The Thomas A. Edison Regional Science and Inventors Fair
(TAERSIF) Community Outreach Efforts
Community Outreach with TAERSIF is a key objective. The Edison Fairs Regional Science and Inventors Competition is by its nature designed to develop practical Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) skills, as well as develop an inventive spirit consistent with the heritage of Thomas Edison, with youth across the community.
Annual Food Drive
TAESIF initiated a successful food drive at the 2017 Fairs that benefited the Florida Gulf Coast University Food Pantry. The FGCU Food Pantry is designed to meet the needs of registered FGCU students who are financially unable to provide adequate food for themselves. This TAERSIF activity will continue in the future by encouraging student participants and the public to bring canned goods to the annual Regional Science and Inventors Fairs for distribution to the FGCU Food pantry.
Supporting Underserved Youth Populations
Beginning in 2017, TAERSIF initiated an outreach initiative to insure segments of the student population in our community who may have been underserved receive support for science and entrepreneurial experiences. Such underserved situations too often exist because of limited personal financial resources or inadequate backing at home.
TAERSIF has partnered with the Quality Life Center in Fort Myers to help the 501c (3) establish a STEM program for its large population of underserved youth. For over 20 years, the Quality Life Center has been an effective force for character building, grooming self-confidence, teaching self discipline to its student population, which comes largely from the Central City of Fort Myers. The nationally recognized Quality Life Center now seeks to incorporate STEM hands-on experiences with students in its After School, Arts, Teen and Summer Camp programs.
Members of the TAERSIF Steering Committee have been actively assisting its efforts in formulating a STEM program, selecting a STEM Teacher for its After School Program and introducing project-based tools for ongoing use by the Quality Life Center.
TAERSIF will monitor and enhance these efforts with the Quality Life Center and intends to expand its outreach support to other pockets of underserved youth in the Southwest Florida area. Hopefully, these initiatives will allow this segment of students to compete more actively and successfully in future Regional Science and Inventors Fairs.