Academy Science Program Continues to Produce Outstanding Results

At Academy at the Lakes, students do not learn science simply by reading and memorizing facts. We have a deep commitment to learning science by doing science, and the results of our approach are excellent.

536 students from Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Polk, Sarasota, Manatee, Citrus, and Hernando counties recently submitted inventions in the 2012 USF Young Innovator Competition. 60 were chosen as semi-finalists, and 10 of the 60 semi-finalists were from Academy at the Lakes! No other school from the entire Suncoast area had as many semi-finalists as Academy. Our students who earned the honor (and their inventions) are:

• Matthew Brink ’16 – “The Cool Cap”
• Viraj Desai ’19 — “Step Light”
• Tabbitha Erceg ’18 – “The Flip It Shoe”
• Emma Jones ’18 – “Crush Brush”
• Darin Kilfoyl ’17 – “Concussion Reduction”
• Alex Kimball ’19 – “The Sweet Spot for Sponges”
• Kaitlyn Mahabir ’19 – “The Purified Pooch”
• James O’Donnell ’17 – “Green Light”
• Taylor Williams ’18 – “The Deskercise”; and
• Pasha Yurchenko ’18 – “Miska”

In December, our Middle Division Students participated in the school’s Invention Convention. Each student developed and created a working prototype of a unique new invention. The invention could be a completely new idea or an improvement on existing technology. The process of invention taught the students that accomplishing a goal takes time, effort, trial and error, and creativity. They learned to think of innovative solutions and persevere in the face of setbacks. The confidence and poise of our students was evident as they showcased their creativity and hard work.

Many congratulations are due to our outstanding Middle Division Science teachers, Mrs. Magnusson and Mrs. McCormick, for their expert guidance of our young scientists. Please join us in wishing our student inventors the best as they move on to the next round of the competition.

What a great showing by our teachers and students! What great preparation Academy provides for 21st century success!

Submitted by: Mark Heller