATE, provides a comprehensive approach to STEM Education. Through activity, projects, and problem-based curriculum, PLTW gives students in high school a chance to apply what they know, identify problems, find unique solutions, and lead their own learning. The implementation of this program provides tools to empower students and transform the classroom into a collaboration space where content comes to life.
Currently Middleton HS is recruiting judges of this pre-engineering design event, the objective is to constructively critique and evaluate the projects. This type of event is a great opportunity to promote STEM and Engineering Technology targeting high school students.

When: May 4th, 2018 - 8 am—11am morning session, 1:30—3:00 afternoon session
What: Morning—Gallery Walk of all Senior Capstone Projects
Where: Morning session Cafeteria, Afternoon session auditorium

For more information contact Elizabeth Simpson @ Elizabethe.simpson@sdhc.k12.fl.us by April 20th if you are able to attend. 


2018 Synapse Innovation Summit

The 2018 Synapse Innovation Summit, designed to bring together organizations, innovating ideas and advanced hi-technologies from a wide range of industries and organizations to connect regionally-based innovation technology, education, and entrepreneurial ecosystems throughout Florida, was held at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. Created by the nonprofit Synapse, named for the link between nerve cells in the body, the second annual Innovation Summit included 15 hours of programs and 10 hours of learning, exploring and celebrating the possibilities in advanced hi-technology and innovation, to help connect and establish relationships among those who can contribute to the growth of the Tampa Bay entrepreneurial ecosystem.
There were 250 exhibitors, more than 60 showcases, 56 breakout sessions, 200 speakers, and 2,500 attendees who flooded into downtown Tampa’s Amalie Arena March 28 and 29.
Highlights included “spotlight” sessions devoted to Augmented and Virtual Reality, robotics with the latest on humanoid robots, health and wellness with medical advances that restored freedom of movement to an amputee, transportation technologies, top STEM high- technology education programs that are transforming our world and more. In addition ConnectWise and Synapse have teamed up to provide $50,000 worth of scholarships for college students who attended.

Notable speakers included: IBM Chief Innovation Officer Bernard Meyerson, Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinil, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition James “Hondo” Geurts, and many others.
Synapse STEM Pavilion
The Florida Advanced Technological Center-FLATE and at least 20 educational programs and non-profit organization participated in this great event with booths located in the Synapse STEM Pavilion. Some of the booths’ participants included Foundation for Community Drive, Electrathon of Tampa Bay, St. Petersburg College, ARM Institute, Pasco counties public library, Hillsborough Public Schools.
FLATE Continuous Support with the Tampa Bay STEM Network
Through a strong network of academic, business, and community partnerships, FLATE continues supporting the Tampa Bay STEM Network which goal is to provide time, talent, and treasure to create a well-connected portfolio of experiences that result in the academic success of and multiple opportunities for citizens of all ages to explore and enjoy STEM, thus strengthening our talent base and STEM pipeline, contributing to the vitality of our community.
STEM Ecosystem - Building a Better Tampa Bay
The STEM Ecosystems Initiative is built on over a decade of research into successful STEM collaborations, and seeks to nurture and scale effective science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning opportunities for all young people. The 56 communities selected from across the United States compose a national Community of Practice and have demonstrated cross-sector collaborations to deliver rigorous, effective preK-16 instruction in STEM learning. These collaborations happen in schools and beyond the classroom—in afterschool and summer programs, at home, in science centers, libraries and other places both virtual and physical. Strong STEM Learning Ecosystems feature dynamic collaborations among schools, out-of-school time programs, STEM expert institutions (such as museums, science centers, and institutions of higher education and STEM professional associations), the private sector, community-based organizations, youth and families.
The Tampa Bay STEM Network was created in January 2016 and is funded through a generous grant from the STEM Funders Network and Samueli Foundation, with local support from Mr. Jeff Vinik, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Moffitt Cancer Center. Partners of the Tampa Bay STEM Network include Hillsborough County Public Schools, Museum of Science and Industry-MOSI, The Florida Aquarium, Glazer Children’s Museum, The Florida Advanced Technological Education Center-FLATE, Lowry Park Zoo, University of South Florida, Alliance for Public Schools, Hillsborough Education foundation. Strengthening our local talent base and STEM pipeline, will contribute to the vitality of our community and Building a Better Tampa Bay.

For more information contact Larry R. Plank (larry.plank@sdh.k12.fl.us), Director, K-12 STEM Education, Hillsborough County Public Schools, Tampa Bay STEM Network.


FLATE Supporting Code.org® Computer Science Fundamentals
Code.org is a nonprofit dedicated to expanding access to computer science in schools and increasing participation by women and underrepresented minorities. Every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn for FREE computer science. Code.org organizes the annual Hour of Code campaign which has engaged 10% of all students in the world and provides the leading curriculum for K-12 computer science in the largest school districts in the United States.

Some FREE Courses from Code.org

Elementary School – Computer Science Fundamentals 
Courses from Code.org for students in grades K-12 and professional learning for teacher. Designed to be fun and engaging, Code.org’s progression of CS Fundamentals courses blend online and "unplugged" non-computer activities to teach students computational thinking, problem solving, programming concepts and digital citizenship.

Middle School – Computer Science Discoveries 
Broader introduction to computer science topics, appropriate for 6-10th grade students. The course takes a wide lens on computer science by covering topics such as programming, physical computing, HTML/CSS, and data. The course inspires students as they build their own websites, apps, games, and physical computing devices.

High Scholl - Computer Science Principles 
Designed to prepare students, appropriate for 9-12 grade students (and teachers) who are new to computer science for the AP CS Principles exam. The course covers many topics including the Internet, Big Data and Privacy, and Programming and Algorithms.

For more information visit https://studio.code.org/courses