STEM from Dance Summer Camp at USF

The University of South Florida (USF) College of Engineering Mechanical Engineering Department, under the leadership of Dr. Nancy Diaz-Elsayed, hosted a 3-week summer STEM from Dance camp for middle school girls. The thirteen girls from around Hillsborough County attended the camp spending their mornings learning to code wearables in the mornings and their afternoons learning and practicing a variety of dance moves. 

Part of this national program is to have invited guest speakers talk to the girls about their STEM careers. Dr. Barger, FLATE Senior Educational Advisor, said that it was an honor to address the young STEM Dancers at USF and share their enthusiasm for all that they were learning.

The camp culminated with a dance production that showcases both what they have learned in dance and STEM. The STEM coding activities included programming strips of multicolor LED lights that ultimately be part of their “costumes” for the final performance as belts, hair decorations, tierras, and more! Be on the lookout for information about the 2023 STEM from Dance Summer camp at USF.

More information Stem from Dance can be found on their website:

MFG 2022: Celebrate Manufacturing Day October 7th or Any Day

Since 2012, Manufacturing Day/Month has grown across the nation with the goal of inspiring the future manufacturing workforce. Now celebrated all year long, the Florida Advanced Technological Education Center (FLATE), FloridaMakes and the Regional Manufacturers Associations (RMAs) provide support to our Manufacturers and our Educators to plan student tours and other events to showcase our manufacturing industry. Plan your event on Manufacturing Day, the 1st Friday in October, or any other day to introduce students to manufacturing and its many great careers.

You can participate in in October and all year with Florida's students! Event ideas include:
  • Plant tours, in-person or virtual
  • Community Events & Expos
  • Educational Fairs
  • Job Fairs
  • Competitions
  • Q&A Sessions with Manufacturers
Manufacturers and Educators interested in offering student tours or planning a custom event, reach out to your Regional Manufacturing Association (RMA). FLATE's Made in Florida website includes contact information for event coordinators and many other resources for promoting manufacturing careers and/or setting up your Manufacturing Month event. These are some of the resources available:
  • MFG 2022 Coordinator List: contact information for Educators/Manufacturers to coordinate an event (specific to your County)
  • Logos for Manufacturing Month (MFG 2022)
  • FLATE Resources
    • Best Practice Guide for Industry Tours
    • Student Presentation 'What is Manufacturing'
    • Student Flyer: Job Journey with Salary Information
    • Student Flyer: What is Manufacturing
    • Lesson Plans with supporting Materials
  • Adopt-a-School Guide
  • Manufacturing Institute Resources
    • Graphics and Social Media Copy
    • Virtual Video Shopfloor Tour Ideas
    • Creator Story Prompts
    • Link to Register your Event
  • Edgefactor Rock MFG Day Resources
    • Includes career video clips for students
Go to for all Manufacturing Month information. Resources will continue to be added as they become available.

FLATE Presents at 2022 HI-TEC Conference

Supported by the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education (NSF ATE) program, HI-TEC, the High Impact Technology Exchange Conference, is a national conference on advanced technological education where secondary and postsecondary educators, counselors, industry professionals, trade organizations, and technicians can update their knowledge and skills. Charged with preparing America’s skilled technical workforce, the event focuses on the preparation needed by the existing and future workforce for companies in the high-tech sectors that drive our nation’s economy.  FLATE gave three presentations at the 2022 HI-TEC Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, July 25-28:
  • Women’s Perceptions of Problem-Solving In a Virtual Learning Environment
  • CTE Graduate Trends by Program Visualized Instantly!
  • Integrating Industry 4.0 into Manufacturing Technician Curriculum.

Ernie Friend, Executive Director of FLATE, along with Dr. Kimberly T. Luthi, Faculty, at the College of Aeronautics, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide, and Dr. Angelicque Tucker Blackmon, CEO and Chief Inspiration Officer, Director of Research & Evaluation at Innovative Learning Center presented on the study of Women’sPerceptions of Problem-Solving In a Virtual Learning Environment. Virtual learning opportunities in computing and information technology courses are designed to facilitate the development of critical thinking skills, positive learning outcomes, and increased problem-solving abilities. However, before engaging students in activities to increase their problem-solving skills, the research team needed to understand the influence of virtual courses on students’ problem-solving perceptions since perceptions influence performance.

This study is an analysis of women’s perceptions of their problem-solving confidence, style, and personal control before and after their participation in online courses. The leading hypothesis for this study is: based on access to self-paced online learning environments, women students who completed the participate in supported network and information technology courses will demonstrate increases in their perceptions of problem-solving confidence and personal control and demonstrate decreases in problem-solving avoidance. The presentation was well received by the audience in attendance with many questions and comments during and after the event.

Dr. Marilyn Barger, FLATE's Senior Education Advisor, also gave these presentations at the 2022 HI-TEC Conference:  

  • CTE Graduate Trends by Program Visualized Instantly! This presentation presented and demonstrated the new, free CTE Graduates tracking app developed by the Hidden Innovation Infrastructure NSF project at Rutgers Education and Employment Research Center.  Dr. Barger serves as co-PI for this project.  The attendees of this session had time to try the app and provide feedback about the functionality and data output. The new data tool, which will support the research of the NSF ATE project will hopefully support many community college workforce programs.
  • Integrating Industry 4.0 into Manufacturing Technician Curriculum.  This presentation looked back at the data output of the FLATE NSF Conference Grant to determine the skills gap between what skills manufacturers anticipated that they would need in the near future and what educators thought their 2-year graduates would need. With the gaps in hand, the presentation examined the curriculum frameworks to define gaps in the current curriculum as well as the appropriate places in the program to integrated the missing skills.

FACTE Annual Conference & Trade Show -Fostering Excellence in CTE Education Professional Learning Opportunities

Every year FLATE partners with organizations such as the Florida Association for the Career and Technical Education (FACTE), the Florida Association of Industrial Technical Education (FAITE), and the Florida Career Pathways Network (FCPN), to support and provide top-quality professional learning opportunities, educational resources, and share best practices for career and technical (CTE) educators in Florida.

The 56th FACTE annual conference and trade show, held July 18-20, 2022 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, was a success, hosting approximately 600 participants, 43 vendors, and more than 122 parallel sessions representing all areas of CTE education. The trade show and sessions were filled with opportunities for networking, sharing best practices, and building relationships among CTE educators and administrators around the state.

FLATE had the opportunity to help plan, coordinate, and present during the pre-conference activities, division meetings, and conference’s multi-sessions.

The July 18th pre-conference activities with FAITE included a tour of the Automation and technology programs at the Florida State College of Jacksonville (FSCJ) and TNT manufacturing concrete company where participants had the chance to experience a closer look at the latest innovative laboratories, applied technology programs, potential career paths, and skills required for today’s hi-tech job positions.

July 19-20, the conference’s sessions, in partnership with FLATE, included SolidWorks CAPE certification and additive manufacturing, building STEM pipelines through summer camps, FDOE engineering and manufacturing/technology education cluster updates, and drones in education.

FLATE’s most popular and well-attended presentations included the FLATE 2022 Best Practice Award Winners Panel,where award winners shared their experiences, best practices, and significant contributions in support of STEM, engineering technology, and industrial/manufacturing education in Florida. Click here to watch the recording.

From left to right:

Michael Shaluly-Distinguished Manufacturing Partner Service Award.

Cecilia Larsson- Distinguished Manufacturing Post-Secondary Educator-of-the-Year Award

Ed Fry- Distinguished Manufacturing Secondary Educator-of-the-Year Award.


On July 20, the 2022 FLATE Award winners were recognized during the FACTE Annual awards brunch.

As part of the Florida Careers Network (FCPN) strand, FLATE shared the “future of work: a framework for a cross-disciplinary STEM core” skills that define several emerging skills related to the implementation of industry 4.0 and the

“process of designing and developing an integrated engineering and mathematics curriculum for elementary school”.

 Professional development opportunities are posted on our FLATE wiki site.  You can always check there for additional updates by clicking on the Professional development icon as well as explore any previous workshops and PD events offered by FLATE and its partners. 

Thank you so much to the FACTE team for such a great event and for hosting FLATE Awards. FLATE will continue to partner with FACTE, FAITE, and FCPN to represent CTE at the local and state level, provide professional development, and support CTE education for Florida students, teachers, and business partners.