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Florida Gulf Coast University

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Whitaker Center

Whitaker Outreach


 SRO (Student Research Opportunity)

For over a decade, the Whitaker Center for STEM Education has sponsored a two week event for middle school students interested in STEM. These students must has participated in the Thomas Alva Edision Regional Science Fair. They must prepare an application and are the selected to participate in a Summer Research Opportunity at Florida Gulf Coast University offering them a hands-on experience of collaboration on a complete and genuine research problem from hypothesis generation and initial design, through field and laboratory data collection, and culminating in data analysis and interpretation. 

The program is staffed by FGCU faculty, Graduate Student Assistants, and local teachers. Applications will be available January 2014.

For additional details contact Shirley Morrison at


FGCU Campus Nature Walks

The Whitaker Center can coordinate nature walks through campus with an FGCU naturalist for school groups interested in visiting the campus.  Contact our office to arrange a visit.

GEMS - Girls in Engineering Math & Science

This program provides hands-on experiences with science & engineering professionals in an exploration of the wonders of science. GEMS is supported by the Florida Space Grant Consortium. For more information on dates for activities contact

Aquatic Systems / Mosquito Education

The Aquatic Systems / Mosquito Education program is a cooperative effort between the Whitaker Center, Lee County Mosquito Control District, and the Lee County School District. It provided STEM outreach to over 500 classes in the school district reaching over 12,000 students. Programs are conducted in collaboration with classroom teachers and are designed for students in kindergarten, 5th grade, 7th grade, and high school chemistry and biology classes. These environmental science programs support Florida's Next Generation Sunshine State Standards in a variety of areas. Films, readings, slide programs, discussions, art activities and lab experiences are utilized to teach the objectives of each unit. For more information or to schedule a visit, see


STEM Institute Teacher Workshops

In cooperation with the Conservancy of SW FL, the Whitaker Center offers week-long Summer Teacher workshop sessions for K-12 faculty centered on empowering teachers to develop inquiry-based pedagogy that works for their classroom. These workshops facilitate the integration of STEM  disciplines within the conservancy themes and offer teachers hands on experience integrating technology and the great outdoors into their activities. Information for teachers will be available Spring 2014 for this opportunity.