Guitars, Rocketry, Robotics Advanced Technological Education (GRRATE) was a National Science Foundation project funded by the agency's Advanced Technological Education program from July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2023. Though the grant has come to an end, Santa Fe College continues to lead the effort to help students gain the competencies and self-efficacy needed to succeed in STEM fields through the GRRATE course and GRRATE Summer Institute.

Take a GRRATE Course

The Wide World of Science course (ISC1006) is a hands-on, project-based class that uses guitar building, rocket launching, and robot design to encourage underrepresented students to consider coursework and careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Students may register to take a GRRATE course by searching for ISC1006 Wide World of Science in course listings. Seats are first come, first served as long as space is available.

GRRATE Summer Institutes

GRRATE (Guitars, Robotics, Rocketry, Advanced Technical Education)Rising 9th - 12th grade students can attend an 8-day summer STEM camp at one of the five Santa Fe College Academic Centers. The summer 2024 curriculum will cover hands-on learning for rocketry, where students can learn to design, build and launch rockets along with improving math skills. In summer 2025, the STEM camp will cover a Guitar Building Project.

There will be no cost for this program for campers and we are excited about getting students thinking about careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) technical fields after graduation.

Locations and Dates

This is an 8-day camp offered in five locations from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

  • Andrews Center (Starke) - June 24 - July 5, 2024
  • Blount Center (Downtown Gainesville) - June 17 - 27, 2024
  • Davis Center (Archer) - June 3 - 13, 2024
  • Perry Center (Alachua) - July 15 - 25, 2024
  • Watson Center (Keystone Heights) - July 15 - 25, 2024


Rising 9th - 12th graders


For an application, please email

For more information, contact Shellie Banfield at 352-381-3701 or

History of the GRRATE Program

2021 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award

Guitars, Rocketry, Robotics Advanced Technological Education (GRRATE) was a project funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation (July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2023). Through innovative project-based learning, GRRATE helped students gain the competencies and self-efficacy needed to succeed in STEM fields. This project introduced students who are often underrepresented in STEM to the possibility of high-paying, rewarding careers in STEM. Implemented in Fall 2019, GRRATE offered ISC1006 Wide World of Science, a project-based course with three experiential learning project options: guitar building, robotics and rocketry. Students gained knowledge in the areas of Science, Technology, Research, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics while building a guitar, robot or rocket. The semester ended with a field trip to the Kennedy Space Center. This course will continue to be offered at the college with the aim of emphasizing collaboration with industry partners. This course will expose students to careers available in STEM fields and will connect students with industry so they obtain firsthand knowledge of requirements for developing a successful career.

Guitars, Robotics and Rocketry Projects to Enhance Advanced Technological Education (GRRATE) was a National Science Foundation project funded by the agency's Advanced Technological Education program #1800955. The project sought to increase the number and diversity of STEM technicians in the workforce. Santa Fe College in Gainesville Florida led the effort.

"We are most proud of our commitment to our students in our rural academic centers to provide them with an introductory course in STEM technological skills. Many of the K-12 schools our rural campus locations serve do not have large high schools, thus they cannot offer many, if any, advanced math courses. Many of our students have not taken high school physics, chemistry, astronomy, or applied physics courses because those courses are not offered at their high schools. This ISC1006 (Wide World of Science) course gives students a window into the world of STEM technician careers that they may never have been exposed to previously in their schooling."

- Excerpt from GRRATE Annual Report to the NSF

Completed Objectives of the GRRATE Project

Through the grant, the GRRATE Project:

  • Created and implemented a project-based course called Wide World of Science with sections in guitar-building, robotics, and rocketry
  • Provided professional development to educators that ensured consistent implementation to the pedagogy at three rural and one urban educational centers
  • Partnered with local businesses to design career exploration activities, presentations and videos
  • Evaluated the change in STEM career attitudes and intentions of students through a pre/post research study

GRRATE Project Outcomes

  • 55 Upward Bound students participated in a pilot for the GRRATE course
    • 62% female
    • 96% students of color
    • 91% rural students
  • 144 college students took ISC1006 Wide World of Science - 97% retention
    • 45% female
    • 15% black/African American
    • 6% Hispanic
    • 90% rural students
  • 30+ faculty and staff participated in professional development training
  • 5 faculty have taught 19 sections of ISC1006 at 3 rural and 1 urban Santa Fe College centers
  • 11 sections of guitar-building, 5 sections of robotics, and 3 sections of rocketry have been taught.
  • 2 Facilitator's Choice Awards have been bestowed upon the GRRATE team as part of STEM for All Video Showcases.
  • 12 college students enrolled in Fall 2023 ISC1006, beyond the lifetime of the grant.

GRRATE Project Accomplishments Timeline


STEM for All Video Showcase

During May 11-18, 2021, GRRATE participated in the STEM for All Video Showcase. From the initial dates of the showcase, users were encouraged to visit STEM for All 2021 to see a video about the program along with videos from dozens of other NSF ATE projects.

Course Launch

In Fall 2019, the Santa Fe College GRRATE project launched four participatory, project-based classes that engage students in learning science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM): Rocketry at the Watson Center, Guitar Building at the Davis and Blount Centers, and Robotics at the Andrews Center. These are elective classes that aim to introduce students to entry-level STEM skills such as design, manufacturing, problem-solving, and coding that are sought after skills in the jobs of today and tomorrow.

Upward Bound Partnership

In Summer 2019, GRRATE piloted our guitar, robotics and rocketry curriculum through a two week partnership with Upward Bound's youth summer camp. Teens participating in Upward Bound built guitars, battled robots, launched rockets and participated in a capstone trip to NASA's Kennedy Space Center. Learn more about Upward Bound.

Professional Development

In the Spring of 2019, GRRATE held three professional development trainings; Rocketry, Robotics, and STEM Guitar! These workshops ranged from 12 to 40 hour intensives that trained educators in GRRATE's science, tech, research, engineering, arts, and math curriculum. Faculty from Santa Fe College, Upward Bound, and educators visiting from outside communities participated in the trainings.

National Science Foundation

National Science Foundation Logo

The Guitars, Rocketry, Robotics Advanced Technological Education (GRRATE) project was funded by the National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education grant award #1800955.

Learn more about National Science Foundation.