President's Message - Annual Report
It was a wonderful change from last year to have our meetings in person! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. The society got back into the swing of things some busier than before COVID. We had excellent speakers this year from a variety of topics: Small Business Innovative Research, Generating Clean Energy from Waste, AI, Proton therapy, Superconductivity, Forensic Science and AI in STEM Education. We had two field trips, one the Bunche Beach and the other to the Calusa Nature Center. Our Science Fair program was much improved over last year’s virtual only. The last two years have been a challenge for our science fair team as well as for the teachers.
Our scholarship program was in high gear this year accomplishing many projects geared to increasing interest and continuance in STEM. We had an increase in donations, so we were able to do more for the students and teachers. Our website is being updated as we have new information, please check it out. Our financial status is very good.
Next year is looking to be an excellent year for us also. Please pay your dues when the announcement comes out later this year. Ask your science loving friends to join. The dues renewal notice will also include a request for donations to our three restricted funds, STEM Education (scholarships and grants), Student Teacher Dinners (pays for their dinners at our annual student/teacher recognition meeting, and Unrestricted (supports other Board of Directors initiatives). Please help us continue our work with the students and teachers.
Thank you for your support.
Officers and Directors
Results of the election at the March meeting:
President Ms. Trudy Sampson
Vice-President Mr. Bruce George
Secretary-Treasurer Mr. Herb Schneider
Science Fair Coordinator Mr. Dave Sampson,
Field Trip Coordinator TBD
Nominating Committee Chair Dr. Richard Devlin
Membership Chair Mr. Renan Mota
Past President Dr. Martin Hudis
Director Mr. Alex Ilori
Director Mr. Frank Dengler
Director Mr. Richard Reciniello
Mr. John Tallman Ms. Colleen Wheeler
Mr. Chuck Fuechsel Dr. Howard Harrison
Secretary’s Report - Herb Schneider
Contracts with Heritage Palms Country Club and The Landings were signed this year with a major reduction of costs at the same level of amenities. Reservations were made at the same facilities for next year. The website was updated frequently. Press releases were made and published for the meetings, Bunch Beach field trip and the teacher grants. We are in desperate need of a PR person to help with the content for these press releases and website. Please volunteer!
Treasurer’s Report – Herb Schneider
Our income was $49,297 compared to $19,280 (2021) and $22,779 (2020) As of April 30, 2022. Our net funds balance available was $39,909. This includes $30,187 in the Restricted Funds accounts: $1582 for Student/Teacher Dinners, and $28,605 for STEM Education, Scholarships and Grants. Our brokerage account is $10,967. Dues were increased this year. Dinner reservations increased to an average of 60 per meeting. Overall, the society is positioned well to continue our scholarship program for the next fiscal year.
Science Fair Judging Report – Dave Sampson
This year was very different than last year’s virtual only science fairs. However, at 21 schools judged we were still behind our usual 35-40 schools. Twenty-six judges judged 701 projects. Thanks to all of you who judged this year. We did add some new schools that we have not judged in the past. Hopefully, we will be able to add these to the previous list to be even better next year. We also were involved with an elementary school to bring science fair to that school for the first time, and we were involved in actual science projects at the Oasis Schools.
Scholarship Committee Report – Trudy Sampson
This year brought a very pleasant surprise in donations. We received 2 large donations that help fund last year’s and the coming year’s programs. We were able to expand some of our usual programs and get creative in some new ones. The strategy is still the same; focus on middle school programs that benefit multiple students and encourage their interest in STEM. We also have some traditional programs that we fund: this year’s College Bound Scholarship went to Luis Ramos who will be studying Biology at FGCU, and we gave two FSW scholarships though our foundation there.
Last year and again this year we are sponsoring summer camps at Edison/Ford and FGCU. We sponsored the robotics team at Edison/Ford who won their way to State and International Competitions. At FGCU we sponsored the GEMS (Girls in Engineering, Math and Science) program. We gave awards at the Regional Science Fair and Inventors Fair. We funded 30 science teachers with $200 grants for teaching materials which they greatly appreciated. We are increasing the grants to $250 this coming year. We have some exciting new programs coming next year which you will be learning about later this fall.
I am very excited about next year’s programs. Our meetings start in October with Drifting Continents followed by topics on Spectroscopic Imaging, Genetics and Cancer, Ben Franklin’s Gulf Stream, Bonita Bay Water Research, Pros and Cons of Fracking, and the James Webb Telescope. A nice variety and two of which are given by members. We are in planning mode for field trips and will be announcing them later.
Our Science Fair judging starts this fall; be prepared to volunteer to judge. We are hoping to increase the number of schools significantly as they return to normal. Our STEM Education program kicks off with the very popular teacher grant program. If you like what we are doing in STEM scholarships and grants, please contribute so we can continue these programs and help our local students. Every dollar counts!