Sarasota Charter School Teacher Receives Congressional Award

Marissa Dobbert, a seventh grade math teacher at Sarasota Military Academy Prep middle school, was recently recognized with a Congressional Teacher Award. The award was established by Congressman Vern Buchanan to recognize outstanding teachers in the 16th Congressional District.

Nine teachers throughout the Suncoast region were awarded this distinction; SMA-MAJ Dobbert is one of two winners from Sarasota County and the only teacher from a local charter school. This is the fourth consecutive year a teacher from the SMA Prep middle school has received this honor.

“I am incredibly excited to receive this award and earn recognition with such amazing teachers throughout our district,” said SMA-MAJ Marissa Dobbert, Sarasota Military Academy Prep Math Instructor and 2019 Congressional Teaching Award Winner. “It is an honor to be nominated for this award when I am simply doing what I love to do every day; teaching talented cadets at Sarasota Military Academy.”

This year, 34 teachers were nominated, and winners were selected by a panel of judges from Sarasota, Manatee and Hillsborough counties. Schools are asked to submit nominations and teachers receive a certificate and additional recognition including having the United States Flag flown over the United States Capitol in their honor.

“We have an incredible team of teachers at both the Sarasota Military Academy high school and Prep middle school campuses, and it is always rewarding to see our outstanding staff recognized,” said SMA-LTC Thomas Vara, Sarasota Military Academy Prep Head of School. “SMA-MAJ Dobbert continues to show her dedication to our cadets and our mission while rising above challenges and consistently going above and beyond. We are fortunate to add her to our list of Congressional Teaching Award winners.”

Previous winners from SMA include SMA-MAJ Todd Brown, SMA-MAJ Carol Pelletier and SMA-MAJ Deb Walker. To view the list of district winners for 2019, visit https://buchanan.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/buchanan-applauds-outstanding-local-teachers-0.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school, college preparatory academy and an accredited IB Diploma and Middle Years Programme (MYP) School with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

Exploring 3D Design

SMA-CPT Miller’s Digital Art students have been working on a 3D design unit this term. Student artists are learning how to use different CAD programs and apply them to a variety of purposes. Throughout this unit, students designed multiple figures and objects to include snowmen, people, animals, aliens, and houses. They collaborated with their peers to design their own themed chess game (like Harry Potter themed Monopoly), a game board, and their own chess pieces using a CAD program of their choice (BlocksCAD, TinkerCAD, or SketchUp).

“After designing their pieces and deciding which would be the King, Queen, pawn, etc., they printed and painted their pieces. Every student got their 3D design printed by our 3D printers. For the last day of the project students played chess against each other using their own boards and printed designs.” – SMA-CPT Miller.

Cadet Jewell with his space shuttle 3D piece.

Ashton designed a space shuttle for a space themed chess board. “My favorite part about the project was painting the piece. It was so small, making it a challenge to get everything colored.” – Ashton Jewell.

Cadet Enriquez with Princess Peach chess piece.

“This project was fun because it was a new challenge, and it was my first time making my artwork 3d and then printing it.” – Maria Enriquez. Maria made Princess Peach for a Mario themed chess board.

“We created Luigi from Mario, and we used colors such as green, brown, white, and black to paint and make him come to life.” Laeonae Moulton. Moulton designed Luigi with Dustin Johnson for a Mario themed board. This group had to make an extra piece since they had less members.

“I liked that we got to 3D print our pieces and play chess with them.” – Karl Mosher. Karl made the Pyramid of Giza for a monuments themed chess board.

“This piece represents a king piece in the shape of a Playstation 4. Our theme was gaming consoles, and I chose this piece because it is my favorite gaming console.” – Saul Calderon.

TV’s Survivorman in Concert, April 26th, to support SMA’s Project Earth, Tickets on Sale Now!

Don’t miss Suvivorman, Les Stroud, in his 2nd annual live performance of an Evening of Songs and Storytelling at Bayside Community Church East Campus, 8200 Bee Ridge Rd Sarasota on Friday, April 26th, 7:00pm – 9:30pm. There is also the opportunity to enjoy a VIP Kayak Experience with Survivorman on Lido Key through Paradise Adventures on April 25th. Tickets to both events can be purchased at SarasotaMilitaryAcademy.com.  (There is a discounted price for SMA staff & students.)

Les is no stranger to Sarasota Military Academy. He initially became involved with SMA Prep as part of  The Inspire Project’s Guest Speaker Series where an array of world-renowned scientists, authors, and celebrities speak to cadets about facing challenges and fulfilling their dreams. Last year’s campus-wide initiative, Project Earth, continues in 2019 and is a perfect fit for the seasoned-musician and real-world survivalist. This will also mark the 2nd time Survivorman will be on the SMA Prep campus connecting cadets with nature and teaching survival skills as part of a campus-wide Project Earth Day event.

LesinNature

In concert, 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.

LesHarmonica

ShelterBox, USA will also be on hand the evening of the concert 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 important organization locally through their Sarasota location.

About Sarasota Military Academy

Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter, International Baccalaureate (IB) World School with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

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 visit http://theinspireproject.us/

SMA Prep Cadets of Month Show the IB Learner Profile of Inquirer

Congratulations to SMA Prep Cadets of the Month for showing the IB Learner Profile of Inquirer. Katherine Ries, John Sabin,  Colton Wilson, Maria Urbina Knuth, and Mark Serebryanskiy are the recipients for the month of January.

Inquirers develop their natural curiosity. They acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research and show independence in learning. They actively enjoy learning, and this love of learning will be sustained throughout their lives.

Nominating Department: World Languages

Katie always participates in class and loves to help other cadet who is struggling in Chinese. She is also a self motivated learner. It’s a pleasure to work with her in class.

John is always showing interest in new things, expressing his opinion or asking for one.  He is a pleasure to have in class because he is constantly making connections outside of the classroom as well.  He is curious, likes to seek for new information and never gives up! Even trying to use the Spanish vocabulary in creative ways.

Nominating Department: Science

Colton is incredibly curious.  He approaches every class period with a renewed sense of interest, and he pursues the acquisition of new knowledge with admirable vigor.  As Colton continues as a leader, he is certain to maintain his inquisitive nature, and to foster that same drive in others.

Maria has maintained her enthusiasm for learning throughout the year.  She asks thoughtful questions, and she encourages others to do the same.  Maria can always be relied upon to participate, not just with answers, but through her thoughtful, reflective interest in science as well.

Nominating Team: Wrestling

Mark has a great work ethic is always up for a challenge. He asks questions useful to inform everyone not just himself. He consistently shows curiosity and interest in learning more about the sport.

IBprofile

The aim of all IB Programs is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world. The International Baccalaureate® (IB) Learner Profile are a set of 10 attributes cadets are encouraged to “try on” to explore different ways of thinking about themselves as leaders to have a positive impact on the work they do and on those around them. Click here to learn more about IB MYP and the IB Learner Profiles. We encourage SMA Prep cadets to consider: “What IB Learner Profile will you become today?!”

 

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SMA Prep Cadets of Month Show the IB Learner Profile of Caring

Congratulations to SMA Prep cadets, Naveah Harmon, Logan Claybrooke, Lilia Mosquera, Avery Alexander, Emily Brooks, and Jason Lockwood as the recipients of the November IB Learner Profile Recognition for Caring. Those that are Caring show empathy, compassion, and respect. We have a commitment to service and we act to make a positive difference in the lives of others and in the world around us.

Comments from their teachers explain how these cadets exhibit Caring:

“Emily is a truly wonderful cadet that continually goes above and beyond in helping her teammates on a daily basis, always patient and thoughtful to those she interacts with. She sets a great example for other cadets.”

“Jason might be the single most compassionate person I’ve ever met.  He constantly scans his environment for people who might need encouragement and goes out of his way to help them in tangible ways, like opening doors or offering to carry items for them.  Jason’s words and actions stem from a genuine compassion for his peers and can be noticed on a daily basis.”

Lilia quietly helps the other cadets at her table during art class when they are struggling.  I have seen her confidence grow and with it, the willingness to assist others.

Avery is a member of the Eco Team as well as being in AgriDesign and has demonstrated the trait for other cadets, the campus and the environment. He constantly helps others, picks up trash on the Prep campus without prompting.

Naveah supports her teammates verbally and emotionally. Whether she is in the game or not see offers support for her teammates and brings positivity to everyone she 

Logan is always the first one to step up and lead the team in getting everyone organized for warm-ups and drills.  He is a person who takes the blame when he is at fault, while not putting down others when it isn’t his fault. When Logan is not in the game, he is the leader on the bench in cheering on his teammates, and being emotionally invested in the game. Overall, he is just a caring person, and he shows it with his actions.

IBprofile

SMA Prep has transitioned its “Cadet of the Month” program to focus more directly on IB Learner Profiles as a fundamental part of the IB Middle Years Program (MYP). The new program “IB Learner Profile Recognition” selects 6 cadets monthly who display that month’s learner profile. December will focus on the IB Learner Profile of Thinker.

The aim of all IB Programs is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world. IB Learner Profiles are a set of 10 attributes cadets are encouraged to “try on” to explore different ways of thinking about themselves as leaders to have a positive impact on the work they do and on those around them. Click here to learn more about IB MYP and the IB Learner Profiles. We encourage SMA Prep cadets to consider: “What IB Learner Profile will you become today?!”

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

SMA Prep Cadets Take on the NPR Student Podcast Challenge: Turn An Idea Into Sound

SMA Prep cadets in Military Studies and Digital Arts combine forces to take on the NPR Student Podcast Challenge. Cadets have begun brainstorming to find their podcast topic. They are working off of various topic ideas such as:

  • Tell us a story about your school or community: about something that happened there – recently or in the past — that you want your audience to know about.
  • What is a moment in history that all students should learn about?
  • Show us both sides of a debate about an issue that’s important to you.
  • What do you want to change about the world? What’s a big change that you want to make in the future?
  • Explain something to us that kids understand and grownups don’t.

From this brainstorm, students will select their podcast topic and begin to write scripts, collect content, designate roles and design the sound and feel of their podcast for submission. Submissions will be judged on the following criteria: Information and Structure, Personality and Creativity, and Production Quality.

Thank you to SMA-CPT Miller and CPT Davis for engaging these creative SMA cadets.

Bringing two classes together allows for 6th, 7th and 8th graders to build communication and collaboration across age groups. SMA-Cadet Kalli B., who is a 6th grader, says she’s excited about this project because “everyone is working together as a team and is open to each other’s ideas”. Many cadets have expressed interest in continuing a cadet-led podcast that will add to SMA Prep’s media platform already established through the live streaming daily broadcast of Prep World News.

The contest opens up to entries on Jan. 1, 2019, and closes on March 31, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. ET. NPR will pick two winners: one from grades 5 through 8 and one from grades 9 through 12. We can’t wait to “hear” what these talented and engaged cadets come up with when they Turn Their Idea Into Sound!

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

Stanford Professor Emeritus and World-Renowned Psychologist, Dr. Zimbardo Challenges SMA Prep Cadets to Train for Everyday Heroic Action

Dr. Philip Zimbardo, an American psychologist and a professor emeritus at Stanford University introduced cadets at SMA Prep to the Heroic Imagination Project of which he is the founder and president. Many know of Dr. Zimbardo for his 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment along with many other notable works. Currently, he is focused on motivating people to no longer be bystanders and instead take action to have a positive impact on the world around them.

Growing up in poverty in the Bronx in the 1930s and 1940s, Dr. Zimbardo often wondered how it was that some of his friends in the neighborhood grew up to be “bad” kids while others grew up to be “good” kids. As he refocuses his pursuit of understanding human behavior, he has established a new approach by asking, “how do ordinary people act heroically? Being introduced to the Heroic Imagination Project, cadets began to make their own connections with issues such as bullying and intolerance that can also be a part of their adolescent lives.

“Heroism starts in the mind.”

The larger question Dr. Zimbardo posed to cadets was, “Can anyone be a hero?” and emphasized the need to teach people to move away from being passive and instead to help people and situations that are in distress. Other questions came to light such as how to eliminate stereotypes and become more accepting of others as well as the value of developing a growth mindset as opposed to a mindset that is fixed and unchangeable. Dr. Zimbardo imparted to cadets that success in life depends on mindset, are you thinking into the future or are you stuck in the present only seeking immediate reward?

Dr. Zimbardo speaks to cadets this year for Project Equality which is one of the pathways developed through The Inspire Project created by SMA-MAJ Todd Brown who teaches 8th-grade Individuals & Societies as well as Civics. Brown has been cultivating this program over 5 years and it has positively impacted many students. SMA Cadet-CPL Grace Wagler is currently attending SMA High School and shared this about Dr. Zimbardo, “something that really stuck with me was the idea that just as normal people can take on “evil” roles so easily, normal people can also take on roles as heroes. This was an interesting concept and I think it is amazing that DrZimbardo used the findings from an experiment that sort of went south (Stanford Prison Experiment) to inspire people to become everyday heroes.”.

Dr. Zimbardo is also involved in the green school movement with the goal to empower kids across the world as Eco-Heros. He currently works with schools in 18 countries and Green School in Bali is particularly impressive. SMA Prep was awarded the Green Flag award from Eco-Schools USA through the National Wildlife Federation. The connection to other green schools offers a unique opportunity for SMA Prep cadets to collaborate on a global level.

Dr. Zimbardo and his team believe, “Most people want to take effective action in challenging situations, they just don’t know how.” He is hoping to train a new generation of heroes, “suggesting that each and every seemingly ordinary person on this planet is capable of committing heroic acts”.

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

About Heroic Imagination Project

The Heroic Imagination Project (HIP) develops and implements education programs, research, and public initiatives to inspire and encourage everyday heroism. Our mission is to encourage and empower individuals to take heroic action during crucial moments in their lives. We prepare them to act with integrity, compassion, and moral courage, heightened by an understanding of the power of situational forces. More information is available at www.heroicimagination.org.

 

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SMA Prep Cadets Explore the IB Learner Profile of Open-Mindedness

Congratulations to SMA Prep cadets, Ethan K., Sara D-R, Lucas S., Bryanna L., Illiana W., and James D. (not pictured) as the recipients of the October Ib Learner Profile Recognition for showing Open-Mindedness. Open-Minded learners understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories, and are open to the perspectives, values, and traditions of other individuals and communities. They are accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of points of view and are willing to grow from the experience.

Comments from their teachers explain how these cadets exhibit Open-Mindedness:

Ethan takes the opportunity in class to reach out to others to help his fellow classmates work out ideas with an open mind in order to complete their work. He is always eager to engage with others to explore questions and problem solve searching for a more effective or useful outcome.”

Sara has been in this country less than a year and is eager to help other students become more open-minded. She often points out that math is done differently in her country.  She volunteers to show the class different ways of doing math. Sara is also interested in learning new ways to do math from her classmates and teacher as well. She loves to help and work with others so everyone can understand new math concepts.”

Lucas is new to our country from Brazil and shows his open-mindedness every day as many things are different in the US. For example, Brazilians write their numbers differently.  Lucas speaks Portuguese and English and often explains to his classmates about life in Brazil. Lucas volunteers to answer questions and is always interested in learning new concepts. Lucas is a good self and peer advocate.”

Brianna shows her open-mindedness excelling when collaborating with others to develop ideas and problem solve. She also displays this attribute because she is a very good listener and she uses this to work effectively with others. Brianna will offer to help other students understand things from a new perspective and she enjoys listening to everyone’s ideas as well.”

Illiana approaches working with other always with an open mind. She is respectful and helpful and genuinely wants to hear what others have to say. Illiana shows confidence through sharing ideas with others as well. She thinks of her classmates, teachers, family and SMA Prep always with a positive perspective.”

James is an exceptional student who often demonstrates open-mindedness. He is always open to other people’s opinions and values their input.  He enjoys having a healthy debate on almost any topic and he finds it extremely important to understand all viewpoints related to the topic. His ability to keep an open mind allows him to have a more complete understanding of the topic being discussed. James values the importance of understanding all viewpoints before forming his final opinion. Through his open-mindedness, he helps other students around him to develop a similar attitude, which has had a very positive impact on our class as a whole.”

IBprofile

SMA Prep has transitioned its “Cadet of the Month” program to focus more directly on IB Learner Profiles as a fundamental part of the IB Middle Years Program (MYP). The new program “IB Learner Profile Recognition” selects 6 cadets monthly who display that month’s learner profile. November will focus on the IB Learner Profile of Caring.

The aim of all IB Programs is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world. IB Learner Profiles are a set of 10 attributes cadets are encouraged to “try on” to explore different ways of thinking about themselves as leaders to have a positive impact on the work they do and on those around them. Click here to learn more about IB MYP and the IB Learner Profiles. We encourage SMA Prep cadets to consider: “What IB Learner Profile will you become today?!”

SMA Prep Partners with Apparel Co. MANG to Give 7,000 Mangroves New Life

SMA Prep welcomed back Kyle Rossin, co-founder of the West Palm, high-performance apparel company, MANG. Prep’s young environmentalists work with MANG to give dying mangroves a second chance at life which in turn positively impacts Florida’s fragile ecosystem. As an environmentally responsible company, MANG’s “Buy One. Plant One.” initiative pledges to plant one mangrove propagule for every product that is purchased.  SMA Prep cadets provide the resuscitated mangroves they cultivate on campus to support MANG’s one plant at a time initiative.

Every August for the last five years, SMA- MAJ Deb Walker and her 6th-grade cadets have walked the local beaches and estuaries for stranded Red Mangrove seed pods (propagules). These “props” are doomed to decomposition unless placed vertically so that they can produce their famous red roots that are so valuable to the environment. This year, the cadets brought in over 7000 propagules and cultivated them until their first set of true leaves have appeared.

Several years ago, SMA-MAJ Walker received an email from a member of Captains for Clean Water, an ecological group in Ft. Myers. She was asked about her mangrove cultivation project and they offered to spread the word in South Florida. The result was an email from Kyle Rossin, co-founder of MANG.

Kyle takes the time to work with the cadets and give a lesson on the importance of mangroves in the local ecosystems. The cadets loaded up his truck with about 7000 mangrove propagules that they had been cultivating for months. Volunteers in West Palm then plant the props in local estuaries.

SMA Prep cadets benefit from the network of environmental goodwill SMA-MAJ Walker continues to build. “What a great experience for our cadets: to know that their months of effort are rewarded by their mangroves finding a new home and helping to restore the estuaries that have been so threatened by Red Tide.”

Click below to learn more about SMA-MAJ Deb Walker and her 6th-grade cadets’ past and ongoing green initiatives at SMA Prep:

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

About MANG

MANG is a high-performance apparel and gear company dedicated to preserving the natural ecology of coastlines and mangrove ecosystems. Their team of avid fisherman and naturalists recognize that mangrove habitats are the life-support system and nursery for many juvenile marine species. “Our vision is by 2020 MANG will be a locally recognized and environmentally responsible company that is changing the world by planting one mangrove at a time.” More information is available at www.manggear.com

SMA Cadets Plan Community Holiday Family Mini Session Photo Fundraiser

Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) invites the public to a Holiday Family Mini Session Photo Fundraiser on Saturday, November 10, 2018 from 10am to 4pm at the SMA high school campus, located at 801 N. Orange Avenue in Sarasota, and 10am to 4pm at the SMA Prep middle school campus, located at 3101 Bethel Lane on Fruitville Road in Sarasota.

All proceeds raised during the fundraiser will be used to purchase new campus digital cameras for cadets to use for yearbook and digital imaging and photography classes. Photo sessions will be 30 minutes each and each session will cost $50. All photos will be captured by cadets enrolled in photography courses taught by SMA Captain (CPT) Samantha Miller, and participants will receive 5 edited photos from their session.

“When our students were brainstorming ways to raise money to buy new cameras for our photography classes, this fundraiser immediately stood out,” said SMA-CPT Samantha Miller, Sarasota Military Academy photography teacher. “We are excited to help our cadets practice their skills while bringing a unique fundraiser to our community.”

The public is asked to pre-register through the SMA website and attendees are encouraged to dress up in festive attire as the background themes will be Holiday inspired; standard backdrops are available upon request. Pets are welcome and a variety of photo backdrops will be available.

“Our cadets are excited to host holiday photo sessions for families and friends throughout the community,” said SMA-MAJ C.J. Bannister, Sarasota Military Academy Foundation, Inc. Chief Development Officer. “Our cadets in our photography classes asked for new cameras and when asked about a creative way to raise money, they collaborated on ideas and came up with this fundraiser. Not only are we helping our cadets provide a service to their community, but they are also practicing their craft while learning how to raise funds and budget for tools they need to succeed.”

To register for a photography session and support the cadets at Sarasota Military Academy high school and middle school campuses, please visit https://bit.ly/2OTwHS8.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school and college preparatory academy with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visithttp://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

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)