STEM Scholars

Welcome to the HEC STEM Scholars Page!

Recognizing the need for small and rural districts to enhance science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) curricula for gifted and talented secondary students, Heartland Educational Consortium (HEC) will continue to offer the STEM Scholars Program through district funding. This program includes innovation to make more rigorous STEM courses available, STEM Forums and Summer Challenges led by university staff and STEM professionals, increased opportunities for real-world STEM problem-solving and research, and academic and career guidance.

Heartland Educational Consortium consists of six small rural school districts in central Florida: DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, and Okeechobee counties. The information on this page and on the links above are for our STEM Scholar students from our ten participating high schools.

News and Upcoming Events

NEW Google Classroom

  • There is a new Google Classroom class - "Heartland STEM Scholars 20-21" to join. Please see your Mentor Teacher for the class join code. Most information regarding students, family nights, forums, etc. will be posted in the Classroom, so please make sure you join as soon as possible.

STEM Family Nights

  • 2020-2021 Fall Family Nights were held in October, we will be posting one of the recordings in Google Classroom for parents who missed them.

  • Spring Family Nights will be scheduled soon.

STEM Forums

Our 2020-2021 Fall STEM Forums will look different. We are starting the year planning forums that will be held locally for each school with no out-of-county travel. Our forums in the second semester will depend on the current district and CDC policies.

  • Materials that will be used for activities will be distributed to each school and Mentor Teacher prior to the day, with some instructions and common activities being delivered virtually by the college or university. Students must follow HEC STEM Scholars safety protocols during our activities.

  • November 14 - FGCU

  • December 5 - SFSC

Our 2020-2021 Spring STEM Forums are being scheduled, we are planning on traveling to our partnering colleges, universities, and community partners, with the understanding that plans may need to be revised depending on current conditions.

  • January 23 - CSI Day with Highlands County Sheriff's Office, held at Heartland Educational Consortium

  • February 27 - Florida SouthWestern State College: Students will be at the main Ft. Myers campus, and can choose from either STEAM Explorations or Health Professions

  • March 27 - Florida Polytechnic: This will be like our fall forums, each school will hold the forum on their campus with materials and instruction from Florida Poly

  • April 17 - Sun n' Fun Lakeland: We will be attending the Aviation Expo in Lakeland for the day

STEM Summer Challenges

  • Florida SouthWestern State College: Health Professions, tentatively scheduled for June 13 through June 18, applications coming soon

  • Florida Gulf Coast University: Engineering, tentatively scheduled for either July 11 through July 16, or July 18 through July 23, applications coming soon