In the ever-evolving landscape of the 21st century, a strong foundation in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) is crucial for preparing students for the challenges and opportunities associated with these career fields. The Okaloosa County School District Career and Technical Education (CTE) Department has taken a bold step towards fostering the next generation of innovators by implementing the Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Python, and Data Science (AMPD) Elementary STEM program. "Okaloosa County's AMPD Elementary STEM program, with its specialized focus on Artificial Intelligence and Data Science, is a forward-thinking initiative that prepares students for the challenges and opportunities of the future job market. By aligning the curriculum with the current and projected needs of the local workforce, the program not only empowers students with essential skills but also nurtures a generation of problem-solvers and innovators who will contribute to the continued growth and success of Okaloosa County and beyond," stated Superintendent Marcus Chambers.   

This initiative aims to provide students with a solid academic foundation and inspire and propel them toward lucrative careers in these cutting-edge fields. The program seeks to align cross-curricular standards with project-based learning activities that bridge the gap between traditional learning strategies and the ever-evolving world of technology. Jerral Horton, Career and Technical Education Program Administrator stated, "One of the primary goals of the AMPD Elementary STEM program is to inspire students to pursue careers in fields that have a profound impact on the world. By introducing them to the exciting and dynamic realms of AI and Data Science, educators hope to ignite a passion for discovery and innovation." The lab is funded through a 5.7 million dollar grant by Triumph Gulf Coast and the Okaloosa County School District. 

The Okaloosa County School District invites its community partners and members of the media to a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Destin Elementary School to celebrate the STEM/AI Lab on Tuesday, February 27, at 630 Kelly Street, Destin. The ceremony begins promptly at 10:00 am; therefore, we ask those attending to arrive by 9:45 am. For those interested, RSVP to catherine.card@okaloosaschools.com.  

For more information about Career Technical Education, visit https://www.okaloosaschools.com/page/career-and-technical-education-programs.

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