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Save the Date for the 2019 Indian River Lagoon Science Festival!
Fort Pierce, FL – The Indian River Lagoon Science Festival returns for its 6th year on Saturday, October 26 from 10am-3pm at Veteran’s Memorial Park, part of the River Walk Center in Fort Pierce! This FREE, all-ages, day of discovery promises to be a blast for the whole family with dozens of minds-on, hands-on activities exploring the wonders of science, technology, engineering, art and math. The Indian River Lagoon Science Festival aims to show not only the importance of science, but also to highlight how fun it can be. Last year we had over 80 exhibitors and over 10,000 visitors!
Leading up to the Festival on October 26, we will be hosting a series of science-focused satellite events that will be taking place around the Treasure Coast! For more information on these events, please visit the IRL Science Festival Eventbrite Page: https://www.eventbrite.com/o/irl-science-festival-15187812659
Can’t get enough of IRL Science Festival events? We are looking for event volunteers to assist us with set up, break down, and everything in between on October 26 and October 27. Minimum age for volunteers is 16 years old. Registration for volunteers will open on September 16th. More information can be found at http://irlsciencefest.org/volunteer/. If you are interested in being an exhibitor, registration is open online at https://irlsciencefest.org/host-an-exhibit/.
The Indian River Lagoon Science Festival was established in 2014 and is a celebration of science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) that culminates in a large-scale community event. The festival aims to demonstrate that science is meaningful, relevant, and fun, to make science accessible to all residents of the Treasure Coast, and to highlight STEAM resources in the IRL region. The Festival planning committee is made up entirely of volunteer organizers from local governments and research, education and non-profit organizations, and administrative support is largely provided by the Smithsonian Marine Station. A member of the Science Festival Alliance (www.sciencefestivals.org) since 2013, the IRL Science Festival serves as a leader in promoting science and science festivals across the state of Florida. For more information about all Festival partners, sponsors, and scheduled activities, visit www.irlsciencefest.org. #IRLsciencefest
The IRL Science Festival has been made possible through funding from the Smithsonian Marine Station, FAU Harbor Branch, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Foundation, Renaissance Charter School, Children’s Services Council/St. Lucie Reads, PNC Bank,and the generous support of WGYL 93.7, WJKD 99.7, WPHR 94.7, WOSN 97.1, WTTB 1490, Waste Pro, St. Lucie County and the City of Fort Pierce.
The inaugural Male Youth Summit at Performance Based Preparatory Academy was a collaboration between the Bethune-Cookman University’s Male Development Institute and the Omicron Tau (Treasure Coast) Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Male students in grades six through twelve attended this event and participated in breakout sessions covered topics such as: dressing for success, grades, mental health, and time management.
On Saturday, April 23, Saint Lucie County middle schools participated in the District championship track meet at Lawnwood Stadium. For the third year in a row, the girls team from Manatee Academy took home the championship. The boys team outperformed expectations and were a close runner up, finishing only 12 points away from their second consecutive trophy. Head coach Chuck Pilson credits a rigorous training regiment that started in September to prepare his athletes for success.
The girls team, composed of 6th-8th grade students, dominated the field. Manatee finished first in every event except two and more than tripled the point total of the second place team. The 3-peat is even more impressive considering this is only the fourth year of Manatee’s existence in the district track program.
Coach Pilson was assisted this season by Kyle Pilson, Ashley Eldridge, and Shotput Coach Caleb Bihari. All the coaches would like to thank the fans who came out to support the team. See you next season!
Manatee boys team finished 2nd to Southern Oaks in the 2016 district championship track meet.
(From left to right): Coaches Kyle Pilson and Chuck Pilson, Manatee Academy Principal Lily Beauchamp, Coaches Caleb Bihari and Ashley Eldridge
Manatee Academy’s Pre-Vet class organized a fantastic school-wide collection program this year for “Save the Chimps,” a local animal sanctuary that cares for about 300 rescued chimpanzees. Students donated over 535 items to this local organization. The goal of the non-profit animal sanctuary is to provide endangered chimpanzees a private, comfortable existence in an environment which simulates a natural habitat as closely as possible. Every chimp costs $16,000 per year to support, and chimps live to an old age of 80 years on average.
To encourage donations, Mrs. Friend’s eighth grade Vet Prep students designed an EXPO which was held in the gym to teach younger students about chimpanzee life. 7-800 students visited the vet prep presenters, who designed themes including “Why Chimps Do Not Make Good Pets,” “Natural Diet of Chimpanzees” “Chimp Social Behavior,” and “History of Save the Chimps Facility” just to name several examples.
Booth activities provided instruction for the elementary age students and included art, songs, dancing, games, puzzles and riddles to solve. Jacob Dixon even entertained classes dressed as a friendly chimp! Classes were entered into a donation contest with the winning class earning a banana split ice cream sundae party. Additional enrichment projects include K-8 classes signing up to create chimpanatas; paper-mache covered balloons that the sanctuary stuffs with paper shreds and treats to stimulate the chimps’ natural foraging instincts.
Manatee Academy Vet Prep students select one animal rescue effort to support each school year. Students enrolled in the Vet Prep class study animal science, humane animal treatment, and most move on to academically rigorous high school attractor programs through the district.
Mrs. Remington, Manatee Academy’s media specialist, set a school-wide challenge to read 3,000 pages in one day. After two hours in (because students were already at 9,000 pages) she upped the ante to 30,000!!! Our voracious students surpassed our goal and read 76,106 pages in one day!!!
The challenge? Kiss an exotic animal on live TV! Mrs. Remington kissed our own Vet Prep lab rats, “Iggy” and “Izzy”(although Mrs. Remington nicknamed them both “Icky”)!
It is quite apparent what she will go to great lengths to encourage reading at Manatee!
The Manatee Academy K-8 Purple Pirate Monkeys Envirothon team, coached by Richard Maller and Judith Nova, took first place for the Indian River lagoon category at the recent Regional Envirothon Competition. The Envirothon is a nationally based competition for middle to high school teams of students which promotes environmental awareness, science skills and research. The Purple Pirate Monkeys have been working in partnership with local members of the Divisions of Environmental Protection and Forestry, and the Savannas Education Center for the past two years, and have had several division awards during the past two regional games. Pictured, from left, are Samantha Lumbi, Louis Dominiquez, Elena Mena, Nicholas Drew, Frank Reynolds, and Jennifer Alles.
Kindergartners at Manatee Academy recently dressed to impress and celebrated Fancy Nancy Day in the media center by exploring (that’s a fancy word for discovering) a Fancy Nancy glitter puzzle, listening to an original story by Media Specialist Debbie Remington titled “Radical Tad”, playing the Rad Tad fishing game, listening to the latest Fancy Nancy chapter book, “Nacy Clancy” and of course sipping sweet tea, pinkies up of course!
Manatee Academy supported the Million Father March with a morning of “Donuts for Dads”. Over 120 fathers and other special guests arrived to enjoy a special morning with our students. Many of our guests also had the opportunity to peruse the BookFair and walk their children to class. We are quite thankful for the amazing support of our families and community!
Manatee Academy was fortunate to have the dynamic Patty Mayer from our local Red Cross speak to 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classes. Debbie Remington, Manatee’s media specialist organized the event.
The Pillowcase Project is a preparedness education program for children in grades 3 – 5 which teaches students about personal and family preparedness, local hazards, and basic coping skills. Generally given as a 40-minute presentation by Red Cross volunteers, the program leads students through a “learn, practice, share” framework to engage them in disaster preparedness. Students receive a sturdy pillowcase upon completion of the program in which they are encouraged to build their personal emergency supplies kit. Presentations are customized to focus on a hazard that is important and relevant to the local community.
“Recycled MONSTERS were the theme at Manatee Academy in preparation for the upcoming MONSTER Book Fair next week. Students also had to Guess How Many Eyeballs in a fish tank to get a free Book Fair book. A MONSTER PUMPKIN contest and Door Decorating contest enabled teachers to join the fun and earn gift certificates worth $50.00 and $100.00 respectively in Book Fair goodies! A THRILLER Flash Mob is planned for FREAKY FAMILY Book Fair Night!
Manatee Academy middle school students are so excited about the Grand Reopening of Pages Cafe (which serves one item and one item only: BOOKACCINOS!) that they were lined up before school today! Students use Manatee dollars to purchase the fabulous beverage that they can sip while reading a book in our Media Center. Media Specialist AKA Barrista (or BOOKarrista) Debbie Remington loves discussing and recommending books with her patrons as she prepares their BOOKaccino!
Manatee Academy’s Student Government and Honor Society will be hosting a 5k Run/Walk to support the fight against hunger. The event to benefit the Treasure Coast Food Bank will be held on January 23, 2016. Registration is available online at www.active.com and search for “Manatee” or participants can obtain registration information from Charles Pilson at Manatee Academy (340-4745). The first 125 participants to register will receive a free t-shirt!
Students and staff were “Feelin’ Groovy” at our Rockin’ Family Night. Parents learned about websites they can use with their children at home. We also had Deputy Lopez from the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Department talk to parents and students about Internet safety. Students were also able to shop for books with their families in our Scholastic Book Fair. Other highlights of the evening were performances by our administrators singing “Feelin’ Groovy” and Mrs. Remington and Mrs. Valinote performing as Sonny and Cher.
Manatee Academy is currently promoting family literacy by encouraging families to read together for 20 minutes per day for the next 20 days. Families have the opportunity to participate in a contest in which they send in a 20 second video reading together or talking about reading as a family. Reading counts at Manatee Academy!
For the second year, Manatee Academy 7th grade students have partnered with the Indian River Oyster Reef Restoration Project and the 4 H Foundation in building an oyster reef off Harbor Point Park in Ft. Pierce. The students use the natural water filtration ability of the oysters to promote a better water quality in the lagoon system. They have been involved in enrichment lessons that promote real world application of how humans impact the Earth’s water. The unit includes a series of research labs in oyster anatomy along with dissection and water quality testing. The students will return to the area in the spring as permits have been issued to place the reef at that time.
Manatee Academy’s monthly SUNDAY BRUNCH had a special guest for December. The Big Guy himself Ho-Ho-Ho’ed his way into the library and children were treated to something better than candy canes from Santa — free, brand new books TO KEEP!
Families also enjoyed Mrs. Remington’s world-famous chocolate-chip pancakes after snapping pictures with bigger-than-life holiday characters, singing Christmas carols, and checking out up to 10 books!
Naiah James and Cade Saenz, 8th grade, placed 2nd and 1st, respectively, at the St. Lucie Schools District History Fair on February 21, 2015 for Individual Websites. Since neither student had any prior experience creating a website, this was an outstanding accomplishment!
The History Fair Theme this year was Leadership and Legacy. The students could pick any person in history who, positively or negatively, reflected each of those qualities. Cade’s website was about John Dillinger, the notorious bank robber, who lead a gang to steal almost $300,00.00 (That’s $5.5 million in today’s money!). Naiah’s website was about Nelson Mandela, the amazing South African who led protests against the apartheid system, was imprisoned for 27 years, became President of South Africa, and won the Nobel Peace Prize.
All of us at Manatee Academy are incredibly proud of Naiah and Cade and wish them luck at the Florida State History Fair May 3-5, 2015.
Manatee Academy 8th grade students enjoyed lunch at a park after viewing an emotional Anne Frank exhibit sponsored by Temple Beth Am in Jupiter this week. The exhibit is part of a national tour from the Anne Frank Center, New York. Our students participated in a scavenger hunt by answering questions after reading the giant informational murals, pictures, and quotes from Anne and her family. Docents showed a 22 minute film, “The Short Life of Anne Frank.” Students were visibly moved by this documentary and accompanying exhibit.
Manatee Academy students in Ms. Shaver’s 1st period Civics class won first place in the state finals of the Project Citizen for their portfolio. Additionally, they won 2nd place for the oral competition which was scored on their presentation and question responses. Representatives from Ms. Shaver’s class participated in the state finals of Project Citizen on May 20th. Students presented their project to a panel of two different sets of judges comprised of Nova faculty, the League of Women Voters, and Florida Law Related Association staff. The competition had a total of 6 middle schools, three from St. Lucie Public Schools and three from Miami Dade. Because of this win, Manatee Academy’s board and binder will be traveling to Los Angeles for the Project Citizen national competition.
Manatee Academy K8 newlyweds Caleb Bihari and Ashley Drum spent part of their honeymoon teaching impoverished children on the island of St. Lucia. Their experience was made possible by the Sandals Foundation and their “Reading Road Trip” excursion. Every Thursday a van leaves the comfort and luxury of the Sandals resort to go to Balata Primary school in Babonneau. Volunteers sign up in the resort lobby for the opportunity to interact with the faculty and students and see what schooling is like for children in St. Lucia.
“When I heard that this was a possibility I absolutely wanted to go,” Bihari said. “It isn’t often that I am out of the country and have a chance to visit a school.”
When the couple arrived after a forty-five minute van ride though winding mountainous roads, they were shocked at how different it was from a typical school in Saint Lucie County. Parts of the building were surrounded by a barbed wire fence to prevent thieves from stealing books and computers. There was a huge container behind the school that collected rain water from the gutters. This was their water supply. Classrooms were open-air. There were no doors or windows, just large openings in the concrete walls. Feral dogs and cats, along with chickens freely roamed the premises and “A chicken walked into class as I was teaching! It was crazy,” says Caleb. There was no cafeteria, but there was a kitchen where a cook came in and made lunch for the K-6 school of about two-hundred students. Students who choose to purchase a lunch may do so for 1 EC (Eastern Caribbean dollar).
Caleb, Ashley, and four other volunteers toured the school, met the staff, and were introduced to their classrooms for the morning. “We got to meet the faculty and principal and when they found out that we were teachers back in the states they were so excited. Instead of just reading or talking to the students, they told us we could teach any lesson we wanted,” said Drum, a fifth grade teacher. “I gave a quick lesson review on friendly letters and had the students write to my class at Manatee. I have the address of the school and plan for my class to start a pen pal relationship with those students for the rest of the year.”
Caleb, a first grade teacher, read and taught a mini-comprehension lesson to the second grade class he was visiting. “I was surprised at how well behaved the students were. They called me ‘sir’ and always raised their hands to be called on. Not one student shouted out the whole time I was there. I was also a little surprised at how smart the students were, they had excellent vocabulary and very fine tuned writing skills.”
At the end of their lessons, the Manatee teachers passed out books and school supplies that they had brought along to donate. “The kids went crazy,” Ashley said. “We brought a few packs of pencils and paper and about 50 books and everyone was so excited, like it was Christmas morning.” “That is when it really hit home the most that these students have a rough life,” Caleb added. “I got the sense of that when I first arrived at the school and saw just how different it was from what I am used to in Florida. But when I showed the class the books I had brought, you could tell it really made a difference for them. The simple things we don’t even think about meant the world to those kids. It was a really powerful experience.”
“One of the highlights of our honeymoon was going to that school and having the opportunity to teach students who come from a whole different world than what I am used to,” says Ashley. “Both Caleb and I were touched by this experience and made us realize how lucky we are to be teachers.” Caleb adds, “I will never complain about lack of resources or funds again because we are lucky with what we do have. Those teachers have to come up with everything on their own and if they want something they either have to buy it or hope more donations will come the next Thursday they have visitors because their school just doesn’t have the funds. It was both eye-opening and rewarding and definitely something I will always take with me.”
Our third graders are so excited to participate in their first “Skirmishes Over Stories” (S.O.S.) luncheon. Students read a certain number of books prior to our meeting, then enjoy their lunch along with Mrs. Remington’s world-famous brownies, and a prize while answering questions about the books they’ve read. S.O. S. is a precursor for “Battle of the Books” which our 4th and 5th graders eagerly participate in every month using the SSYRA books.