Pineloch Elementary School STREAM Program Wins Merit Award

Orlando, FL—The American Planning Association (APA) Florida Chapter presented GAI Consultants’ (GAI) Community Solutions Group (CSG) project team with a 2020 Merit Award in the Grassroots Initiative category for the Pineloch Elementary School STREAM Club Program.

Highlights/Key Facts

About the Award

  • The award will be presented to GAI’s Community Solutions Group via a virtual ceremony during the APA Florida annual conference on September 9, 2020.
  • In order to be selected for an APA Florida Merit Award in the Grassroots Initiative category, the winning project must expand public understanding of the planning process, with emphasis on planning in new or different settings.

About the Project

  • GAI’s Community Solutions Group re-imagined the Pineloch Elementary School’s dormant Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Club incorporating two additional elements—reading and the arts—to form the STREAM Club.
  • The project was a direct outgrowth of a year-long master planning effort dubbed OBTNext, along an 8-mile corridor of Orange Blossom Trail in the heart of Orlando. The master plan identified education as a key economic element to future job generation.
  • GAI’s CSG planning team determined that an early introduction to community building with elementary students would be a novel approach to an immediate strategy that could have long-lasting impact.
  • The program was introduced to students through hands-on, game-like activities relating to engineering, planning, and landscape architecture that also incorporated neighborhood development concepts.
  • GAI’s CSG staff coordinated and administered activities at weekly STREAM Club meetings.
  • The Pineloch Elementary STREAM Club program was recognized by the Orange County School District during Black History Month.


“GAI’s Community Solutions Group is honored to accept a Merit Award from APA Florida for the Pineloch Elementary STREAM Club Program. We were thrilled to help breathe new life into this important afterschool program because our staff are more than planners, economists, and landscape architects—we’re locals who truly care about the communities we serve. When opportunities present themselves for us to help neighborhoods become better places to live and work, that’s what we do.”

Tom Kohler, Senior Director, Economics, GAI Consultants

STEAM Prime Time Family Reading STREAM

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Leah Tuscan
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