By Twanna Scroggins, Foundation for Orange County Public Schools

Join Team Orlando and our modeling and simulation industry partners across the region as we participate in Teach-In on November 19, 2014. Each year, in celebration of American Education Week, the Foundation for Orange County Public Schools brings business and civic leaders into the classrooms — in a fun and engaging way — to talk with students about academics, careers and the future. This year, Team Orlando is counting on the support from our M&S industry professionals to help make Teach-In 2014 a success. So don’t delay in signing up; it takes as little as one hour of your time.

Students at Liberty Middle School test piloting the Serious Games candidate Dragonbox Algebra 12+, which went on to win the Students' Choice award.

Students at Liberty Middle School test piloting the Serious Games candidate Dragonbox Algebra 12+, which went on to win the Students’ Choice award.

“Teach-In is a great opportunity for modeling and simulation professionals to drum up excitement in technology by spending an hour with students exploring the really cool things we design, build and test,” said Benn Aaronson, Team Orlando STEM Advocate. “We want them to know it’s not only cool, but you can make money in technology too.”

“This is an opportunity to give back to the community by sharing your real world knowledge with students, and personally, I found the Teach-In experience very rewarding, and look forward to being back in the classroom this year,” Aaronson said.

What the Teach-In participants bring to the classes varies in many ways. Some participants present the Serious Games Students’ Choice Award game submissions, others explain missile system simulations, while some simply underscore the importance of coding. Some of the Teach-In volunteers involve entire middle school classes in demonstrations of scientific equipment, and some choose to read a STEM-based picture book to a group of kindergartners.

If you’d like to move beyond STEM topics for your presentation, you could read a book; share an educational or career experience; talk about a favorite vacation, hobby, or how a special teacher touched your life. Whatever your skills, no matter your topic, there is a classroom of students waiting to hear from you! To get matched with the appropriate grade and classroom(s), please register to serve as a speaker and someone from the Foundation will contact you soon.

“Teach-In is a fantastic opportunity to connect with our community,” said Kent Gritton, JTIEC Director. “I believe we have an obligation to give back to our community and to take advantage of mentoring opportunities wherever and whenever they appear. Teach-In is one such opportunity that provides maximum benefits to all in a concentrated block of time. In short, it is an extremely rewarding experience.”

To register to be a “Teacher for a Day” during Teach-In 2014, contact your school of choice directly or go to the Foundation for Orange County Public School’s webpage and complete the online registration form today. The Foundation for Orange County Public Schools can assist in matching you to the school or school area of your choice, and you will be contacted directly by the school’s Teach-In coordinator regarding your assignment.

The earlier you register, the better your chance to be placed at the school of your choice. The registration deadline is Friday, October 31, 2014, unless another date is specified by the individual school.

For more information, email Twanna Scroggins, Teach-In Coordinator at the Foundation for Orange County Public Schools or call 407-317-3261.

Editor’s Note: Seminole County’s Teach-In 2014 is scheduled for November 18. For more information, please contact or call 407-320-0178.

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