Joley Abrams | Marketing
August 15, 2023
Niceville, FL —In today’s rapidly evolving world, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education has taken center stage, preparing students for careers that demand critical thinking, innovation, and problem-solving skills. Recognizing the significance of STEM education, Doolittle Institute STEM Outreach (DI STEM), in collaboration with the United Way Emerald Coast and Okaloosa and Walton County Title I Departments, recently embarked on an inspiring journey to help make a difference in critical first days of school for Title I in the local area. Through their joint efforts, they successfully provided 200 STEM kits, creating a ripple effect of positive change in the local community.
It’s often said that great things are achieved when like-minded individuals and organizations come together. DI STEM and United Way Emerald Coast exemplify this truth by combining their strengths to drive impactful change. The shared commitment to fostering education, curiosity, and hands-on learning has led to a remarkable partnership that amplifies their efforts.
The heart of this collaboration lies in the local “Stuff the Bus” initiative. On July 29th, DI STEM and other community partners participated in the annual “Stuff the Bus” event sponsored by Okaloosa County School District, Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation, and United Way Emerald Coast to gather school supplies for students in Okaloosa County. Over 23,000 school supplies totaling more than $35,000 were donated during the initiative.
In addition, DI STEM and a partner non-profit provided 200 STEM kits to Title I students at Meigs Middle School in Shalimar and Walton Middle School in DeFuniak Springs. Kits include (1) FIRST® Lego League Challenge model set from a previous season as well as information on how to join the FLL Challenge, (1) Diode Illumination card project kit, a Doolittle bookmark with Scientific Method, (1) electronic calculator, (1) set of headphones, and (1) Doolittle color changing pencil and sharpener. There was also information on Databot 2.0 classes, another DI STEM program. The kits serve as gateways to exploration, enabling students to delve into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Beyond learning about theoretical concepts, the kits encourage active engagement and experimentation, turning classrooms into vibrant hubs of curiosity.
Each kit is carefully curated to spark creativity and critical thinking. These items can help inspire students to ask questions, seek answers, and learn through experience. By nurturing this innate curiosity, the DI STEM and United Way Emerald Coast impart knowledge and instill a lifelong love for learning.
The impact of this collaboration goes beyond just fostering STEM education. The kits not only provide valuable learning opportunities but also include essential school supplies. In doing so, collaboration addresses a broader need – ensuring students have the tools they require for academic success. By recognizing the interconnectedness of education and access to resources, the initiative demonstrates a holistic approach to nurturing the potential of every student. “Partnering with fellow non-profits allows The Doolittle STEM Outreach team to engage with the local community in a way that builds better futures for generations to come. United We STEAM builds a bridge to allow more students to learn about and become involved in STEM and all it can offer for their future,” commented Jonathan Edwards, DI STEM Administrator.
The Doolittle Institute, a DEFENSEWERX Innovation hub, supports the Air Force Research Laboratory Munitions Directorate (AFRL/RW) in terms of the Partnership Intermediary Agreement (PIA), a contract between DEFENSEWERX and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), to license and commercialize AFRL/RW technologies in the private sector through technology transfer, identify and foster new R&D partnerships through innovation and collaboration, and develop today’s students into tomorrow’s STEM workforce.