Sarasota Military Academy (SMA), a local, public charter school, has announced plans for the annual ‘Operation Outbreak’ (O2), an educational program designed by SMA Outreach Director, Dr. Todd Brown. The program will take place at the SMA Prep middle school campus on December 5, 2019.
Created as a platform for infectious disease education, preparedness, and data generation, the O2 project began in 2016 when Dr. Brown created a module to teach SMA Prep middle school students about outbreak response and containment, with a public health and government perspective.
“What began as an idea has quickly transformed into one of my favorite programs that I believe has the potential to change how we teach public health,” said SMA Outreach Director Dr. Todd Brown. “The O2 program started as a way to help our students understand how people react to a problem, in this case an infectious disease outbreak, by remaining calm, communicating and creating solutions, and with the support of SMA, the O2 team and our cadets, we have created a program that has the potential to positively impact, prepare and train schools around the globe.”
After a successful program launch, Dr. Brown recruited Dr. Pardis Sabeti, genetics professor at Harvard University, as a scientific advisor, and Andres Colubri, a computational researcher in Dr. Pardis’ lab, and the program expanded to include an app. The revamped O2 program and app were launched during the SMA Prep “Outbreak” in 2018.
The Operation Outbreak educational platform was recently named one of the world’s most innovative hybrid learning programs by a global educational awards program jointly organized by The Wharton School and QS Quacquarelli Symonds. Dr. Brown and the O2 team, with support from organizations including the L’Oreal/AAAS For Women in Science award for STEM Education, Voya Financial Unsung Heroes Grant, Florida Association of International Baccalaureate World Schools Grant, and Toshiba Foundation of America Grades 6-12 STEM Grant, are working to create a version of O2 that can be utilized by organizations and schools throughout the world.
About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school, college preparatory academy and an accredited IB Diploma and Middle Years Programme (MYP) School with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor, and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.