From the Executive Director's Desk

I’d like to recap some highlights from the High Impact Technology Exchange Conference (HI-TEC) in Orlando the last week of July. The HI-TEC conference was sponsored by 25 NSF ATE Centers of Excellence. This second, of what will be an annual event, was hosted by FLATE and SPACE TEC which are two National Science Foundation centers in Florida.

The conference offered several venues for networking and professional development. Over 70 Florida industry representatives and educators from high schools, state/community colleges, technical schools and universities attended the conference with almost 400 joining from across the country. From the “Welcome Florida Industry Panel Session” on Tuesday evening hosted by FLATE where industry brought their perspective to the audience of educators in both formal and informal venues, to the captivating keynote speakers living and working right here in Florida, FLATE and SPACE TEC worked hard to give the conference a strong Florida flavor.

Story Musgrave, astronaut, photographer, surgeon and more carried the audience into space and other amazing places with stunning photos taken by himself during his many flights and missions. Equally important, he reminded us all of the beauty and elegance of simple, functional designs in ordinary and extraordinary things. Duane DeFreese, another keynote speaker inspired and challenged us to mingle our minds with our magnificent oceans – from our beautiful coastlines to the deepest depths for explorations right here on our own planet. Both speakers inspired the audience to think outside the box, dare to dream, keep it simple, keep it clean, and keep both the past and the future in the equation of sustaining success. See you all next year at HI-TEC 2011 in San Francisco!

Please take a moment to enjoy the articles in the August edition of the Focus. Our special “making a difference” section highlights Lourdes Fleurima, FLATE Sr. Staff Assistant’s generosity and hard work to help the people of Haiti. Our hats and hearts off to her for organizing a considerable relief effort in the Tampa Bay area. Although the long-term recovery efforts from the earthquake, over six months ago, have barely begun the world’s news spot light has moved on. If you can help just let us know. Take a stab at this month’s Stem Puzzle (#10), and catch up on the status of biofuels in Florida!