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FAU Hosts STEM Summer Programs in Partnership with Broward County Public Schools

BOCA RATON, FL (July 20, 2012) – Florida Atlantic University faculty and students within the College of Engineering and Computer Science recently hosted a STEM Summer Teachers Academy and a STEM Summer Student Academy, two summer Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) events in partnership with Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) Innovative Programs Office at FAU’s Boca Raton campus. Both programs were developed as part of the STEM initiative in the Magnet Schools Assistance Program grant awarded to BCPS by the U.S. Department of Education. The purpose of the grant is to help increase student achievement and create interest in STEM disciplines at the post-secondary level, as well as in a variety of STEM-related careers.

“The partnership between FAU and Broward County Public Schools in the development of STEM education will help train our future leaders in science and research,” said Mohammad Ilyas, Ph.D., interim dean of FAU’s College of Engineering and Computer Science.

The weeklong STEM Summer Teachers Academy involved 125 teachers and administrative staff from six Growing STEM Magnet middle schools. The goals of the 2012 STEM Summer Teachers Academy were to provide teachers with innovative instructional strategies that integrate key STEM foundational principles and processes and promote rigor through innovative thinking in order to create meaningful project-based learning experiences for students.

Teachers attended sessions on: Innovative Thinking, Educational Sustainability, Curriculum Design Process for STEM K-12 Projects and Systems and Material Engineering. The developed curriculum will be implemented in the participating middle schools – Apollo, McNicol, Parkway, Lauderhill, Margate and Silver Lakes.

“The ‘Growing STEM’ program is an exciting new addition to magnet program options for students in Broward County.  The partnership with FAU’s College of Engineering and Computer Science will focus on developing high rigor STEM curriculum,” said Leona A. Miracola, innovative programs director of Broward County Public Schools. “In addition, the STEM curriculum will prepare students for post-secondary education opportunities for the 21st Century workplace.  We are so delighted to collaborate with FAU’s College of Engineering and Computer Science faculty and staff on the ‘Growing STEM’ magnet program.”

The College of Engineering and Computer Science also designed a two-week STEM Summer Student Academy, with challenging STEM project based learning experiences for 300 students from the participating schools. Five teachers from each of the BCPS were invited to participate in the program and co-teach with the FAU professors and students in order to strengthen their foundational knowledge of engineering principals.

Students worked on five different engineering projects that introduced civil, mechanical, electro-mechanical and robotic engineering concepts. They completed projects that emphasized solving real world problems and were challenged to work collaboratively, reach a consensus within time and material constraints, present their findings, and explain their decision making processes.

Projects included designing a solar boat, vehicle brakes, electric motors, robotic arm and bridges. Students completed the projects while working at the FAU Davie campus and toured FAU SeaTech in Dania Beach, The Institute for Ocean and Systems Engineering. Each project created opportunities to inspire students to reach beyond their knowledge, make discoveries through critical thinking, and adapt through innovation.

For more information, contact Cheryl Halle at 561-297-1399 or


About FAU's College of Engineering and Computer Science:
Florida Atlantic University's College of Engineering and Computer Science is committed to providing accessible and responsive programs of education and research recognized nationally for their high quality. Course offerings are presented on-campus, off-campus, and through distance learning in bioengineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, geomatics engineering, mechanical engineering and ocean engineering.  For more information about the college, please visit

Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 29,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For more information, visit

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