Bullying Prevention Awareness Campaign

Middle school can be a difficult time for students to be different or stand out from their peers.  Yet this is exactly what SMA Prep cadets are doing by using their talents to “Rise Above” the negatively and set an example with their bullying prevention campaigns.

IMG_1274With almost 80 students submitting their ideas in a creative message, the #PreventBullying campaign is spreading across the campus.  “The intent was to get students to think about their actions and responses to each other”, explained Major Becky Morris, Assistant Head of School.

SMA Prep Cadet Jonathan Van Beuren received first place for his artwork in the anti-bullying banner contest and was congratulated for his powerful message, “Rise Above” during  #BullyingPrevention month.  His artwork will be displayed as the SMA Prep Facebook Profile picture and enlarged into a banner for display around campus.

Tying for second place were designs by Anais Zambaux and Peter Van Beuren.  Third place (shown with SMA-CPT Audrey Benitez) was #anti-bullying banner by Martha Cheno Jauregui.

Thank you to our counselors, SMA-CPT Audrey Benitez and SMA-CPT Dianne Sacchetti, for sponsoring this contest and dedicating their time to get the word out to #StopBullying.  Also, many thanks to SMA Prep teachers Laura Victore and Gregg Hermann for their support and encouragement.

You can help spread the word by sharing the post on your Facebook or Instagram accounts or making “Rise Above” your cover image.  Thanks for helping us share the #StopBullying message!

Learning in Action: Prehistory Inquiries

Stonehenge — why was it built?  Who built it and how?  Catal Huyuk — how did its inhabitants live?  Why didn’t they have doors?

SMA Prep cadets are learning to think like archaeologists as they grapple with these prehistory questions in SMA-CPT Meissner’s IB World History course.

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Exploring topics such as Stonehenge, Catal Huyuk, early humans, migrations, and Sumerian achievements, 6th grade students immersed themselves in research and inquiry about these ancient periods and events occurring before written records.

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In addition to developing presentations that included detailed research about their selected topic, several students took their projects to the next level by creating models that supported their discoveries.  “I was really impressed with the creativity and details that my students displayed in their projects,” SMA-CPT Meissner proudly explained.

One of their discussions focused more deeply on Stonehenge as SMA-CPT Meissner shared the research about Dr. Andrew Young’s theory regarding stone/wood balls/rails method. As students learned more about the possible methods for moving the enormous stones to include the trench and log roller methods, questions began to form about the theories.  Bringing their ideas together, SMA-CPT Meissner sent an email to Dr. Bruce Bradley, Emeritus Professor from the University of Exeter, to find out more about possible excavations of stone or wooden balls near Stonehenge.  To everyone’s delight, Dr. Bradley responded!

Dear Eric,

The answer is no and yes.  There have been no stone or wood spheres found in the vicinity of Stonehenge that would work with the roller theory.  Some stone ones have been found in northern England.  However, there have been a few recovered at Stonehenge made of chalk.  While they are too soft to work they could have been models to be copied in wood.  There are no organic artifacts from Stonehenge. What can be said is that there is no direct archaeological evidence for how the stones were moved.  The log-roller method would need a hardened surface which should have left significant traces as would the trench method.  Neither has been found.  The stone/wood ball method would leave no traces.

I hope this has answered your questions. 

Sincerely,
Bruce

Bruce Bradley
Emeritus Professor
University of Exeter
Department of Archaeology

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The students and SMA-CPT Meissner were thrilled to receive the response but realized this created even more questions about the theory.  Eager to have their inquiries answered by an expert in the field, the students again submitted their questions for SMA-CPT Meissner to send to Dr. Bradley.

 

Dr. Bradley,

Thanks so much for your reply, I really appreciate it. I told my students about it, and we were excited to hear more about the roller method theory. I explained to my students what you said in your email, and they asked that if the logger method leaves traces, why wouldn’t tracks used for the roller method?

Again, many thanks for your reply.

Sincerely,

SMA-CPT Eric Meissner
6th Grade World History Teacher
Sarasota Military Academy Prep

 

Once again, Dr. Bradley responded to their questions!  Here are two of the pictures that the students studied as they pondered this mystery.

 

What do YOU think his response may have been?

 

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.”

Trisha Yearwood Kicks Off Inspire Project Speaker Series

Platinum-selling, Grammy-winning artist and best-selling cookbook author Trisha Yearwood challenged SMA cadets to exceed expectations as she kicked off The Inspire Project Speaker Series for 2018-19. Ms. Yearwood is known for her moving vocals, her love of storytelling and her delicious southern recipes. SMA cadets responded to the down-home and down to earth charm that has become a trademark in her professional life. The focus of this year’s campus-wide initiative is Project Equality and Trisha Yearwood was gracious enough to spend some time taking questions from SMA Prep cadets.

When asked why she picked music to pursue over other interests, Mr. Yearwood responded, “music picked me, I just knew I wanted to be a singer, but if I hadn’t become a singer I might probably have become an accountant”. Ms. Yearwood was simply always passionate about music.

What drives Ms. Yearwood to keep up with all her success? She admits to being very competitive even if she isn’t good at something. She credits her mom and dad for being a  risk-taker, and her sense of adventure in trying new things. Her dad is the reason she fell in love with music, played guitar and sang. Her mom was the driving force that let me know as a woman she could do what she wanted and be happy. Ms. Yearwood stated that her parents are her “heroes”.

As far as being a woman in business, Ms. Yearwood pointed out that there are some challenges but you need to work hard no matter what and don’t let any excuse get in your way. As she was entering the music business, she is thankful that she had Reba McEntire as her mentor to help navigate as Trisha Yearwood began her early music career.

Cadets also received some words of wisdom on time management. She admitted to not really have time for everything she has going on in her life. “There are baseballs in the air and some fall on the ground. I try to choose what I can do well and learn how to say no. You can’t be a people pleaser because then you won’t do anything well.”

Responding to the question of liking school or not, Ms. Yearwood gave an honest answer. “I hated it and I liked it. My mom was a teacher and she was my teacher in the 3rd grade in a very small school. I was a self-proclaimed nerd and an “A” student who got involved in everything.” She clarified that it was music that was what she had always loved to do.

A large part of what The Inspire Project is about is to offer young people 1st hand accounts of what it is like to pursue your dreams. Cadets are always curious if people who become successful ever had to deal with failure. Ms. Yearwood mentioned that she is competitive and doesn’t enjoy failure. However, a person begins to appreciate failures as the successes become sweeter. “Learning what doesn’t work is just as important what does work. It is what you do after that that matters.”

Perseverance is a character trait that many cadets work to build every day. Mr. Yearwood shared that she never thinks about quitting, but that the true answer is there are moments when you just want to give up. You get past those moments and deep down even with a bad experience you have to know you don’t give up.

Sharing her strong sense of humor made this a relatable and fun experience for cadets. Ms. Yearwood stated that if she were not able to sing, she might be in prison. Even though her cookbooks have turned into a completely different career she says that she would always pick music. “If I weren’t successful in other things, I’d still find a way to sing in my local honky tonk.”

Phineas and Ferb creator, Dan Povenmire, Shares His Story and Keeps Cadets Laughing

ferbSMA cadets had a fun and interesting exchange with yet another great speaker as part of SMA-MAJ Todd Brown’s The Inspire Project. Dan Povenmire is best known as the co-creator of Disney’s Phineas and Ferb, which was the #1 kids show for 7 years.

Cadets asked some great questions to Mr. Povenmire who has a broad and successful background as a television director, writer, producer, storyboard artist and voice actor. Cadets were surprised to learn that the inspiration for Phineus was to see what character he could create based on a triangle. It was from there that his wife asked who’s that? He replied it’s Phineas and this is the show I am going sell.

Many cadets grew up with the show and laughed out loud when Povenmire did the voice of the shows villain Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz. When asked about his favorite episodes he told cadets: the Roller Coaster Perfect and the Act YourAge Episode.

Cadets are always interested in what success and failure mean to the various speakers who have made their mark on the world. Mr. Povenmire shared his take on the idea as well. “There is this path and sometimes this one just got closed and so I open another. Success and failure are not a binary thing. If I go this way I will be a success. If I go to this other one I will be a failure. You never know how many paths you’ll take before it goes right.”

He informed cadets that it took that it 13 years to sell Phineas and Ferb and 16 years to

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One of the 1st sketches of Fineaas

get it on the air. “If you have something you believe in and you think it is fun don’t take no for answer.”

As far as the story behind the show, he and co-creator Jeff “Swampy” Marsh were reflecting on their youth and how kids today miss out on the physical things like playing in the woods. Phineus imparts “the imagination of a 9-year-old boy inspired by [our] time growing up and not hampered by reality”.

Throughout The Inspire Project speakers series this year, cadets have learned that many of the people they speak to started out on a different path then where they are now. Mr. Povenmire didn’t want to be an animator. He made a living as an artist but he really wanted to be a filmmaker. Now he enjoys many creative endeavors.  

Mr. Povenmire compared success and failure to a tree with many forks in the various branches. There are many different directions you will go in, it is never only a one or the other journey.

World Renowned Scientist, Dr. Pardis Sabeti Returns to Make Science Infectious for Prep Cadets

Dr. Sabeti returned again this year for another interactive session with SMA Prep cadets as part of The Inspire Project WebEx speaker series. The Q and A with cadets was timed to coincide with “Outbreak” a unique infectious disease outbreak simulation that has become a student-driven event and a campus highlight for 4 years running. This year’s simulation received extra support after Dr. Sabeti received one of ten L’Oréal “For Women in Science” grants and teamed with SMA Prep.

Many cadets were curious about Dr. Sabeti’s views on failure and success. Her advice for the short-term was to “deal with failure by going through the emotions,” however, long-term you have to remember you are going somewhere bigger then you may be able to see now. She also reminded cadets that as a scientist most of her days are filled with failures. “Science is a continuous disappointment. It’s a career that is made on the few times you succeed but most of your work are failures.”
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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: Nature as Art Inspired by Environmental Artist, Andy Goldsworthy

SMA Prep artists tried their hand at creating outdoor sculptures inspired by the work of environmental artist, Andy Goldsworthy. SMA-CPT Pam Kok developed this unit in her Visual Arts classes to support the campus-wide initiative Project Earth. Exposure to making deeper connections to nature fits in perfectly with the overall goal of building compassionate and caring environmentally conscious individuals.

The budding environmental artists enjoyed the process of using patterns, textures, and natural materials to create art. Cadets offered some insights into their experience:

  • “It was fun to keep adding to other materials as we got more ideas.” I enjoyed that everyone made something different.
  • “It was fun, and we used teamwork. We had so many ideas once we joined our ideas together.”
  • “We used creative thinking. I liked the different colored rocks and leaves.”
  • “I liked that we were building outside. We used logical thinking to come up with a plan and then added on to it.”

The classes hope to place installations around campus to share their ideas and the importance of everyone recognizing a connection to the nature around them.

About Andy Goldsworthy

“Using the temporal materials as the reflection of the world we live in, Andy Goldsworthy collaborates with nature creating ephemeral works which remain immortalized only on photographs. Traveling around the world in a quest for perfect environment, he strives to understand nature by his direct participation, enjoying the freedom provided by the possibility to create something just using his hands and material that is within reach. His outdoor sculptures of snow, ice, leaves, rock, clay, feather and twigs represent the idea of change, movement, growth, and decay that is the vitality of nature, the driving energy that he tries to elicit through his pieces. Using the earth as a source, he makes art sensitive to every process that happens around us. Nature and land are in a state of change which itself is the key to understanding.” (www.widewalls.ch)

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Cadets used Andy Goldsworthy’s outdoor sculptures as inspiration for their own creations

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 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 visit Project Earth

 

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

Paul Molnar, One of a Few Remaining Holocaust Survivors, Shares His Personal Story

SMA Prep cadets experienced a profound, personal account of loss and luck from one of the few remaining Holocaust survivors, Mr. Paul Molnar. Mr. Molnar emphasized to the 8th-grade students, that he was 14 years old when the Germans occupied his Hungarian village on March 19th, 1944. “I was the same age as you are now when my life changed forever.”

As Mr. Molnar began to tell his story, cadets embarked on his precarious journey as he recounted his initial relocation to a Hungarian ghetto where anti-Jewish laws were established and he was required to wear the Jewish (Star of David) badge so he could be easily distinguished from others as a Jew. He described the cramped, unsanitary conditions being transported in a cattle car to an unknown destination that he would later learn was Auschwitz-Birkenau. “Many old people died and others lost their minds,” he said recalling his 3-day transport to the death camp.

fullsizeoutput_b08It was at Auschwitz where the sorting lines formed to the right and the left. His mother went to the right staying with his grandmother and little brother. While he and his cousin Otto went to the left. He reminded cadets, “I had no idea where we were or why.”

He would later notice four chimneys spewing ash into a summer sky. “What are they burning?” he asked a prisoner nearby. “It’s your family going up in smoke,” the stranger replied. He would never see his mother, grandmother or little brother again.

“5,000 a day in June of 1944… Auschwitz was built to be a killing machine,” Mr. Molnar stated without hesitation.

Another cattle car transport brought Mr. Molnar to the labor camp of Buchenwald where he believes he remained alive because of his youth, ability to work and also strokes of luck. “I survived not because I was a hero. That’s the way it was.”

Cadets listened intently to Mr. Molnar’s every word. SMA-Cadet Samantha Mast described the impact of his story. “I could feel how confused he must have been when he was younger; when he was our age.” SMA-Cadet Elise Dunn also expressed an emotional connection. “There are not a lot of people left that can tell their story. It was very special.”

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SMA-MAJ Pelletier, who is teaching Holocaust survivor literature to her 8th graders, was captivated listening to such an intimate recounting. “To listen to his story and see the cadets make specific connections to his powerful and personal story offers a unique, authentic and memorable experience.”

Mr. Molnar was told he was free on May 8th, 1945 finding himself along the Czech border and eventually preparing himself to return to his home in Hungary. He arrived at an empty house and later found out his father was at work and would be returning home. He never imagined he would see his father again. He would eventually learn that he lost 16 immediate family members.

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Members of Mr. Molinar’s family joined him. Two of his great-grandchildren are SMA Prep cadets, who he described as “the pleasure of my eye”.

Mr. Molnar told the cadets not to be a bystander when they hear racial or bullying remarks stating, “this is how something like this happens.” As he received a final thank you for his visit to SMA Prep, he said, “I need to do this, there aren’t many of us left.”

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 Paul Molnar

Survivor/Camps: Ujpest (Hungary), Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Magdeburg, Berga

Born in 1929 in Ujpest, a suburb of Budapest, Hungary, Molnar was the older of two sons of a moderately wealthy Jewish man in the construction business. His life prior to World War II was quite normal. He attended public school, mixed with all kinds of children, and recalls very little anti-Semitism. Watch Mr. Molnar tell his story at Studies in the Holocaust with Paul Molnar, Holocaust Survivor

TV’s Survivorman, Les Stroud, Challenges SMA Prep Cadets to Connect with Nature

Award-winning producer, creator, and star of the hit TV series Survivorman , Les Stroud, challenged SMA Prep cadets to go outside and connect with nature. The adventure-seeking Stroud joined cadets across campus as part of the 2017-18 WebEx Speaker Series and campus-wide initiative Project Earth. Stroud is no stranger to SMA Prep having participated as a speaker in the 2016-17 Project Inspire. Cadets were delighted to listen to stories of survival, traveling the world and pursuing your passions.

Stroud began by discussing his current projects which include building his own television network SMTVnetwork.com. The network is an entertainment and educational resource to teach specific survival skills in authentic situations and environments all over the world. Stroud is also fulfilling his childhood dream of being a rock star. He recently released “an ambitious rock album called Survivorman’s Mother Earth featuring guest appearances by Slash and Steve Vai… focused on celebrating nature and connecting to the earth”. Whether as an author, filmmaker, activist, photographer or musician, one of the driving goals in all of Stroud’s pursuits is to connect people with nature.

Stroud recounted a recent run-in with a “playful” 400lb grizzly while on location for National Geographic as well as his most severe survival challenge occurring in Norway when he spent 10 days cold and wet developing Hypothermia. He made it clear to the cadets that “the cold is always the worst”.

SMA Prep cadets received a few well-grounded life lessons as well. Stroud responded to a question about dealing with stress and anxiety by stating, “calm down, catch your breath and consider zones of assessment… look at what you have to work with”. Start with your self, then your immediate surroundings and then further afield. When asked why he loved to travel so much, Stroud had a one-word answer, “perspective”. He went on to explain how he thrives on being somewhere different that changes how he sees the world and his place in it. One of his favorite places on earth is Peru.

Lastly, a question was asked about how to achieve success in life. Stroud did not hesitate as he responded, “engage in your own life and go after what you want to do… choose work that takes you where you want to go”.

This April, SMA Prep is looking forward to hosting Stroud, in person, on campus where he will walk cadets through an authentic, hands-on survival experience and he will also perform live for an evening of songs and stories at Bayside Community Church East Campus, 8200 Bee Ridge Rd Sarasota on Saturday April 21st, 8PM-10PM. Tickets are on sale at both SMA Prep and SMA High School. Tickets are $15 for SMA cadets and employees at both campuses and $20 to the public. For more information call 941-877-7737.

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 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 www.projectinspire.net/project-earth

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 Earth

Project Earth is an SMA Prep 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.

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’s “OutBreak!” Receives Voya Unsung Heroes® Grant

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, announced that SMA Prep has received the Voya  Unsung Heroes® Grant for 2017. SMA Prep was one of only 100 chosen for the $2,000 grant. 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

NASA’s “Growing Beyond Earth Challenge” Accepts SMA Prep In Study

SARASOTA, FL. September 27th, 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, announced that NASA has selected SMA Prep to participate with other middle and high schools in their “Growing Beyond Earth Challenge”. Continue Reading

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

SMA Prep Mangroves are Centerpiece at Sarasota Bay Watch Fundraiser Event

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In April 2017, SMA Prep’s AgriScience teacher Deb Walker loaded her car with over 500 mangroves to deliver to the UF/IFAS Extension for the Sarasota County Arbor Day celebration! Her 6th-grade cadet assistants worked hard to get all of the propagules ready using recycled tennis ball containers to hold them with an attached info sheet on their care and about our school.

SMA-MAJ Walker has been working with Sarasota Bay Watch for years. The group contacted her requesting the mangroves be used in centerpieces at Sarasota Bay Watch’s 8th annual fundraiser – “Scallopalooza, It’s Clamtastic!” The event was held at the Sarasota Yacht Club Saturday evening.

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Last year, SMA-Maj Walker’s Agriscience classes started the SMA Prep Garden which now includes conventional raised beds and hydroponic systems. The garden has received numerous awards in this short time: Florida Agriculture in the Classroom (FAITC awarded the Prep Garden the “Golden Shovel Award” in 2016 for the BEST FIRST YEAR GARDEN (secondary schools) in the state of Florida.

A few weeks ago the National Wildlife Federation announced that the campus is a Certified Schoolyard Habitat, due to the biodiversity on the campus grounds. SMA-MAJ Walker has received numerous grants from such organizations as the Florida Farm Bureau, the FAITC, the Florida extension service, and the Education Foundation.

DID YOU KNOW MANGROVES:

  • Prevent erosion due to their strong roots securing the sand or dirt.
  • Provide nesting sites in their branches.
  • Have protective roots which provide shelter and act as a nursery to many organisms.
  • Use their roots to filter out dead organic matter from the water, keeping it clear.

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 Sarasota Bay Watch

Sarasota Bay Watch is a grass-roots, non-profit, citizen-based organization dedicated to preserving and restoring Sarasota Bay’s ecosystem through education and citizen participation. You can become an active participant by joining as a member and volunteering in Sarasota Bay Watch’s on-going effort to protect and restore this valuable natural resource. For more information visit www.sarasotabaywatch.org

Mote Scientist, Dr. Tracy Fanara, Challenges SMA Prep Cadets to Become Superheros for the Planet!

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Mote Marine Scientist, Environmental Engineer, and Science Communicator, Dr. Tracy Fanara, engaged a group of 200 eighth graders as part of SMA Prep’s Project Earth Speaker Series. Dr. Fanara kept her environmental call to action simple: “Learn something every day and teach something every day”.

The scientist shared her journey and emphasized how remaining curious, passionate and dedicated to her interests led to valuable discoveries, meaningful collaborations, and her dream job as Manager of the Environmental Health Research Program at the Mote Marine Laboratory. The program investigates the effects of marine and freshwater chemicals on public health. Beyond producing real-world solutions that improve public health, Fanara admits that being the program lead allows her the freedom to take her research in the direction she chooses. Continue Reading

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

National Wildlife Federation Certifies SMA Prep as Schoolyard Habitat®

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, announced that the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), has recognized that Sarasota Military Prep  in Sarasota, Florida has successfully created a Certified Schoolyard Habitat® through its Garden for Wildlife program. NWF is America’s largest wildlife conservation and education organization. Continue Reading

SMA Prep is Going for the Green in 2017-18!

Eco-Schools USA strives to make environmental awareness and action an intrinsic part of the life and culture of a school. Through school-based teams of students, administrators, educators and community volunteers, Eco-Schools combines effective “green” management of the school grounds, facilities, and curriculum. Eco-Schools is an international program hosted in the United States by the National Wildlife Federation. Eco-Schools USA is committed to building a sustainable, comprehensive green school movement in the U.S. and abroad.” (1996-2017 National Wildlife Federation)

“The Seven Step Framework The Eco-Schools USA Seven Step framework is designed to be a flexible process and one that any school should be able to implement. You are encouraged within this framework to implement each of the Seven Steps in the way that suits your school and situation best. The steps involve a wide diversity of individuals from the school community – with students playing a primary role in the process.” (1996-2017 National Wildlife Federation)

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(1996-2017 National Wildlife Federation)

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.

Tropicana Speech Contest Winners!

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Congratulations to the winners of The Tropicana Speech Contest. SMA-Major Pelletier and SMA-Captain Neff had their students write an original speech, cadets presented their speech in class, and then competed in the finals.
  • First Place: Ava DiGiovanni “Social Media Apps”
  • Second Place: Aurelia Pyrczak “Poverty”
  • Third Place: Daliah Helfrich “I am Syria”
Ava DiGiovanni will represent SMA Prep in the 4/H Tropicana Public Speech Contest on Wednesday, May 10.

Stop Motion Claymation

SMA-MAJ Hodges is supporting 30 teams who have written movies (3-5 minute script), built sets, and fashioned their characters out of modeling clay.  They are ‘rehearsing’ their claymation techniques. Once the animators are finished filming…they will go into post-production for editing, sound/music as they finalize their 3-5 minute movie. Can’t wait to see their finished products!

Interact Club News

The Rotary Club of Sarasota Southside hosted the officers and board members of the SMA Prep Interact Club at Fleming’s Steakhouse on May 1, 2016. The outstanding young leaders delivered the program and shared not only their accomplishments of the current school year, but their plans for the future. The Interact board members that attended the event were as follows: Sam Mast, Sarah Cripe, Valerie Wojcik, Colton Brantley, Joey Collins, and two cadets from SMA High School. Coordinators SMA-Major Pelletier, SMA-Captain Neff, and SMA-Captain Clancy joined the cadets in the celebration. interact_flemings

Arbor Day Celebration

6th Grade Mangrove Contribution

SMA-Major Deb Walker loaded up her car with over 500 mangroves to deliver to the UF/IFAS Extension for the Sarasota County Arbor Day celebration! The 6th-grade cadets worked hard to get all of the propagules ready using recycled tennis ball containers to hold them with an attached info sheet on their care and about our school. Great job!

50/50 Day at SMA Prep 2017

On May 10th, 2017, over 11,000 events happened around the globe in companies, organizations, schools, museums, libraries and homes for the first ever 50/50 Day — a global day of film screenings, discussions, and a global Q&A around how to get to a more gender-balanced world in all sectors of society, from the economy and politics to culture and home. 50/50 Day had over 500 million press and social media impressions, including coverage of the Times Square billboard, recent ABC News article, NPR interview, Variety, Bloomberg, Time Magazine. (2017 Let It Ripple)