Faith Christian Academy, a small private school in downtown Plant City, will now be able to offer its students some high-tech opportunities year-round, thanks to a grant provided by Hillsborough County Economic Development.
The $17,500 grant was provided through the Economic Development Innovation Initiative. It will allow FCA to purchase science equipment that will enrich its summer program, Summer Sizzle, specifically in support of the program’s addition, Science and Technology Boom.
EDI2 grants are awarded a few times a year. FCA and 19 other applicants were chosen to receive grants this April.
“The EDI2 Advisory Committee, which reviews all applications, found that Faith Christian Academy of Plant City’s proposed Tech Boom summer camp event scope was consistent with the EDI2 program’s goals of supporting growth and education in technology to empower the Hillsborough County community,” Crystal Pruitt, a spokeswoman for the county, said.
FCA will use the grant to purchase robotics equipment, iPads and other tech tools. These items will first be used during Summer Sizzle, but also in classrooms during the 2015-2016 school year and beyond. Ideally, students in fifth grade and up will have a rotational schedule that will allow them to have more time in classes that interest them the most, whether that is robotics, coding or another elective.
Some of the teachers on staff at FCA have degrees in IT or a strong background in science, which will allow them to teach these classes.
“That’s something that the school has been wanting to do, but now we’re able to do that in the summertime,” principal Nicole Williams said.
Children who attend Summer Sizzle will be able to participate in fitness activities such as martial arts and Zumba, as well as a number of field trips. But now that Tech Boom can flourish, STEM will be an emphasis, as well.
“They can expect to come in and learn all about technology. We will have robotics, we will have coding, we will have basic engineering,” Williams said. “They’ll definitely be hands-on with the coding and robotics.”
FCA put the EDI2 grant to work right away and had a small-scale Tech Boom during the school day, Thursday, April 23. The students rotated through stations, learning engineering and more.
When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, June 8 through July 31
Where: Faith Christian Academy, 301 N. Palmer St., Plant City
Cost: $100 per student, per week
Grades eligible: Kindergarten through eighth grade. Students from any school may participate.
Registration: $25 deposit is due May 15
Contact: (813) 704-2757, or firstname.lastname@example.org.