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Press Release

Thursday, May 16, 2008

Tom Butler
(850) 245-0413

Florida Celebrates First Annual Science Day
~ Science educators throughout the state teach students about wind energy ~

TALLAHASSEE – Schools across the state today are celebrating Florida’s First Annual Science day. During the day, schools are encouraged to teach a specific science lesson based on this year’s theme of wind energy. Sixteen lesson plans were written and submitted by Florida teachers to be considered for the state Science Day lessons. Of those submitted, four were chosen to represent lesson plans for the high school, middle school, and elementary school levels.

"Wind-generated power is one of the cleanest methods of producing energy and is a renewable resource with zero emissions," said Governor Charlie Crist. "By teaching young people about these innovative technologies, we develop their interest in leading Florida on a cleaner, more reliable energy path that is important to their future."

In support of Science Day, the Florida Association of Science Teachers (FAST) and the Florida Association of Science Supervisors (FASS) provided an award to the winners of each of the four selected lesson plans. The award includes a one-year membership in FAST and complimentary registration to the FAST annual meeting in September. Additionally, FAST will award $500 to attend the annual meeting and FASS will award $250. The winners were also declared as Florida Science Educators of the Day.

The lesson plan winners are:

  • Grade 2: Janet M. Acerra, Forest Lakes Elementary School, Pinellas County – Let’s Look at Air!
  • Grade 5: Michelle Ferro, West Melbourne School for Science; Nancy Rehwoldt, Surfside Elementary; and Wendy Shelden, Ralph Williams Elementary School, Brevard County – Playground Heat!
  • Grade 7: Ellen Maracotta and Kimberly Rys, Bayonet Point Middle School, Pasco County – The Wind in My Sails
  • High School: Jennifer Cribbs, Deland High School, Volusia County – We Got Trouble, Right Here in "Your Town!"

"I encourage all Floridians to join me in celebrating the phenomenal efforts of our Science teachers as they strive to prepare our children in this important subject area," said Education Commissioner Eric J. Smith. "Using our new Science standards, they will be able to equip our students with the knowledge they need to compete in such a demanding and fast-paced global economy."

The Florida Department of Education’s Division of Public Schools selected the topic for this year’s Science Day based on the newly adopted Science Sunshine State Standards. The new Science standards focus on a smaller number of "big ideas" for each grade level and allow Science teachers to spend more time on each concept. As a result, Florida students will receive instruction in the Sciences that is more rigorous and relevant.

To learn more about Florida’s Next Generation Science Standards, visit http://www.floridastandards.org. To learn more about Florida Science Day and to view the lesson plans, visit http://www.fldoestem.org/page299.aspx.