FORT WALTON BEACH — The Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation has been awarded a $50,000 grant from The Boeing Company to expand a program that will further science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) studies in middle schools by providing 3D printing capabilities to help foster the next generation of innovators.

A check presentation was held Friday at Boeing's office in Fort Walton Beach.

Students will learn 3D Modeling with “TinkerCADTM”, a free, cloud-based modeling program. Together with 3D printers and spools of plastic provided through the grant, students in the third course of the STEM track will use existing EV3 robotics kits to design, prototype, test, evaluate and redesign solutions for a variety of problem scenarios created around the key elements of the Florida Curriculum Frameworks.

“At Boeing, we build what we dream, and we want students to be prepared and inspired to do the same,” said Hank Sanders, Boeing's director of Special Operations Forces Programs and the company’s senior executive in Fort Walton Beach.

The Project Based Learning (PBL) lessons for the program will be developed by a team of middle school teachers, led by a district career and technical education specialist David Johnson.