Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014
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Seminole County students test STEM skills in summer program at Seminole State

Students work together to build an unmanned aerial vehicle during the ATE 2014 Summer Program at Seminole State's Heathrow Campus.

More than 100 Seminole County high school students tested their STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills as part of the Advanced Technological Education (ATE) 2014 Summer Program June 2-6 at Seminole State College of Florida.

The program, funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), culminated with a UAV Challenge on June 6 at the College’s Heathrow Campus.

During the competition students worked in teams to operate the UAVs (or drones)through precise take off, landing, obstacle avoidance and wind compensation. The top pilots participated in a pizza-delivery challenge, where they flew the UAVs they built, with a pizza box in tow, to a specified location on campus.

Students in the program also learned the concepts of sustainable design, architecture and urban planning. Working in groups, the students developed building designs to incorporate into a completed site plan that focused on community connectivity and sustainable strategies. 

"This program exposes students to the latest technology and trends in the industry," says Jason Gaschel, director of academic innovation and emerging technology. "It’s also about workforce needs. We're preparing students to meet the growing demand for skilled workers in these fields."

Now in its second year, the ATE Summer Program, aims to create interest in STEM careers and showcases the latest developments in construction, engineering and architectural design. Through Seminole State’s dual enrollment program, students who participate earn college credit.

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