Designation Strengthens Connections, Allows for Florida Tech Visits, Speakers
MELBOURNE, FLA. — Orlando Science Schools was named a Panther Ambassador this week as a new program designed to strengthen connections between Florida Institute of Technology and STEM-oriented public schools in Orange County gets underway.
Retired Navy Capt. Winston Scott, Florida Tech’s senior vice president for external relations and economic development, spoke to students at the Ambassador ceremony.
The partnership between the two schools will encourage collaboration efforts, spark interest in STEM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, and help OSS high school students learn about STEM-based career opportunities.
“We are thrilled to be working with FIT to identify ways to connect our students with higher learning potential,” said Yalcin Akin, executive director of Orlando Science Schools, a public charter school in Orange County that serves grades K-12 and focuses on STEM education.
OSS is the first school to be selected to receive the Panther Ambassador honor from Florida Tech, known as “The STEM University.” The designation will leverage assets at both schools. Campus tours and presentations will provide OSS high school students with a broad understanding of career paths. In addition, competitions and camps will promote strong teamwork and increase students’ knowledge in specific skill sets.
“We were looking to establish a relationship with STEM-focused high schools and we saw a lot of synergies with Orlando Science Schools,” said Leslie Hielema, vice president of Florida Tech’s Orlando Center. “We want students to know that STEM-based jobs are exciting. It doesn’t mean you have to sit in a lab all day. These careers have amazing potential, and we are pleased that both OSS and Florida Tech will play such a key role in preparing young adults for jobs in this growing field.”