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THE EDUCATION FOUNDATION OF INDIAN RIVER COUNTY Receives Grant from FPL for STEM Teacher Learning

STEM-focused teacher peer-to-peer learning opportunity

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Vero Beach, FL – (11/15/2019) –   The Consortium of Florida Education Foundations (CFEF) recently awarded the Education Foundation of Indian River County $5,050 for a Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) EmPOWERing STEM Educators grant for a STEM-focused teacher peer-to-peer learning opportunity. 

Gifford, Oslo, Sebastian and Storm Grove Middle School lead science teachers will come together with District Science and Instructional Technology Specialists to increase collaborative opportunities, encourage critical thinking, improve student achievement and enhance personal growth.  These 12 teachers will co-develop a blended learning platform including core science curriculum, technology and hands-on learning. Teachers will be led through a two-day workshop beginning in January allowing them to dive deep into this process and kickstart what will be invaluable to student achievement.  “We felt it was important to have one lead science teacher from each grade level at the four schools participate,” said Becky Teske, Science Specialist for Indian River County. “That way they will take all that they learn and develop back to their schools to share with every middle school science teacher in our county.”

The goal of the FPL program is to increase teacher knowledge of effective math and science instructional practices that align with Florida Standards through classroom-based, teacher-to-teacher learning of effective instructional strategies. 

“FPL is pleased to partner with CFEF to bring the EmPOWERing STEM Educators Program to school districts in Florida. The program will help teachers to improve their knowledge and continue to be the single most important factor to the success of students,” said Maureen Wilt, education program manager for FPL. “Supporting our local education system is one of the ways that FPL works with the communities we serve to make Florida an even better place to work and raise a family.”

Since 2010, the CFEF has administered hands-on, workplace-based STEM classroom learning experiences to increase student awareness and interest in STEM careers. These projects are managed at the school level through local education foundations that understand the needs and capacity of district schools and teachers and are able to target the funds for largest impact. In 2016 through 2018, the CFEF piloted 15 Peers in Public Practice projects supporting days of observable instruction for K-12 teachers to learn from their highly-effective peers in real-world, real-time classroom situations. 

As long-time partners with the CFEF, FPL observed the great outcomes from this pilot program and understood the CFEF’s capacity to implement impactful projects through their membership.   Together, they developed EmPOWERing STEM Educators to offer this type of professional development specific to math and science teachers throughout FPL’s service territory in six initiatives supported in the inaugural year.

“We were overwhelmed with the positive feedback from teachers in the first year of the program,” said Mary Chance, president of the CFEF.  “They were encouraged to try new instructional practices with the support of their peers and many developed ongoing supportive relationships with teachers in other schools.   Through this program FPL is demonstrating how much they value Florida’s teachers by providing the space and time for them to learn and grow together.”

For more information about the statewide program visit: https://educationfoundationsfl.org/partner-programs/fpl-empowering-stem-educators

About the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations

consortium of florida education foundations logoThe CFEF is the membership organization for Florida’s school district-wide local education foundations. Established in 1987, the CFEF maximizes the individual and collective strength of Florida local education foundations to support local partners and schools. The CFEF now has 64 member foundations with 1,100 business and community leaders serving as volunteer board members. Collectively, they raise more than $64 million annually to support students, teachers and schools through a variety of programs. The CFEF has provided nearly $52 million to local education foundations since 2002 through various private- and public-sector partnerships, including the State of Florida School District Education Foundation Matching Grants Program. For more information about the CFEF, visit: www.educationfoundationsfl.org 

About Florida Power & Light Company:

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Florida Power & Light Company is the third-largest electric utility in the United States, serving nearly 5 million customer accounts or an estimated 10 million+ people across nearly half of the state of Florida. FPL’s typical 1,000-kWh residential customer bill is approximately 30 percent lower than the latest national average and among the lowest in the U.S. FPL’s service reliability is better than 99.98 percent, and its highly fuel-efficient power plant fleet is one of the cleanest among all utilities nationwide. The company was recognized in 2017 as one of the most trusted U.S. electric utilities by Market Strategies International for the fourth consecutive year. A leading Florida employer with approximately 8,700 employees, FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Florida-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE), a clean energy company widely recognized for its efforts in sustainability, ethics and diversity, and has been ranked No. 1 in the electric and gas utilities industry in Fortune’s 2018 list of “World’s Most Admired Companies.” NextEra Energy is also the parent company of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, which, together with its affiliated entities, is the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun. For more information about NextEra Energy companies, visit these websites: www.NextEraEnergy.com, www.FPL.com, www.NextEraEnergyResources.com.