Florida’s Top STEM Scholars Honored at Statewide Conference

The state’s highest-achieving eleventh grade STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) scholars from each school district were the focus at an annual recognition and recruitment event last month in Orlando. The two-day Sunshine State Scholars conference celebrates the accomplishments of Florida’s elite students and provides a unique venue for the state’s colleges and universities to recruit their talents.

2015 Sunshine State Scholars Group Pictures

“The Sunshine State Scholars of today are the leaders of tomorrow,” said Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart. “My congratulations to the scholars for their accomplishments and am confident they will lead Florida to new heights. I also want to thank their teachers for inspiring them toward success.”

“The Sunshine State Scholars program allows our brightest students to see the quality higher education opportunities available to them in Florida,” said Florida Education Foundation Chairman Dr. Stacy Carlson. “I applaud the scholars for their hard work and look forward to watching them lead Florida to an even brighter future.”

“We are proud to recognize these outstanding Sunshine State Scholars for their achievements” said Paul Luna, President and CEO of Helios Education Foundation. “Helios is founded on the belief that education is an investment and not an expense. We are proud to invest in Florida’s prosperous future through our collaborative partnership with the Florida Department of Education.”

As part of his 2015-2016 “KEEP FLORIDA WORKING” budget, Governor Rick Scott announced $1 million in proposed funding to partner with high-tech companies in Florida to create a paid summer residency program for STEM teachers to bring new industry trends in STEM fields back to Florida’s K-12 classrooms. In addition to the summer residency program, Governor Scott’s “KEEP FLORIDA WORKING” budget also proposes $30 million for a new workforce training initiative focused on STEM occupations and $5 million to incentivize state colleges to offer $10,000 STEM degrees.

Event sponsors of this year’s Sunshine State Scholars program include AT&T, Helios Education Foundation, Universal Orlando Resort, Blue Man Group Orlando, Atkins, Gulf Power Company, The Florida Lottery and Nestlé Waters North America.

For a list of the scholars, photos and more information about the event, visit Sunshine State Scholars.

To view a photo album of the event, visit https://m.flickr.com/#/photos/fldoe/sets/72157649889923989/.

About the Florida Education Foundation

The Florida Education foundation serves as the direct support organization for the Florida Department of Education. The Foundation promotes and supports academic excellence for pre-K through 12 grade students in Florida, and recognizes outstanding teachers and educational contributors, develops strategic alliances with business organizations, and advances statewide educational initiatives. For more information, visit Florida Education Foundation.

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