Innovation Generation grant for Education Foundation

Matt Blakely, director of the Motorola Solutions Foundation, announced to local Historic City News reporters in St Augustine that through an “Innovation Generation” grant, over 70 students from Nease and Pedro Menendez High School’s will have the opportunity to learn and apply science, technology, engineering and math skills beyond the classroom.

Motorola Solutions Foundation, the charitable arm of Motorola Solutions Inc., provided $50,000 to challenge Florida’s district-wide local education foundations to inspire students through projects designed to help them solve real-world problems this school year through a grant to the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations.

St. Johns County Education Foundation’s project was one of 11 chosen to receive $4,750 through a competitive judging process with 20 proposed projects, which were reviewed and scored by a panel of science, technology, engineering and math industry professionals.

The St. Johns Housing Partnership purchased a 60 unit subsidized apartment complex, Southern Villas, in 2009 for low-income seniors and those with disabilities.

The grant will be used to renovate the complex and make it more energy efficient. Modifications will also be made to provide senior residents with increased independence, so they can stay in the complex longer.

Nease High School engineering students will be involved in the design phase of renovation. Students in Pedro Menendez’s masonry program will work on the sidewalks, ensuring they are up to code, but also are wheelchair accessible.

Other students from both schools will be involved with painting, installations, repairs and other smaller projects around the complex.

The project is expected to be complete in May.

“The future of American innovation depends on a diverse pipeline of critical thinkers who are well versed in science, technology, engineering and math principles,” Blakely said. “Through the Innovation Generation program, we are thrilled to partner with programs like Consortium of Florida Education Foundations, and their member education foundations, to provide students and teachers with the necessary tools to explore their science, technology, engineering and math interests and pursue innovation.”

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