For instance, I led 10th-grade World History students in a Middle Ages Museum project. Collaborating with a museum curator, we delved into the intricacies of Medieval Society, meticulously selecting artifacts that captured its essence. Utilizing cutting-edge technology like Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and 3D printing, students brought these artifacts to life, complete with detailed historical summaries and QR codes. The culmination of their efforts became a short-term exhibition and tour in our Innovation Lab at Forest Lake Academy, drawing peers, educators, and the wider community.


Innovating with STEM Across the Curriculum

n my four decades as an educator, teaching has transformed from a job to a journey of innovation. Instead of sticking to routine tasks, I've found that dynamic, hands-on activities that transcend traditional boundaries are far more effective. Whether integrating Social Studies and Language Arts with STEM projects or guiding students through immersive learning experiences, my aim has always been to make education not just informative, but inspiring and relevant.

Betty Nugent

Innovation leader; Tech Educator; Certified nearpod educator

CEO, Above & Beyond Education


Summer 2024

Summer EXSEED Program


The FLCOE Innovus Innovation Center

Learn more


Innovation isn't confined to specific subjects; it's a mindset that permeates every aspect of learning. Initiatives like the weekly "Innovation Hour" provide students with the opportunity to tackle real-world challenges guided by the Design Thinking Process. From conceptualization to execution, these projects empower students to apply their knowledge in meaningful ways, fostering creativity and problem-solving skills crucial for success in the modern world and careers. Notably, students enter their final Innovation Hour products in a juried competition, known as InnovationX within the Florida Conference.

Under Superintendent Frank Runnels' leadership, there's been a concerted effort to foster a culture of innovation within the Florida Conference Office of Education (FLCOE), ensuring every student has the chance to discover their passions and purpose. Mr. Runnels sees the newly opened Innovus Center as a “witness to what God can do through the ministry of innovation and education.”

Sponsored by the Florida Conference Institute of Leadership and Innovation (FCILI), InnovationX finds its home at FLCOE's new Innovus Center in Apopka, Florida—a beacon of creativity and collaboration. Led by the visionary Robert Henley, the center serves as a hub for cutting-edge STEM initiatives, benefiting students through field trips, contracted projects, home-school classes, spring camps, and summer camps. FCILI's partnerships with Versacare and Loma Linda University’s Excellence in STEM Experiential Education (EXSEED) program offer STEM Across the Curriculum training for teachers. The Innovus Center staff supports various STEM events and innovative teaching practices virtually and through in-person activities. Teachers can register for the summer EXSEED program online at More information about The FLCOE Innovus Innovation Center can be found at



Beltsville Students coding an Ozobot

President Machado & Superintendent Runnels Praying for Innovus staff

A hallmark of STEM across the curriculum is the integration of technology and hands-on learning experiences. Tools like the Ozobot and Hummingbird Robotics Kit have revolutionized teaching, offering immersive experiences bridging the gap between theory and practice. Additionally, initiatives like STEM Tuesday, sponsored by the Adventist Learning Community, provide valuable resources and support for educators incorporating STEM across the curriculum. FCILI staff offer support for each of these initiatives and more.

When students engage in creating, coding, and presenting, they build essential skills and develop dendrites, fostering real-world leadership and learning experiences that they will never receive with worksheets alone. By embracing innovation and pushing the boundaries of traditional education, we pave the way for a brighter future, enhancing Adventist Education across the North American Division.

copyright 2024 North American Division of Adventist Education. all rights reserved.