Published On: Mon, May 12th, 2014

Florida elementary students bring LEGO robots to life, thanks to grant from Suncoast

PRESS RELEASE: Fourth and fifth graders at Leila Davis Elementary are bringing LEGO robots to life by participating in an evidence-based science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) program funded by a $10,000 grant from Suncoast Credit Union Foundation.

Over 40 students are working in small groups after school to design and build robots that will perform tasks such as a soccer player kicking a ball and an alligator snapping its jaws. Students are completing each prototype and comparing results to determine how fast and accurate the soccer player can kick the ball and how an alligator eats in the wild.

Laura Spence, STEM coordinator with Pinellas County Schools, established STEM initiatives district wide and utilized funding from Suncoast Credit Union Foundation to train three Leila Davis Elementary teachers on the LEGO We Do Robotics program.

“With the grant from Suncoast Credit Union Foundation, we were able to establish a STEM Academy at Leila Davis Elementary and provide our students with the opportunity to conduct hands-on STEM activities, learn about business design and interact with computer programming,” says Laura Spence, STEM coordinator with Pinellas County Schools. “It also allows our teachers to expand their skill set and work collectively with students on STEM initiatives.”

“We believe that hands-on learning and experimentation with STEM offers long-term benefits to students and the chance to explore new areas of technology,” says Mary Tlachac, executive director of Suncoast Credit Union Foundation.

About Suncoast Credit Union
Suncoast Credit Union is the largest credit union in the state of Florida, the ninth largest in the United States based on membership and the 15th largest in the United States based on its $5.5 billion in assets. Chartered in 1934 as Hillsborough County Teachers Credit Union, Suncoast Credit Union currently operates 54 full-service branches and serves more than 575,000 members in the following Florida counties: Charlotte, Citrus, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Sarasota and Sumter. For more information visit: suncoastcreditunion.com facebook.com/SuncoastCreditUnion or @SuncoastCU.

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