Selmon STEM Scholarship Time

In addition to a highway named in his honor, THEA created the Selmon STEM Scholarship Program (S3) to continue Mr. Lee Roy Selmon’s legacy of being a community champion. The S3 Program provides an avenue for engineering students at the University of South Florida Tampa campus, who also are graduates of local high schools, to further their education.

Through the S3 Program, THEA provides four scholarships based on merit and financial need that can be awarded over two semesters for the chosen USF students. Preference will be given to students from a Hillsborough, Pinellas, or Pasco County high school who are USF student-athletes.

The program also provides paid internship opportunities as our agency for Junior and Senior students majoring in engineering. Our interns are involved in every aspect of our agency, from urban planning meetings to city partner discussions. Through the S3 program, we have employed 25 interns and have been able to offer several full-time opportunities after graduation.

We also partner with USF to sponsor the annual USF-SE Bridgebuilding Competition, hosted by USF’s College of Engineering and a part of their Engineering Expo. The competition is open to middle and high school students living in Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Pasco Counties. It allows students to take their STEM learning out of the classroom. The event is a big draw and often attracts over 50 teams from around the region. Each team is comprised of three kids who compete against other teams in their age range to design and build a bridge made out of balsa wood. The bridges are each tested against a strength machine that adds weight until the bridge breaks. Winning teams build the bridge that can bear the most weight before breaking. We like to call the contest “Design, Build, Break,” and it is a THEA staff favorite.