First Annual STEM Day

September 23rd, 2014 Comments off

Live demonstrations, videos, experiments, and presentations will highlight a busy day for elementary students at the First Annual STEM Day Celebration.

This is a unique opportunity for students in kindergarten through fifth grade to learn about the unlimited possibilities in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) related fields. The celebration will be held at Gibsonton Elementary, on Thursday, September 25, from 6 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. Gibsonton Elementary is located at 7723 Gibsonton Drive, Gibsonton.

The featured speaker will be Gabe Gabrielle, a Cape Canaveral Engineer and motivational speaker, who will talk to the students about space travel and STEM careers. Other highlights include demonstrations by students in the following programs: the robotics program at McLane Middle School, students at Stewart Middle Magnet School-a NASA Explorer School, the Pre-Collegiate STEM Academy at Middleton High School, plus The Florida Aquarium and MacDill Air Force Base.

This coincides with the 5th grade Student Spaceflight Experiments Program, where one project will be selected from 21 Hillsborough County Public Schools to go to the International Space Station in the spring of 2015, where astronauts will work on their experiment.

Hillsborough Leads State in National Merit Semifinalists

September 19th, 2014 Comments off

Hillsborough County Public Schools leads the state in the number of National Merit Scholar Semifinalists this year and posted the district’s highest total ever, with 67 students earning the honor.

Hillsborough is the third largest school district in the state, but had more than Miami-Dade and Broward, the state’s two largest districts. Neighboring Pinellas County had 22, Pasco County had 7, and Polk County had 6.

King High School led the way in Hillsborough County, with 20 semifinalists. Hillsborough High School had 11, and Robinson High School had 9. In all, 14 of the 27 public high schools in Hillsborough County were represented on the list.

National Merit Semifinalists represent less than one percent of the nation’s high school seniors.  To be selected as a semifinalist, a student must have an outstanding academic record, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn an SAT score that confirms the student’s academic achievement. Roughly 1.4 million students across the nation vied for the honor of being among the nation’s most academically talented high school seniors.

“Congratulations to the students and their families – and to their teachers,” said Hillsborough schools Superintendent MaryEllen Elia.  “We encourage our students to challenge themselves academically, and this is evidence that even more of our students are achieving at the very highest levels.”

Robinson High Student Reveals Tampa History

September 18th, 2014 Comments off

A Robinson High School student who has been working with the Tampa Bay History Museum has captured a nearly forgotten slice of Tampa history: the Central Avenue business district circa 1931.

Mary Elizabeth Johnson, a senior in the International Baccalaureate program at Robinson High School, will share her findings – in the form of an overlay map and interactive website – on Saturday, September 20, from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Seminole Heights Public Library at 4711 N Central Ave. The public is invited to the free event.

Her research is based on old Sanborn Insurance Company maps and Tampa City Directories from 1924 and 1931. She identified many of the individuals who lived and worked in the 1000 through the 1600 blocks of Central Avenue’s American business and entertainment district some 80 years ago. In addition to dozens of Black-owned businesses, Central Avenue also hosted historic entertainers such as W. C. Handy, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, Hank Ballard and James Brown.

“Ray Charles recorded his first song and teens inspired The Twist dance (written by Ballard),” in the Central Avenue district, which was known as “Harlem of the south,” Johnson said.

The project supports the vision of the TBHC to educate the public about local history. In January, Johnson won the inaugural Dr. Frankye A. Berry Award for the best high school essay in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dreams Take Flight Contest. The contest was sponsored by Hillsborough County Public Schools.