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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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”. (  

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.
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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

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

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

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

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


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