Florida Leads the Nation in Advanced Placement Participation
The Sunshine State is ranked number one in the nation, topping Maryland for the percentage of 2010 seniors taking Advanced Placement (AP) exams while in high school according to the 7th Annual AP Report to the Nation by The College Board. The first-place ranking of 43.5 percent of seniors taking at least one AP exam during their high school career bettered the national average of 28.3 percent. In addition, 22.3 percent of Florida seniors passed an AP exam with a score of three or higher, tying the state at sixth in the country and exceeding the national average of 16.9 percent. The rankings are fueled by solid gains in participation and performance of Florida’s African-American and Hispanic students. Visit http://www.fldoe.org/news/2011/2011_02_09.asp for more information on Florida’s participation and performance on AP exams. For more information on The College Board’s 7th Annual AP Report to the Nation, visit http://apreport.collegeboard.org/.
CTE Day on the Hill
As part of Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month, the Florida Department of Education hosted CTE Day on the Hill on Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011. The day-long event showcased many of the great CTE programs from around the state and participants experienced interactive displays and demonstrations that included flight simulators, massages and health screenings. Culinary treats including fresh Florida seafood were also available for participants. For more information about career and technical education in Florida, visit www.fldoe.org/workforce/programs/.
Florida’s Top STEM Students Honored as Sunshine State Scholars
Florida’s highest achieving science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students joined their peers from around the state Feb. 17 - 18, 2011, in Orlando during the newly revamped Sunshine State Scholars program. The two-day awards and recruitment event recognized Florida’s top 11th grade STEM students and encouraged them to pursue their postsecondary education in Florida – increasing the likelihood that they will join Florida’s future workforce. The event began with a welcome reception keynoted by Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith on Thursday and continued Friday with a breakfast headlined by Chancellor of the Florida College System Dr. Will Holcombe and Chancellor of the State University System of Florida Frank Brogan. A recruitment fair enabled scholars to meet with higher education officials to discuss their future goals at a Florida postsecondary education. The event was capped off with an awards luncheon where scholars listened to Mark Woodbury from Universal Orlando Resort share details about the growth of immersive storytelling and ground-breaking technology found in Universal Orlando’s most iconic attractions. For more information about the Sunshine State Scholars program and a list of student scholars, visit http://www.floridaeducationfoundation.org/.
Outstanding School Volunteers Recognized
The 2011 Outstanding School Volunteers have been named by the Florida Department of Education in recognition of their exemplary dedication and commitment to quality education in Florida. The winners were selected based on the number of volunteer hours of service, years of service, and a unique contribution or characteristic of their services. The award recognizes a student, adult and senior volunteer in each of Florida’s five reporting regions. Each winner receives a congratulatory letter from Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith and a plaque sponsored by the Florida Association of District School Superintendents. For the complete list of 2011 Outstanding School Volunteers, visit www.fldoe.org/successstories.
Simon Malls Kidgits Club “Book Blast” to Collect Books
Are you cleaning out your bookshelves? How about donating some of those used books to a local school? The Florida Department of Education, MetaMetrics and seven Simon Malls in Florida will promote the importance of reading and collect new and gently-used books at each mall’s Simon Kidgits Club’s “Book Blast” events throughout March. The books will support the goals of DOE’s “Just Read, Florida!” initiative and be distributed to schools in the vicinity of the participating mall through donations to the Florida Education Foundation.
The remaining events will take place on the following Saturdays:
In addition to activities and giveaways, select book blast events will feature DOE’s “Find a Book, Florida,” tool, created by MetaMetrics, that will help attendees locate new and intriguing books tailored to their own reading interests based upon the attendee’s reading ability. For more information, visit www.simon.com/kidgits or www.fldoe.org/news/2011/2011_01_19-3.asp.
Holocaust Education and Research Council Essay and Art Contest
Students in grades four through 12 in Leon, Wakulla, Jefferson, Madison and Gadsden counties are invited to enter the fourth annual Holocaust Student Essay and Art Contest sponsored by the Holocaust Education and Research Council. Students should submit an essay or art (including sculpture, drawing, painting or poster) using the theme “Through the Eyes of a Child: Remembering the Children of the Holocaust” by April 29, 2011. Scholarships ranging from $75 to $250 will be awarded to the top essayists and art students. Visit www.holocaustresources.org for complete contest details.
Green Energy Challenge
Educators, schools and students are encouraged to join the 2011 Green Education Foundation (GEF) Green Energy Challenge. The campaign teaches K-12 students that small changes can add up to big savings for their school community and can lead to a positive impact on the planet. From green classroom pledges to school-wide energy audits, GEF’s website features all the resources necessary to participate in the program. Schools that participate will be spotlighted for their efforts and can enter to win GEF Green in Action awards. Registration and all featured resources are free. For additional information, visit www.greenenergychallenge.us or contact Jessica Drench, Director of Programs at GEF at (508) 668-2278.
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