Seventh grade students in Claudy Bois’ and Joshua Burgess’ classrooms at Palm Pointe Educational Research School at Tradition were recently celebrated with a visit by Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute (VGTI) scientists for being named the overall district winners in the VGTI Grand Challenge! The challenge, posed to all seventh grade science classes in the district, invited students to complete a collaborative project aligned to genetics and ecology course standards. Students were awarded prizes emblazoned with the STEM logo signifying the district’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics initiative. The scientists talked with students about their projects and also answered student questions about work at VGTI as research scientists. The winning projects exhibited creative problem-solving and a deep understanding of science content. Mr. Bois’ third period class designed a biological control on invasive snails and Mr. Burgess’ second period class developed a plan to combat exotic pythons. The teachers received a gift certificate to ScienceKit science supply company. On hand for the celebration were district Science Curriculum Supervisors Cristina Veresan and Steven Shotola, as well as Palm Pointe Principal Debra Snyder and Assistant Principals Latricia Thompson and Kathleen Perez. Pictured is a group of the budding scientists!