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Area students attend FloridaLearns STEM Scholars Design Challenge and Competition at NFCC campus


Students learn valuable science, technology, engineering and math skills

MADISON, FL – Over 80 students from Jefferson, Lafayette, Madison and Taylor’s county high schools attended a FloridaLearns STEM Scholars Design Challenge and Competition at the North Florida Community College Public Safety Academy on Oct. 31. Students were asked to collaborate with fellow students, construct a bottle rocket and test the rocket for effectiveness. Brenda Crouch, FloridaLearns STEM Scholars Project Manager for the Panhandle Area Educational Consortium (PAEC), said the activity teaches academic skills as well as soft skills such as networking, problem solving, communication and teamwork that are essential to success.

Zarkese Haynes of Madison County High School and John Brooks of Jefferson County High School design their bottle rocket Autumn Smith of Lafayette County High School and Montoya Brown of Madison County High School

“One of the things we hear from industry all the time is that we need to teach students more soft skills,” said Crouch. “This activity not only challenges the students academically, but also requires participants to work with students from other schools that they just met, to use their imagination, to problem-solve and to work in teams.”

Courtney Bailey and Tyler Burnett work together to construct a bottle rocket during the FloridaLearns STEM Scholars Design Challenge and Competition on Oct. 31 at the NFCC Public Safety Academy.

Savannah Salter of Madison County High School and Timothy Walker of Taylor County High School design their bottle rocket during the FloridaLearns STEM Scholars Design Challenge and Competition

Bethany Greenwood of Madison County High School works with a fellow student to construct a bottle rocket during the FloridaLearns STEM Scholars Design Challenge and Competition.

The FloridaLearns STEM Scholars program is Florida’s rural STEM education initiative coordinated by the Panhandle Area Educational Consortium (PAEC), in partnership with the Heartland Educational Consortium (HEC), and the North East Florida Educational Consortium (NEFEC). For more information, visit floridalearnsstemscholars.org.

MORE INFORMATION on FloridaLearns STEM Scholars (http://floridalearnsstemscholars.org/): Recognizing the need for small and rural districts to enhance science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) curricula for gifted and talented secondary students, the Panhandle Area Educational Consortium (PAEC), in partnership with the Heartland Educational Consortium (HEC), and the North East Florida Educational Consortium (NEFEC) will implement the FloridaLearns STEM Scholars (FLSS) program. This program includes innovation to make more rigorous STEM courses available, STEM Summer Challenges led by university staff and STEM professionals, increased opportunities for real-world STEM problem-solving and research, and academic and career guidance from qualified counselors.

Submitted by NFCC

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