Executive Director’s Call to Recognize “The Heroes of Manufacturing”

“Great job” is a phrase all of us like to hear. Kids need to hear it in school when they master new concepts, athletes thrive on it, and scholars revel in being acknowledged for their accomplishments. Closer to home, all of us like to be recognized for our contributions to our work teams’ accomplishments, and teachers like to be recognized for the hard work they do every day educating our youth. One important (and rewarding) aspect of our “Made in Florida” outreach effort is our FLATE awards program. It is part of our multi-pronged approach to raising manufacturing’s visibility in Florida, and celebrating its value to our state’s economy.

2011 is the fifth year FLATE has offered its Education Awards program. Each year, one secondary (7-12) educator and one post-secondary (technical school or community/state college) educator is named as the “Manufacturing Educator of Year” in each of these two categories. A third FLATE award recognizes an industry partner who has strongly supported his or her local educational institution(s). The FLATE industry Partner award honors individuals working in industry who give time, talent, resources, expertise, and/or other efforts to his or her local technical program that supports any aspect of manufacturing business sectors. All three award winners are recognized at the Manufacturers’ Association of Florida (MAF) Presidents Banquet during their annual Summit and Global Marketplace. Winners are announced in early October. All winners are brought to the MAF Summit in Orlando for the banquet, and receive a recognition piece and thanks from our industry sponsors.

In today’s uncertain times, it’s more important than ever to recognize those educators who are doing more than required for their students. There are educators everywhere who are enriching students’ lives and education with meaningful experiences in and outside of their classroom beyond what they have to do. We all know they are continuing to do these things with less support than they have had in the past. Please help us recognize these special people!

Nominations for FLATE’s educator of the year award and industry partner award can be done easily either online, or on a downloadable form. The questions are short and to the point. The whole process takes fewer than 15 minutes. Nominations for the 2011 awards program are open through August 31; winners are chosen by our industry advisory committee and are announced in early October. Please take a few moments to nominate an educator or industry partner you know who deserves recognition. (http://fl-ate.org/projects/awards.html)

The longest day has come and gone and summer is nearly half over. FLATE has been very busy with our summer robotics camps program and a lot of sector specific, content based professional development for teachers and faculty. Read all about it in this month’s FLATE Focus. And, for the 20th time, don’t forget the sTEm puzzle – which marks nearly 2 years of FLATE’s continued focus on the importance of integrating science, technology, engineering, and math and trying not to let the four individual disciplines wander off on their own.