The Out-of-Door Academy Lower School on Siesta Key unveiled the new Dart STEM Lab earlier this week. This is the latest in a series of significant capital investments in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programs at Out-of-Door.
This new lab space affords our Lower School students the opportunity to explore the world around them with innovative resources such as robotics, augmented reality software, video-teleconferencing and 3-D printing. Thank you to the Dart Family and The Dart Foundation for their continued generous support of the STEM program at ODA. The addition of state-of-the-art facilities for STEM studies on both campuses has enhanced student learning opportunities in these key academic disciplines. Recently, three Out-of-Door students earned top awards and honors at the Sarasota County STEM Fair. Congratulations to John Floersheimer 19', Sequoia Miller '25 and Noah Knego '25 for their outstanding work and achievement.
John Floersheimer '19 earned a first-place finish in the Earth & Environmental Science category at the Sarasota County STEM Fair. His project "The Long-Term Recovery of Damaged Aquatic Ecosystems," examined the effects of the Deer Drive road construction on the aquatic life of the ODA pond. Fifth graders also took several teams to the competition and the team of Sequoia Miller '25 and Noah Knego '25 won second place for their product, the "Headphone Helper." For the competition, they conceptualized and designed their product before creating a prototype using a 3-D printer. Their product eliminates the chance of the wires from headphones and other wired technology from becoming entangled.
This video showcases some of the progressive new technology found in the Dart STEM Lab, including an augmented reality (AR) workstation. Through AR, students not only see in 3-dimensions, but can also manipulate models of everything from the solar system to the human body to "virtually" dissect a heart, for example. Additional equipment in the classroom and adjoining lab includes interactive augmented reality (AR), movable furniture for optimal collaboration, three MakerBot 3-D printers, and an advanced projector system that allows the teacher to display several students' work simultaneously.
The Out-of-Door Academy is committed to preparing students for their future by providing them with essential problem-solving skills—the new Dart STEM Lab is the most recent development towards this goal.
Check out the Facebook album for more photos from the ribbon-cutting event.