'Tis the Season

Dr. Marilyn Barger congratulates
FLATE Awardees at the
2011 MAF Summit.
Whoever can believe that it is December already. As we all scurry around sharing holiday festivities and fun, ‘tis the season to also squeeze in some time to review the year that is almost over and our plans/dreams for the one starting in just a couple of weeks.

FLATE spent some of this past year critically evaluating our accomplishments and analyzing stakeholder feedback as we focused time and energy on our proposal to NSF for renewed funding. We received great feedback from our stakeholder survey, and several focus groups during the year. Through this input, we have distilled two important stakeholder needs that we are addressing. First, FLATE’s help was requested by our industry partners in developing strategies for engaging with students and the education system . Second, we had significant requests for more professional development opportunities for teachers and educators.

We have begun to address the first need by developing an Outreach Kit for manufacturers. Starter “Made in Florida” outreach kits were distributed personally to many Regional Manufacturing Associations (RMA) at the recent Manufacturers Association of Florida (MAF) Summit and Global Marketplace in Orlando. (Kits which were not delivered personally will be arriving by Santa’s sleigh sometime next week with help from the USPS.) Since one size does not fit all, please remember that FLATE would be most happy to help individual RMAs and/or specific manufacturers customize their own materials.

Enclosed in each kit you will find:

• a “Made in Florida” DVD (video also available online: www.madeinflorida.org/why-manufacturing/

• stacks of Made in Florida postcards and our new “Hire an ET Grad” postcards to handout, or use however you see fit ( more available upon request)

• printed copies of our 2 FLATE Best Practice booklets:
  • 1-“Robotics Camp Survival Guide”
  • 2-“Middle & High School Field Trips to Florida High Technology Manufacturing Facilities”
• links to career and tech education directors and career academies on the Florida Department of Education website

• sample handouts we regularly use when presenting career options to students, or when taking student on tours of manufacturing facilities

• a FLATE flash drive that contains a copy of the outreach kit letter with embedded links plus two versions of a PowerPoint Presentation “Made in Florida – great careers are waiting for you!”
  • FLATE MadeInFlorida PPT 11-2011.pdf: Slide show for presentation, directions for use are on the first slide.
  • FLATE MadeInFlorida PPT Notes 11-2011.pdf: A notes version of the same presentation with each slide accompanied by some talking points on a page together to help you develop your own ideas about what to say to the students.
The industry outreach kit letter with embedded links is now the very first link on the “Made in Florida” industry portal/link: www.madeinflorida.org/industry. This “page” has been reorganized to host outreach materials for our stakeholders’ use and includes additional resources not specifically listed in the outreach kit letter that you might be interested in. As always, we are interested in your feedback, so please let us know if there are other tools you might be interested in, or if you would like to develop some customized materials, or if you would just like us to help you get started. Our goal is to lower the barriers between industry and education so we can provide our Florida students with first hand information about the great jobs, careers, and educational opportunities available for them in manufacturing in Florida.

Enjoy this last newsletter of 2011. This edition captures a story about the Technical Student Association at Lakewood Ranch High School, and how it has spurred students’ interest in STEM. This edition also highlights Gulf Coast State College’s mobile laboratory training kit as a cost-effect alternative to standard training methods, and discusses the FIRST robotics program in Florida, and underlines the role of national conferences, like the National Career Pathways Network conference, in serving as a platform for students to showcase local Career & Technical programs. The whole FLATE team wishes everyone a peaceful, restful and fun holiday. May all your days be bright!