Florida Tech Launches STEM Initiative with Palm Bay Academy

Middle School Program with Emphasis on Chemistry Features Hands-On Experiments, Immersive Learning

MELBOURNE, FLA. — Florida Tech and Palm Bay Academy Middle School have announced a partnership funded by a National Science Foundation grant that seeks to foster interest in STEM education among middle school students.

The centerpiece of the partnership is the establishment of a monthly club led by Florida Tech’s Pavithra Pathirathna, an assistant professor of chemistry and recipient of the NSF grant who brings expertise in and passion for chemistry to the program, ensuring students receive strong guidance and exposure to the wonders of this vital scientific field.

Through hands-on experiments, interactive lessons and captivating demonstrations, the monthly club at Palm Bay Academy Middle School will provide students with an immersive learning experience that sparks curiosity and nurtures critical thinking skills. Pathirathna’s leadership will empower students to delve into the world of molecules, reactions and the fundamental principles that underpin our everyday lives.

“We are really excited to bring this experience to young learners,” Pathirathna, pictured left, said. “I know that Florida Tech and Palm Bay Academy Middle School are committed to inspiring a new generation of STEM leaders who will shape the future of scientific innovation.”

More than 50 students have already signed up for the club, which holds its first meeting Aug. 25. This innovative collaboration seeks to inspire young minds, cultivate in them a love for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and scientific exploration, and help prepare them to be the next generation of chemists and STEM leaders.

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