Projects We Support
Projects We Support
Many committed individuals, businesses, and organizations have contributed time and money to support the Pasco Education Foundation, enabling us to disburse nearly $1,000,000 each year to fund creative teaching grants, scholarships, awards, program support, staff development, and educational materials to the students and staff of Pasco County Schools. Some of the amazing programs funded include those featured below.
Pasco County Energy and Marine Center
Pasco County has a great resource at our fingertips – the Energy and Marine Science Center (EMC). The EMC is located on a coastal hammock on the Salt Springs Run Estuary in Port Richey. This facility is ideal for research involving coastal ecology, wetlands, marshlands, and estuarine environments. Currently, all elementary students visit the Energy and Marine Center to study the importance of the marine and estuarine environments first hand. This year the Foundation is helping to support a new STEM lab at the EMC, as well as support the PEACE Camp over the summer. Students also visit other supported locations in the county on field trips throughout the year – Cross Bar Environmental Center and the Starkey Environmental Education Center.
Teacher Leadership Academy
The Teacher Leadership Academy is an innovative model of teacher leader preparation to drive the curriculum for advanced credentials taught by a team of school district personnel and award-winning University of South Florida faculty. This partnership is leading the country in innovative collaboration that transforms teacher professional learning, USF graduate education, and teacher turnover. Recruiting and retaining high-quality teachers has become a top priority. This innovative Pasco Schools/USF partnership is developed across three feeder patterns of elementary-middle-high schools starting with recruiting high school students into teaching, preparing future teachers, developing teachers as leaders, enhancing administrator learning, and closing the loop from high school to college and back to the local community.
The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program allowed students to design and propose real science experiments to be conducted by astronauts on the International Space Station. Students designed experiments in diverse fields, including seed germination, physiology and life cycles of microorganisms (e.g. bacteria), cell biology and growth, food studies, and studies of micro-aquatic life. Students also had the opportunity to design a Mission patch that will go to the Space Station, and then be returned with an embossed certification stating that it flew in space. Mission 14 is expected to launch from Cape Canaveral in late Spring 2020.
Aquaponics at Wendell Krinn Technical High School
Wendell Krinn Technical High School’s trade programs like robotics, electrical, commercial arts, and auto mechanics are all coming together to build an Aquaponics Farming System, featuring multiple fish tanks, a clarifier and biofilter, flood trays, and grow towers. Located adjacent to the high school cafeteria where the entire student body can view it daily, having an aquaponics system at the school will be invaluable to all of the core subjects for years to come. Not only will building this project be inclusive of the students and programs but so will the lasting impact. The science, math, history, and English/language arts curriculums will all benefit from having this hands-on system on campus.
Robotics at River Ridge High School and Wendell Krinn Technical High School
The Robotics teams at River Ridge High School and Wendell Krinn Technical High School are becoming our next-generation science and technology leaders. These student groups build high-level robots throughout the year and bring them to international competitions. Both teams excel in outreach and in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering and STEM programs.