Just in time for the season of giving, the Suncoast Science Center/Faulhaber Fab Lab (Fab Lab) was awarded a two-year $20,000 grant from the Koski Family Foundation. The grant will help expand Fab Lab’s Student Planning & Education Committee (SPEC) program and Student Initiative for Donor Engagement (SIDE). SPEC empowers high school students to build technical and life skills as they develop and teach Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) classes and camps.
“The SPEC program provides a platform for high school students–like me–to gain essential skills in leadership and communication,” shared SPEC graduate Diego Morales. “Through SPEC, I found my voice and a way to use it as a benefit to others, something which has left behind a positive mark on myself and how I hope to impact the future communities I encounter throughout my life.”
Through fun, hands on programming in coding, robotics, biology, electrical engineering, design, and much more, student instructors and participants explore new interests, build lasting relationships and deepen their love of learning. The grant will be pivotal as SPEC instructors and lab staff work to double the number of camp openings in summer 2023.
“Supporting the Suncoast Science Center is a pleasure,” added Thomas Koski, Koski Family Foundation president. “It is great watching the students STEAM ahead!”
In addition to the SPEC program, the funds will support the Fab Lab’s new student fundraising initiative, SIDE. SIDE students are highly engaged volunteers who participate in various Fab Lab programs and, as such, provide donors with unique insight into the impact of the organization. With guidance from local fundraising experts, SIDE students assist with writing donor proposals, meeting with donors, identifying innovative ways to bring in new donors and much more. As with all Fab Lab programs, the goal of SIDE is to provide a real-world learning opportunity for students to build skills that will serve them in future pursuits.