On Oct. 20, The First Tee of Central Florida launched a pilot STEM program for a class of 21 fifth graders from Whispering Oaks Elementary School in Winter Garden. This is the sixth STEM initiative of its kind among The First Tee programs nationwide.
Students went to Stoneybrook West Golf Club to participate in a half day of STEM activities at the course’s Ecology Study Area, where they studied botany as well as ornithology and herpetology. The curriculum was developed in conjunction with TEQGames and Universal Studios, which has a mission to make learning experiences as exciting as theme parks. The team’s diverse experience with local attractions companies provides a foundation for developing learning experiences that inspire and engage student audiences.
“Developing a STEM-based curriculum to deliver through The First Tee of Central Florida was really a natural next-step initiative given our ongoing engagement with youth throughout the region,” Thomas Lawrence, executive director for The First Tee of Central Florida, says. “It was very encouraging to see the students in our pilot program so engaged and hungry to learn, and it was educational even for adult members of the staff as we were able to learn the intricacies of the course we were on and the environment surrounding that course.”