Somali Author of Call Me American: A Memoir, Abdi Nor Iftin, Shares His Refugee Journey with SMA Prep Cadets

Somali Author of Call Me American: A Memoir, Abdi Nor Iftin, shares his remarkable journey as a refugee from Mogadishu to Maine and offers SMA Prep cadets a unique “outside – in” perspective of America. His story is powerful and ties into this year’s Inspire Project pathway: Project Equality. Cadets are exploring equality, tolerance, and, discrimination across gender, race, and ethnicity.

As a child growing up in Mogadishu, Abdi first knew of America when US Marines came to his village to provide food and places to eat because their presence allowed for peace. “I thought they were aliens.”  Abdi had never seen anyone that looked different than him.  He described his life in Mogadishu as difficult. There is no public service and there is also a war. He taught himself English from movies and began to feel that he was no different than any other child.  He grew a love of America and gained the nickname “American Abdi” and he knew that one day he would get there, even though it was not easy traveling 10,000 miles to the U.S.

“All humans share a desire for survival and acceptance.”

Many of his coworkers think of Africa as all the same. There are different languages and culture throughout Africa. In his book, he wanted people to see the human side of the refugee story. “All humans share a desire for survival and acceptance. I was just like every American kid who wants to be inspired by something. Everything you have is a privilege.”

The hardest part about adjusting to American was the lack of diversity where he lives in Maine. The weather was also a shock having come from a consistently warmer climate. He also described the more humorous side of learning about a new culture. “Ordering a coffee at Dunkin Donuts drove me crazy. In Kenya you just say coffee and they give me coffee, but here you have to say so many things.” He says he now sticks with hot chocolate.

SMA-Cadet MacCloud was reminded, “how to not take for granted all we have here. Mr. Iftin notices every little thing for example how many types of crackers are available at Walmart.”

When asked what drove him to keep surviving he replied, “Many times, I almost gave up on hope. As long as I was breathing and living another day, I needed to do everything it takes to get myself out of the life I was living at the time. I connected to the rest of the world through my stories. Teaching myself English motivated me because I was able to communicate to a wider audience.”

About Sarasota Military Academy

Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter, (6th-12th) located on 2 campuses in Sarasota, FL. As an authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, SMA provides students with a 21st-century learning experience immersed in daily military principles of honor, respect, and leadership. 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 multicultural and globalized world. More information is available at www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org

Character Guides Action

 

Friends and Family,

The national political and societal environment has thrust some difficult topics into the forefront of our academic, health, and emotional discourse, especially in relation to harassment, abuse, and gender role behaviors of our youth and youth of the past. Many adults are having a great deal of difficulty addressing this topic with each other, so you can only imagine the difficulties our students are having with this discussion. I would like to share with you some disturbing statistics:

A recent national survey by Making Caring Common, a frightening 87 percent of 18- to 25-year-old women report having endured at some point in their past at least one of the following: being catcalled (55 percent); touched without permission by a stranger (41 percent); insulted with sexualized words (like “sl^&” or “b$%^&”) by a man (47 percent); insulted with sexualized words by a woman (42 percent); having a stranger say something sexual to them (52 percent); and having a stranger say they were “hot” (61 percent). Half of the men in this survey reported that they’d harassed a woman in at least one of these ways in the past. (Educational Leadership, Oct. 2018, v76, #2, pg. 52-57)

At Sarasota Military Academy, all of our students are “cadets”, a gender-neutral term. In addition, the concepts of “honor“, “respect“, and “integrity” are explicitly taught through our JROTC curriculum and are consistently discussing concepts of leadership. We ask that our instructors, and parents, speak to our cadets and children, both in the academic setting and at home, regarding the impact of an honorable leader (our cadets) on their society, simply by being an active “upstander” (stands up for the oppressed). Talk to your cadets about how this topic has become so divisive in our national setting, and encourage them to be that leader, that “upstander“, that changes his/her immediate societal environment. I truly believe that our cadets can make a very positive impact on their society and lead the way for our national leaders.

SMA-LTC Fred Fout
Head of School
SMA High School Campus

Character Day 2018 Highlights

Character Day is an annual global day that brings together millions of people of all ages in schools, classrooms, companies, homes — anywhere people already gather — to engage in conversation and action around character strengths like empathy, grit, gratitude, creativity, and leadership. This year was the fifth annual (September 26, 2018), and there were over 200,000 groups participating — that’s 15,000 schools and over 4 million people.”

SMA Prep has participated in all previous Character Day events since it began 5 years ago.  This year’s #CultivatingCharacter event did not disappoint. Cadets developed and participated in a “Bravery” Flash Mob. The performance was Skyped globally through a live stream. As described by the Character Day crew, “Tapping into this event at Sarasota Military Academy in Sarasota, Florida was such a highlight! Among other activities, the students did a choreographed “bravery” flash mob all filmed and Skyped into the live stream from a drone flying overhead.”

Cadets also created a Periodic Table of Character Strengths focusing on Wisdom, Courage, Humanity, Justice, Temperance, and Transcendence. Discussions and collaborative projects took place all over campus.

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“Fearless Girl” Sculptor, Kristen Visbal, Inspires Cadets to Notice the Movement Around Them

visbalThe “Fearless Girl” sculpture placed as the opposing force against the Charging Bull on Wall St. was created by artist Kristen Visbal and became an iconic landmark almost overnight. SMA Prep cadets asked questions to learn about her journey as an artist and her passion to promote the value of gender and cultural equality worldwide.

Planning, completing projects and speaking engagements are abundant since “Fearless Girl” occurring in Norway, Germany, and Africa. Cadets were fortunate to share some precious time with Ms. Visbal. Jumping right in with questions, cadets were curious about what inspired “Fearless Girl”. Ms. Visbal explained that she responds to realism, was meticulous about measurements, and that her friend’s daughter Ellie inspired the figure.  She likes to work from real life as much as possible and the real young girl also had the right attitude.

Originally commissioned as part of an ad campaign to promote gender diversity in business, the statue was installed on March 17, 2017, the day before International Women’s Day. Ms. Visbal went on to explain that the young girl sculpture was to represent the future of what women in business could become and was requested in bronze to be an imposing figure in response the Wall St. bull.

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Cadets are always curious to ask those that have pursued their passions if they ever failed at what they do. Ms. Visbal responded, “Every time I make a sculpture, I look at it and say I should have done this or that. After 20 some years, I learned to accept it and release it and move on. You get smarter as you go.” About another trying experience she recalls, “I lost an installation and I cried but telling the story helped to cope and then I started to exercise and eat right and I move on.”

She admitted to not liking school overall but did like history because her teacher was a good storyteller. She also loved art so much and enjoyed time to herself . She once got approval with a note from her mom to work on her art at home. What inspires her as an artist is marine-life and movement. As an artist, she notices movement in her surroundings and tries to capture moments in time. This explains the movement of wind in the skirt of “Fearless Girl”.

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Ms. Visbal explained her larger goals as an artist and the impact she hopes to have in the world in response to being asked if she ever thought “Fearless Girl” would become such a big deal.  She explained the initial commission and installation was only supposed to be 4 days but turned into a permanent fixture in NYC and a favorite tourist selfie spot that also sends a powerful, global message of gender equality.

Ms. Visbal’s is currently focused on what is going to have the biggest impact on gender and cultural equality.  Promoting the value of leadership for women and equal pay and education in the workplace for all.

Ms. Visbal set a goal for cadets to, “go out today and look for the motion around you, capture an instant in time, and one day choose a career you are passionate about.  One that allows you to have a positive impact in the world.”

Survivorman, Les Stroud, Celebrates Nature with Evening of Songs and Storytelling

The seasoned musician and real-world survivalist, Les Stroud, inspires with an evening of songs and storytelling through original music and video imagery that creates an intimate and profound call to get back to nature for music and nature lovers alike. This dynamic concert is a culmination of Les’ passions: adventure, nature, music, and performing. His music has influences from roots/blues, folk, and rock. Along with guitar and piano, Les is well-known for his exceptional harmonica playing.

Les comes to Sarasota having been with Sarasota Military Academy Prep’s The Inspire Project as a guest speaker for the past 2 years. For this year’s initiative Project Earth, Les will be on the SMA Prep campus connecting cadets with nature and teaching survival skills. He wraps up his visit in concert 8-10 p.m. on Saturday at Bayside Community Church East Campus.

ShelterBox USA will also be on hand that evening showcasing their emergency shelter to create awareness about their global effort to provide shelter and tools for those who have been displaced by natural disasters or conflicts. Les partners with ShelterBox in Canada and it is exciting to have connected with such an impactful organization locally through their Sarasota location.

Survivorman Songs and Storytelling 8-10 p.m.; Saturday, April 21 at Bayside Community Church East Campus, 8200 Bee Ridge Rd, Sarasota $20; sarasotamilitaryacademy.org 

About Sarasota Military Academy

Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy Prep is a public charter, middle school, and high school located in Sarasota, FL. As an authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, SMA provides students with a 21st-century learning experience immersed in daily military principles of honor, respect, and leadership. 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 multicultural and globalized world. More information is available at www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org

About Survivorman, Les Stroud

Les Stroud has made a powerful name in the world of documentary filmmaking, indeed starting an entirely new genre of TV, yet he comes by his music honestly. Since the age of fourteen Stroud has been writing songs and studying musically. By age 23 his music was being shopped to the likes of Bruce Springsteen and he was a published songwriter with RCA/BMG music. Taking a break from music to concentrate on outdoor adventure throughout the mid 80’s and early 90’s Stroud eventually returned to his first love when he found an old guitar in a house in Yellowknife, NWT in Canada, while he was dog sitting 30 Inuit sled dogs (go figure!). He re-ignited his passion for music creation and picking up where he left off began writing again. He continued to write and record all through the inception and eventual success of filming the Survivorman TV series, which included writing the theme music for any documentary work he produced and releasing 4 CDs as well as performing hundreds of concerts (in between the Survivorman location shoots). lesstroud.ca/musician

About The Inspire Project 

Guest speakers changing student lives 30 minutes at a time…  a simple, individual 30-minute video conferencing session by every age, walk of life and occupation that have followed their dreams and succeeded.  The session will take place one at a time at the choosing of the participant’s availability.  The series derives its strength from the people that provide inspiration for the young students to not only believe in themselves but in their dreams. To find out more about the 2017-18 Project Earth speaker series visit theinspireproject.us/project-earth

About ShelterBox

ShelterBox is a global organization made up of people who believe in shelter as a human right – that shelter from the chaos of disaster and conflict is vital. We put families first. The commitment of our supporters enables us to provide emergency shelter and tools for families robbed of their homes by conflict and natural disaster.  ShelterBox

Learning in Action: Creating Stop-Motion Claymation Using the IB Design Cycle

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In Design Technology III cadets are learning how to create claymation film in the logical workflow of the I.B. Design Cycle in order to complete assigned tasks and projects. For the Stop-Motion Claymation short films, cadets collaborate in small groups to establish a 2-4 minute movie theme, develop characters, write the script, design and build the set, create their modeling clay characters and use an iPad and the “Stop Motion” app to film their movie.

At the end of the project and as part of their summative feedback, each group will present their films at the “SMA Prep Peer Film Festival,” where they will receive thoughtful feedback from their peers in areas such as film concept, script, set design, and overall presentation. SMA-MAJ Billy Hodges along with his creative cadets are looking forward to presenting their work.

TV’s Survivorman in Concert, April 21st, to support SMA Prep’s Project Earth, Tickets on Sale Now!

Tickets are $20 to the public and will be held for you at will call on the night of the show. Tickets are also on sale at both SMA Prep and SMA High School. “Buy Now” through your PayPal account or with your credit card below:

Tickets are $15 for all Sarasota Military Academy cadets and employees. Purchase on campus.

TV’s Survivorman, Les Stroud, is no stranger to SMA Prep. This is his 2nd year participating in the Project Inspire Guest Speaker Series where an array of world-renowned scientists, authors, and celebrities speak to cadets about facing challenges and fulfilling their dreams. This year’s campus-wide initiative, Project Earth, is a perfect fit for Les. He recently shared his love of the environment and nature when he spoke to cadets about traveling the world and surviving in nature. Les will also visit SMA Prep in April to show cadets authentic survival skills in the outdoor settings surrounding our campus.

SMA Prep is very excited to host Stroud in Sarasota where he will perform in concert to support Project Earth. “Les Stroud has a huge passion for music, and it permeates everything he does. He plays a wide array of instruments, and his harmonica skills are legendary. MusicTV will show you how Les’s love of nature inspires his music – and how his music helps keep his spirits up during many a dark night out in nature.” (smtv.com)

Don’t miss this live performance of an evening of songs and stories at Bayside Community Church East Campus, 8200 Bee Ridge Rd Sarasota on Saturday, April 21st, 8PM-10PM.

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About Sarasota Military Academy Prep

Sarasota Military Academy Prep is a public charter, middle school and authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, providing students with a 21st-century learning experience immersed in daily military principles of honor, respect, and leadership. 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 multicultural and globalized world. More information is available at www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org

About Survivorman, Les Stroud

Best known as the Canadian Screen Award-winning producer, creator and star of the hit TV series Survivorman (OLN Canada, The Science Channel US, Discovery Channel International, City TV (Rogers) Canada), Les Stroud is the only producer in the history of television to produce an internationally broadcast series entirely written, videotaped and hosted alone. With Les known as the original genre creator of ‘Survival TV’, Survivorman is one of the highest rated shows in the history of OLN Canada, the Science Channel US and Discovery Channel US and remains the highest-rated repeat show on the Discovery Channel. Survivorman is licensed for broadcast worldwide, with ratings in the US hitting 2 million on individual episodes. He has been nominated for 24 Canadian Screen Awards (formerly the Geminis) and has won for Best Writer (twice) and Best Photography. Visit www.lesstroud.ca for more information.

About Project Inspire Guest Speaker Series

Guest speakers changing student lives 30 minutes at a time…  a simple, individual 30-minute video conferencing session by every age, walk of life and occupation that have followed their dreams and succeeded.  The session will take place one at a time at the choosing of the participant’s availability.  The series derives its strength from the people that provide inspiration for the young students to not only believe in themselves but in their dreams. To find out more about the 2017-18 Project Earth speaker series visit theinspireproject.us/project-earth

SMA Prep Receives 14k in Education Foundation Grants!

SMA Prep did well this year receiving the Education Foundation’s school-wide $10,000 grant along with four $1,000 classroom grants!

SMA-MAJ Todd Brown, Individuals & Societies and Civics: The grant Project Earth received the $10,000 school-wide grant! SMA Prep was selected from 24 school-wide grant proposals. The Project Earth grant’s aim encompasses a school-wide effort towards Eco Certification that extends opportunities to all grades and subjects through embedded curriculum, field trips, and community outreach programs using the underpinnings of STEM and literacy as a driving force to improve SMA Prep’s carbon footprint and community outreach through involvement with local environmental public organizations. 

SMA-MAJ Billy Hodges, Design: “My grant is for the purchase of digital video cameras for the PREP World News program. These cameras will be used by our field news teams to interview sports team members and coaches, video highlights of football, basketball, and volleyball games, teachers and classroom events, school events (Outbreak and others), etc. Those interviews and clips will then be edited down to 30-45 second segments that will be incorporated into the daily live news show.”

SMA-CPT Pam Kok, Visual Arts:  “My grant is a Kickstarter grant called Figure it Out! We will be able to buy a classroom set of artist manikins so that each cadet can have one to use when learning to draw people.  Drawing the human figure is challenging, but very rewarding for young artists when they learn to draw realistic-looking people.  The wooden manikins will also be available for the design teachers when they create stop-action videos.”

SMA-MAJ Carol Pelletier, Language & Literature: “The grant is titled Got Books? The grant will support the purchase of a classroom library that includes nonfiction and fiction titles that are appropriate and interesting to middle school students. In addition, the titles that were selected will support the units currently taught in both 6th and 8th grade.”

SMA-MAJ Deb Walker, Design and AgriScience: “My grant is Decompo Depot. Cadets will grow mushrooms and set up earthworm farms. The project calls for dark spaces and it occurred to me I could use old files cabinets!”

About Sarasota Military Academy

Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy is a public charter, middle school, and high school located in Sarasota, FL. As an authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, SMA provides students with a 21st-century learning experience immersed in daily military principles of honor, respect, and leadership. 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 multicultural and globalized world. More information is available at www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org

About Project Earth

Project Earth is a student and faculty-driven collaborative effort spearheaded by Agri-Science, the Interact Club, and Project Inspire. Our goal is to become an Eco-School, a new certification backed by the National Wildlife Federation. It is a seven-step process that requires audits in twelve sustainable categories such as water consumption, energy use, and campus biodiversity. The certification would be a year-long effort that would promote environmental awareness of the cadets and a chance to lessen the carbon footprint of our school. To find out more about upcoming speakers go to Project Earth

SMA Prep Inspires with World Renowned Guest Speakers for Project Earth Initative

SARASOTA, FL. August 24, 2017Sarasota Military Academy Prep, a public charter, middle school and authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, providing students with a 21st-century learning experience immersed in daily military principles of honor, respect, and leadership, is inspiring its cadets with a world-renowned speaker series. SMA Prep is promoting its campus-wide initiative Project Earth. The 2017-18 Project Earth Speaker Series line-up includes an array of world-renowned scientists, authors, and celebrities who offer SMA Prep cadets real-world exposure to changemakers who are positively impacting environmental issues on a global scale.

SMA Prep cadets interact with speakers through WebEx or in person and this year’s speakers include: Continue Reading

Data Scientist and Inventor, Dr. Radinsky, Wows SMA Prep Cadets With the Global Impact of Predicting the Future

Director of Data Science, IL Chief Scientist, eBay and Visiting Professor/Scientist, Technion, Dr. Kira Radinsky, enlightened a packed classroom of 60 fortunate cadets as part of SMA Prep’s Project Earth Speaker Series. Dr. Radinsky shared how her passion for prediction led her to create algorithms to tap into the human behavior underlying internet searching. Through a combination of questioning whether we can search to predict and a desire to automate causality and correlations, Dr. Radinsky, “developed algorithms that leverage web knowledge and dynamics to predict future events, that enable early warning of globally impactful events (e.g. riots or diseases) by spotting clues in past and present news reports”. (kiraradinsky.com)  

IMG_0394This phase of Dr. Radinsky’s career was spent understanding historical patterns and how they could predict the future. It was her creative use of algorithmic thinking that reaped the benefits of the computing ability to mine big data and to recognize the human fingerprints behind the internet searches around events. From tracing the steps of a historical Ebola outbreak to a volcanic eruption or predicting violent outbreaks that erupt within societies, Dr. Radinsky’s work is on target with the content and global concepts being investigated in 8th-grade Civics at SMA Prep.
Continue Reading

SMA Prep Cadet’s Art Makes a Big Splash at 2017 World Rowing Championships

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Sarasota Military Academy Prep is very proud to have SMA Prep-Cadet Adriana Chavez’s vibrant artwork on display at the 2017 World Rowing Championships at Nathan Benderson Park! Adriana’s work is installed as an impressive 15 x 20 foot banner that conveys the themes of Portuguese culture and rowing.

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SMA-CPT Pam Kok invited 130 art and yearbook club students from SMA Prep to attend the World Rowing Championships at Nathan Benderson Park.  They were able to view artwork created by students from Sarasota and Manatee County, displayed to welcome the athletes from more than 70 countries participating in the event.  The Prep was asked to create a banner design for Portugal, and Adriana Chavez’s work was chosen.

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SMA-CPT Kok shared why this even was so worthwhile for her students. “Artwork created with a purpose and presented to welcome athletes from around the world shows the students what a goodwill gesture looks like. For the kids to see their peers celebrating each other’s art was very impressive”.

The cadets watched several rowing races from the grandstand. They waved flags and cheered enthusiastically for the U.S. men’s and women’s teams. Afterward, they toured the grounds, picked up some free souvenirs, and were entertained by some U.S. Servicemen who showed them some cool martial arts moves.  SMA Prep is very proud of the cadets who were respectful and well-behaved and represented our school positively while off-campus.

Many thanks to Embracing Our Differences, who sponsored the banners, buses, and our admission for the event. The program “envisions a world that embraces diversity, respects differences and actively rejects hatred and prejudice”.

About Sarasota Military Academy

Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy is a public charter, middle school, and high school located in Sarasota, FL. As an authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, SMA provides students with a 21st-century learning experience immersed in daily military principles of honor, respect, and leadership. 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 multicultural and globalized world. More information is available at www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org

About Embracing Our Differences

Embracing Our Differences is a not-for-profit organization that uses the power of art and education to expand consciousness and open the heart to celebrate the diversity of the human family. It accomplishes this through an annual, large-scale outdoor juried art exhibition and a comprehensive series of educational initiatives, programs, and resources designed for teachers and students. To find out more visit www.embracingourdifferences.org

Character Day 2017 Highlights

As part of the campus-wide event, faculty and students participated in Character Day! Let It Ripple Film Studio, who sponsors the global collaboration, explains the event:

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“Thank you all for being part of the fourth annual Character Day! On September 13th, 2017, there were over 133,000 events and people engaging from 150 countries from Guam to Thailand to the Central Africa Republic and many more. We saw so many amazing photos and videos come in from so many different types of events: everything from K-12 school districts to universities including UC Berkeley, Harvard, and MIT, to The U.S Airforce, to companies like Intel, to individual families across the country and world. We provide the materials, you create an event that works for you.”All classes took on a character trait to explore and express in the form of posters, crafts, presentations, and hands-on projects. Character traits included teamwork, kindness,  love of learning, bravery, fairness, humor, creativity, curiosity, and leadership just to name a few.

All classes took on a character trait to explore and express in the form of posters, crafts, presentations, and hands-on projects. Character traits included teamwork, kindness,  love of learning, bravery, fairness, humor, creativity, curiosity, and leadership just to name a few.

Many teachers integrated their character trait study into their current units and focused on developing the social skills of communication and collaboration with cadets.

Character Day was an effective way to bring our school together and set a positive tone at the start of the year.

About SMA Prep

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 multicultural and globalized world. More information is available at www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org

About Let It Ripple

Let it Ripple’s mission is to use film, technology, discussion materials, and live and virtual events to engage people in conversation and action around complicated subjects that are shaping our lives, and updating these topics through an engaging, accessible, 21st-century lens. Over the past ten years, we have created and distributed 30 films, engaged over 50 Million people in dialogue, pioneered a new way of making films we call “Cloud Filmmaking,” where we make films collaboratively with people all over the world, and founded a new model to start global conversations with screenings and discussions across all continents on the same day, with a combination of live and virtual events. More information can be found at www.letitripple.org

Harvard Prof, Dr. Sabeti Teams with SMA Prep, Receives L’Oréal “For Women in Science” Grant

Sarasota Military Academy Prep (SMA Prep) will team up with Harvard Professor, Dr. Sabeti after she was awarded one of ten L’Oréal USA For Women in Science grants. The program announced the 10 winners of its Changing the Face of STEM (CTFS) mentoring grants. The projects awarded exemplify a broad range of activities and partnerships focused on mentoring and engaging girls and women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), from preschool to graduate school. The grants will help fund STEM programs throughout the country including in California, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Missouri, New York, Texas, and Utah.

“Inspiring the next generation of women in STEM is a key component of the For Women in Science program,” said Lauren Paige, Vice President of Public Affairs & Strategic Initiatives at L’Oréal USA. “We are proud to build on this commitment through our Changing the Face of STEM grant program and support our fellows in their efforts to promote STEM education in communities across the country.”

Dr. Pardis Sabeti is a Professor at Harvard University and the Broad Institute and a 2004 (For Women in Science) FWIS Fellow

Dr. Sabeti is using the grant to help fund the integration of STEM technology into SMA Prep’s ‘Outbreak’ simulation, which takes a potential real-world outbreak scenario and guides several hundred students on how to respond, through coordination and community, teaching them science and public health in the process. The scenario will mimic the historical and contemporary spread of an infectious disease in which the various groups will have to work together against the clock to stop the contagion. As an advisor to the program and expert in the field, Dr. Sabeti will invite four outstanding SMA Prep cadets who participated in the simulation to visit her Harvard lab next spring.

SMA Prep is proud to be a part of this research as it also promotes a campus-wide initiative, Project Earth, that exposes cadets to authentic scenarios involving environmental science and the positive impact they can have on the world around them.

About Sarasota Military Academy

Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy is a public charter, middle school, and high school located in Sarasota, FL. As an authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, SMA provides students with a 21st-century learning experience immersed in daily military principles of honor, respect, and leadership. 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 multicultural and globalized world. More information is available at www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org

About Dr. Pardis Sabeti

Dr. Pardis Sabeti is a Professor at the Center for Systems Biology and Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University and the Department of Immunology and Infectious Disease at the Harvard School of Public Health. She is an Institute Member of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, and a Howard Hughes Investigator. For more information visit www.sabetilab.org

About Project Earth

Project Earth is a student and faculty-driven collaborative effort spearheaded by Agri-Science, the Interact Club, and Project Inspire. Our goal is to become an Eco-School, a new certification backed by the National Wildlife Federation. It is a seven-step process that requires audits in twelve sustainable categories such as water consumption, energy use, and campus biodiversity. The certification would be a year-long effort that would promote environmental awareness of the cadets and a chance to lessen the carbon footprint of our school. To find out more about upcoming speakers go to Project Earth

About L’Oreal USA For Women in Science

The For Women in Science program was created out of a simple belief: the world needs science, and science needs women because women in science have the power to change the world. The L’Oréal USA For Women in Science fellowship program awards five women postdoctoral scientists annually with grants of $60,000 each for their contributions in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields and commitment to serving as role models for younger generations.  To learn more visit www.lorealusa.com

UF Extension Service Donates Bounty of Seedlings to SMA Prep Garden

ifaslogoRepresentatives from the University of Florida Extension Service visited the SMA Prep Garden bringing many seeds and seedlings for the fall crop. Cadets planted soybeans, broccoli, corn, kale, cabbage, radishes, peas, beans, collards, and pollinators.

SMA-MAJ Deb Walker, the SMA Prep master gardener, spoke about why this is such an important resource for her 6th-grade cadets. “The University of Florida Extension Service is a huge supporter of school and community gardens. Twice a year, they bring seeds, seedlings and their amazing knowledge to the SMA Prep Garden to share with our cadets.”

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SMA-Cadet Tristan, a 6th grader, has shown great enthusiasm and pride in being a part of the SMA Prep Garden. “I really enjoy planting the seeds and watching the plants grow over time.” Tristan went on to say, “I help my grandmother with her garden and I am learning a lot that I can share with her”.

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SMA-MAJ Walker’s AgriScience IB MYP Design class is unique to SMA Prep and focuses on skill building, service learning, project-based learning and problem solving within the Design Cycle. The SMA Prep Garden won the Golden Shovel Award from the Florida Department of Agriculture in 2015-16 for Best First-Year Garden. The SMA Prep Garden is one of the inspirations for the campus-wide initiative #projectearth.

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Cadets will journal the progress of each plant until harvest time at the end of the semester. Cadets also get to take their harvest to market and sell their plants and herbs on campus to faculty, staff, and cadets. Cadets are exposed to the full process of what it means to grow your own food and provide it to the larger community. This awareness spreads throughout the SMA Prep campus.

About Sarasota Military Academy

Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy is a public charter, middle school, and high school located in Sarasota, FL. As an authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, SMA provides students with a 21st-century learning experience immersed in daily military principles of honor, respect, and leadership. 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 multicultural and globalized world. More information is available at www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org

About Project Earth

Project Earth is a student and faculty-driven collaborative effort spearheaded by Agri-Science, the Interact Club, and Project Inspire. Our goal is to become an Eco-School, a new certification backed by the National Wildlife Federation. It is a seven-step process that requires audits in twelve sustainable categories such as water consumption, energy use, and campus biodiversity. The certification would be a year-long effort that would promote environmental awareness of the cadets and a chance to lessen the carbon footprint of our school. To find out more about upcoming speakers go to Project Earth

About UF IFAS Extension

The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is a federal-state-county partnership dedicated to developing knowledge in agriculture, human and natural resources, and the life sciences, and enhancing and sustaining the quality of human life by making that information accessible. The Mission of UF/IFAS is to develop knowledge in agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge accessible to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. To find out more visit www.ifas.ufl.edu

Award-Winning Author, Carl Hiaasen Speaks to SMA Prep Cadets

Carl Hiassen, the award-winning author of popular novels for young readers, spoke to cadets as part of SMA Prep’s Project Earth WebEx Speaker Series. Mr. Hiaasen’s books were the focus of the summer reading program at SMA Prep. Cadets were excited to hear directly from an author who many cadets have read and enjoyed for years. The well-crafted questions asked by SMA Prep cadets sought to find out about the author’s approaches to writing, his commitment to the environment as well as being a native Floridian. Continue Reading

Cadet’s Artwork Represents SMA Prep at World Rowing Championships!

The World Rowing Championships return to the US for the first time in 20 years and the 2017 World Rowing Championships, Embracing Our Differences and Benderson Development Company have partnered on a new initiative called “Adopt a Team.”  During the competition, students from Sarasota and Manatee counties will attend and be exposed, educated and provided international experiences all while gaining knowledge about the countries participating in the regatta. For example, students at one school are researching China, while students at another school are learning about Israel.

The World Rowing Championships will be held at Nathan Benderson Park September 23 – October 1, with over 60 countries expected to participate. Students in both Sarasota and Manatee Counties were asked to create artwork that serves to welcome the athletes from different countries attending the international competition. Our school was given Portugal, and cadets in each art class created pictures that related to that country and to the sport of rowing. portugal

Adriana Chavez’s work was chosen to represent SMA Prep. The picture will display at the park as an enlarged banner that will be placed among other vibrant and welcoming banners created by students throughout Sarasota and Manatee. Stay tuned for highlights when 130 SMA Prep cadets attend a field trip to the site and participate in an authentic global experience.

Congratulations, Adrianna!

About SMA Prep

Sarasota Military Academy Prep is a public charter, middle school and authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, providing students with a 21st-century learning experience immersed in daily military principles of honor, respect, and leadership. 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 multicultural and globalized world. More information is available at www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org

 

About Embracing Our Differences

@WRCH2017

50/50 Day

SMA Prep will join thousands of organizations, companies, schools, museums, libraries and homes in a global conversation about what it will take to get to a more gender-balanced world in all sectors of society.  Led by Tiffany Shlain, Emmy-nominated filmmaker and founder of The Webby Awards and her team at Let it Ripple Film Studio, 50/50 Day is based on the model of their annual Character Day, which last year had over 93,000 events in 125 countries and all 50 states.