News & Announcements

FAMU, Chevron Corporation, and Fab Foundation create Fab Labs at FAMU DRS

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Florida A&M University reported on Wednesday that the school has joined a partnership with the Chevron Corporation and the Fab Foundation to create a digital fabrication lab at FAMU Development Research School (DRS) for the Tallahassee community.
According to their press release, fab labs are designed to foster student innovation, learning and invention: a place to play, to create, to learn, to mentor and to invent.
Fab labs, with their suite of digital fabrication tools and prototyping machines — including laser cutters, 3-D printers, vinyl cutters and milling machines — are inspiring young people across the United States, to learn about science, technology, engineering, and math.
“Chevron is proud to expand our partnerships with the Fab Foundation and FAMU,” said Melissa Rosenblatt, Chevron social investment manager.

“This partnership supports our overall $15 million racial equity initiative, and we believe that education is a critical pathway to achieving social equity and enabling human progress. The fab lab will also directly respond to the community’s desire to expose young people to the latest STEM tools and technology, sparking their curiosity and informing their future education and career pathways. Advancing social equity aligns with our core values and building a strong pipeline of diverse talent in in STEM isn’t a luxury, it is imperative to our business.”
FAMU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Maurice Edington, Ph.D., said the Chevron initiative is an investment in student success for generations to come.
“The fab lab allows students to study, design, interpret and implement their own creations. It’s a space that fosters critical thinking skills,” Edington said. “These students are our future engineers, scientists, designers, architects, artists and teachers.”
The Fab Foundation is a U.S. non-profit organization that emerged from the Massachusetts Institution of Technology’s Center for Bits & Atoms. Its mission is to provide access to the tools, the knowledge, and the financial means to educate, innovate and invent using technology and digital fabrication to allow anyone to make (almost) anything, and thereby creating opportunities to improve lives and livelihoods around the world.

Since, 2014, the Fab Foundation has partnered with Chevron and launched fab labs across the U.S to support STEM education, said Sonya Pryor-Jones, Fab Foundation vice president, chief strategy officer.
“We are excited to continue this partnership and support Chevron’s HBCU Social Equity project. This new project will expand our work together with the intention to provide access to advanced technologies and create more equity in STEM,” Pryor Jones said. “We hope to complement the rich history and commitment of HBCUs to serve the educational needs of Black Americans and together accelerate opportunities for African American students in STEM and digital fabrication.”
The partnership between FAMU and Chevron dates back 11 years, says the press release. The Fab Lab announcement comes as FAMU DRS is experiencing record enrollment for the first time in more than a decade and there’s a waiting list of students trying to get in.
“This is truly groundbreaking for our students at the College of Education and FAMU DRS. We are committed to our partnership in this holistic K-20 approach,” said FAMU DRS Superintendent Micheal Johnson. “This will level the field in STEM for all students and provide real application opportunities.”

College of Education Dean Allyson Watson, Ph.D., said the partnership will provide the impetus for a life-changing impact in the Tallahassee community.
“We are ecstatic to work collaboratively with Chevron to bring innovative solutions for children in our region and across the state. Our goal to promote STEM discovery, and ultimately STEM careers, is at the forefront of this project,” said Watson. “We see the Chevron FabLab Network as a unique opportunity to increase awareness, experiential learning and develop necessary skills that lead to overall achievement and STEM integration.”
Chevron-supported fab labs include facilities in: Bakersfield, Richmond and Santa Clara, California; New Orleans, Louisiana; Pascagoula, Mississippi; Houston and Odessa/Midland, Texas; and Washington, D.C.
These labs have served more than 50,000 people so far.

By Thomas Brown
Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 8:10 PM EDT |
Copyright 2021 WCTV. All rights reserved.

NASA Administrator Senator Bill Nelson Encourages FAMU DRS Students to Consider Space Exploration

Last week, Florida A&M University (FAMU) and Florida State University (FSU) welcomed NASA Administrator Bill Nelson to the Challenger Learning Center of Tallahassee—the K-12 outreach facility for the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering.


Nelson joined FAMU President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., and FSU President Richard McCullough, Ph.D., for a tour and spoke with engineering students about their research, encouraged FAMU Developmental Research School's (DRS) students to learn about space, discussed his time as an astronaut, and shared NASA’s goals for the future.


FAMU and FSU, along with the University of Central Florida, the Air Force Research Laboratory, and four NASA centers, are partners on a FAMU-led project to recruit more underrepresented minorities to pursue careers in aerospace engineering and give them hands-on training and experience. The project is funded by a $1.2 million grant from NASA.


“NASA is a 21st-century agency with 22nd-century goals,” Nelson said. “To be successful, it’s critical that NASA engages a diverse group of voices and partners because diversity ensures multiple viewpoints, new ways of thinking, and solutions to problems once thought unsolvable. NASA’s Minority University Research and Education Project—and our partnership with the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering—is just one, critical way the agency is working to open doors for students across the country.”


In 1986, Nelson traveled to space as a payload specialist aboard the space shuttle Columbia. During his visit to Tallahassee, he recounted some of the challenges of spaceflight, and he provided insight on NASA’s Artemis mission, which will return astronauts to the moon and explore more of the lunar surface.


“Bill Nelson is a wonderful advocate for NASA’s mission, and he spoke about the space workforce of the future looking much more like America than in the past,” said J. Murray Gibson, Ph.D., dean of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering. “The uniqueness of our college is that we...are especially suited to deliver a more diverse, highly trained workforce. Our unique combination of research and diversity is the key thing.”

FAMU School of Architecture Engineering Technology Partners with FAMU DRS Gifted Program

On September 9, 2021, Mr. Stacy Tinner, Outreach Coordinator and Recruiter for the School of Architecture Engineering Technology (SAET), presented Ms. Bettye “Nikie” Lindsey, Gifted Coordinator, with a drone, solid fuel rocket kits, solar car kits and drag racer kits for the Gifted Students here at FAMU DRS.  SAET has formed a partnership with the Gifted Program to provide support with rigorous, thought provoking, hands-on activities with the hope of creating a pathway to Florida A&M University with interests in Architecture, Construction and Electronic Engineering Technology.

Mr. Tinner stated, “I am very excited about this partnership and I hope it serves as a catalyst, not only to FAMU DRS Students, but to students locally, nationally, and internationally bringing awareness of the School of Architecture Engineering Technology and what it has to offer currently and for the future.” 

Mr. Tinner and Ms. Lindsey both hopes that the students from FAMU will capitalize on the community service opportunity, volunteer opportunity, as well as the opportunity to make a difference in a young student’s life by bringing awareness of college life and a career that focuses on STEM.  Their hopes for DRS Gifted students are that they experience the excitement of project base learning activities that provide students with a rigorous, high-quality experience that readies them to successfully traverse the next level of educational challenges in a selective university.

The Gifted students, with the guidance of Mr. Tinner, have already began the process of building their own personal solid fuel rockets and will announce the official launch date soon.

FAMU DRS Scholars Partcipate in Physics Program

Four DRS Students, Cell Phones and Physics
By Willie Williams & Sylvester Peck, Sr.
September 9, 2021

This summer, four students from FAMU DRS, Chaela Green, Amani Hankins, Vaniah Cunningham and Christopher Osborne, along Mr. Willie Williams, FAMU DRS Physics Instructor, worked with Senior Scientist, Dave Rakestraw, and Dr. Ronald Williams, a 1964 FAMU High graduate and a professor of Physics at Florida A&M University, on a revolutionary new approach in exploring, learning, and teaching physics. The program participants included an Adjunct Professor, graduate students, college physics students from across the country.

During the program, participants were able to apply advances in applied physics, such as microelectronics and digital communications and learn how these innovations have dramatically changed our daily lives: instant communication, sharing of images/video, navigation, access to vast amounts of information, and entertainment. They also learned how these remarkable technologies can be used in teaching and learning physics. Ronald Williams, Ph.D., stated that together we had an opportunity to make a dramatic impact in physics education and hence provide a great benefit to how we teach physics to students and educate the future of our society.

Florida A&M University Developmental Research School is a population of study and provides opportunities for research collaborations. The students who participated in this program received a stipend of $1800.00. According to participant Amani Hankins, we learned a lot and the program was very rewarding and I am looking forward to next summer’s program. Instructor Williams stated that he has several students already asking about the next program.

This work was supported by grant DE-NA0003866 of the Minority Serving Institutions Partnership Program titled Consortium for High Energy Density Science.

Congratulations, Coach Williams and Coach Cromartie, FAMU DRS Athletic Director & Assistant Athletic Director!

FAMU DRS Recognized as Floyd E. Lay Sunshine Cup All-Sports Award Winner!
Congratulations to Coach, Willie Williams, FAMU DRS Athletic Director and Coach Ericka Cromartie, FAMU DRS Assistant Athletic Director. The FAMU DRS Athletic Department has been recognized for its outstanding accomplishments by the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA). The FAMU High Athletic Department has been awarded the Floyd E. Lay Sunshine Cup All-Sports Award for 2A, beating out all other 2A schools and districts in the state of Florida. Congratulations to the entire FAMU High Athletic Department, all of the coaches, and, most importantly, all of the student athletes. _____

The Floyd E. Lay Sunshine Cup All-Sports Awards are presented by the Florida High School Athletic Association. Points are awarded to a school based on its finish in FHSAA State Series competition in each sport in the classification in which it has been assigned to compete. The results are in and the points have been totaled for the 2020-21 school year. Congratulations to Plant (7A), Ponte Vedra (6A), American Heritage Plantation (5A), Bolles (4A), First Academy (3A), FAMU DRS (2A), and Baker (1A) for being overall classifications winners!

The completed standings breakdown as follows:

Overall Winners and Standings
Girls Overall Winners and Standings
Boys Overall Winners and Standings

FCRR Donates Literacy Station

This week, the Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR), provided a research-based literacy station for students, parents, and families to engage in early literacy lessons. Dr. Nicole Patton Terry, FCRR Director, and her team presented the station at the FAMU DRS Elementary School to Principal Genleah Swain, fifth-grade teacher, Ms. Leah Coleman, and Dean Allyson Watson.
Pictured: Mr. Jamie Elliott (FCRR Research Associate), Ms. Nicole Patton Terry (FCRR Director), Principal Genleah Swain (FAMU DRS Elementary School), Ms. Leah Coleman (FAMU DRS 2020-21 Teacher of the Year), Dean Allyson Watson (FAMU College of Education)

FAMU DRS Teacher of the Year, Mr. Alejandro Gonzalez

Congratulations to our FAMU DRS 2022 Teacher of the Year, Mr. Alejandro Gonzalez. Mr. Gonzalez, affectionately known as "Mr. G.," is a Career and Technical Education instructor at FAMU DRS whose creative ideas and unique teaching style help students stay engaged, inquisitive, and successful. Congratulations, Mr. G.!!
Pictured at the 2022 Florida Teacher of the Year Gala: Mr. Gonzalez (father), Mr. Alejandro Gonzalez, Dr. Vivian Wilson, Mrs. Gonzalez (mother)

Accepting Applications

We are now accepting enrollment/admissions applications for all grade levels for the 2021-2022 school year.

School Supply Lists 2021-2022

The school supply lists for 2021-2022 are now available. Click on the article heading to view the lists or contact your school administrator for additional information.
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