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Education Notes 2-14-2020

February 14, 2020
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Less receives STEM Research Grant from Society for Science & the Public

St. Andrew Catholic School teacher James Less recently learned that he was a recipient of a research grant from the Society for Science & the Public. Research grants are awarded across the country to a handful of high school and middle school teachers. Submitted proposals must indicate how funds will be used to enhance student science research programs.

In an excerpt from its website the Society for Science & the Public explains that it is "a champion for science, dedicated to expanding scientific literacy, effective STEM education and scientific research ... a nonprofit 501(c)(3) membership organization focused on promoting the understanding and appreciation of science and the vital role it plays in human advancement: to inform, educate, and inspire."

In his submission to the Society, Less said, "If awarded the grant, I propose using the funds to purchase Vernier data loggers with Vernier probes. The equipment will be used for students to collect, store and analyze their research data. This equipment will also enable our students to conduct important and timely research because there is great statewide interest in water quality issues in southwest Florida. The proposed equipment will put our students on the forefront of several local initiatives to undertake field studies that complement those of local colleges and universities."

Under Less' guidance, middle school students at St. Andrew participate in the school science fair, affiliated with the Thomas Alva Edison Regional Science and Engineering Fair, following guidelines of the State Science and Engineering Fair of Florida and the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. In addition, students participate in research campaigns sponsored by National Aeronautic and Space Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration through their Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment platform. Students have engaged in research using GLOBE protocols for surface temperature, atmosphere, water quality, and the biosphere.

St. Andrew students shine at Edison Regional Science and Inventors Fair

On Jan. 18, 16 middle school students represented St. Andrew Catholic School at the Thomas Alva Edison Regional Science and Inventors Fair at Florida Gulf Coast University. This event is the largest STEM competition in Southwest Florida where more than 700 students from schools in Lee and Charlotte counties present their inventions and/or science projects.

Eleven St. Andrew students were recognized for their exceptional science and invention projects at the awards ceremonies. Those recognized were: Zoe Malca (grade 6) Honorable Mention - Jr. Division for Behavioral and Social Sciences, Zachary Engle (grade 7) Third Place - Fr. Division for Physics and Astronomy, Kyle Benson (grade 7) Fourth Place - 7th Grade Inventions, Abigail Cudnik (grade 7) Honorable Mention - Jr. Division for Earth and Environmental Science, Savannah Chase (grade 8) Third Place - Jr. Division for Biomedical and Health Sciences, Declan Derba & Renato Pantoja (grade 8) Honorable Mention - Jr. Division for Engineering and Marckovsky Ambroise (grade 8) Second Place - Special Transportation Invention.

The "stars" of the evening were 6th grader Christopher Pino and 8th graders Naissa Esperance and Andrew Pino. Christopher Pino was awarded First Place in the Jr. Division for Animal Sciences for his project "Cut the Frag: The Effect of Different Starting Coral Fragments Weights on Growth Rate." Esperance received First Place in the Jr. Division for Environmental Engineering for her project "Comparing the Efficiency of Reverse Osmosis and Thermal Desalination for Decreasing the Salt Concentration of Water." Andrew Pino was awarded First Place in the Jr. Division for Chemistry for his project "The Power of Algae: The Effects of Different Concentrations of Magnesium Sulfate and Magnesium Chloride on Chlorella vulgaris Growth."

All three are also Grand Award Winners and will present their projects at the prestigious Broadcom MASTERS event and at the State Science and Engineering Fair in Lakeland, Florida this spring.

Boxleitner has poem accepted for publication

The Live Poets Society of New Jersey named Island Coast High School junior Denver Boxleitner's "The Cruel Woods" among 100 topical winners in its 22nd annual National High School Poetry Contest for the 2019-20 school year.

She wrote the 20-line poem for an assignment in an honors English class taught by Thomas Romano. The piece will be included in the "My World" anthology, which the Live Poets Society cites as "a meaningful study of introspective poems written by teenagers for teenagers."

According to the organization, fewer than 2 percent of all the poems received appear in the anthology, set for publication during April.

The Cape resident is a National Student Leadership Conference invitee, Take Stock in Children scholarship recipient and National Honor Society member. Boxleitner is a clarinetist in the honors instrumental ensemble and mezzo soprano in the top choir. She has competed three years for the varsity bowling and tennis teams and volunteers at the Northwest Regional Library in Cape Coral.

CCPD accepting applications for 'Do The Right Thing' scholarships

It's that time of the year where the Cape Coral Police Department gives high school seniors the opportunity to apply for the "Do The Right Thing" scholarship. This year the program will be giving out four "Do The Right Thing" scholarships: Two for $1,500.00 each, one for $1,000 and one for $500

Students applying for the scholarship must: be enrolled in a 12th grade Cape Coral school or be a resident of Cape Coral, have maintained a GPA of 2.5 or better, have a resume, have 2 letters of recommendation and present 300-word typed essay

Applications can be found in the CCPD lobby located at 1100 Cultural Park Blvd., online at or by the linked file below. All applications need to be filled out and postmarked by March 31. Please note that applicants do not have to be a past "Do The Right Thing" winner/recipient.

The Cape Coral Police Department thanks the following organizations for their donations to the "Do The Right Thing" program: Ecological Labs, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 33 and Cape Coral Social Club.

Alvin A. Dubin Alzheimer's Resource Center offering scholarships

The Alvin A. Dubin Alzheimer's Resource Center is accepting scholarship applications from local Lee County high school seniors for its 2020 Scholarship Award Program.

The Alvin A, Dubin Alzheimer's Resource Center offers scholarships to college-bound students who have had personal experiences with someone suffering from Alzheimer's disease or related disorders.

Seniors from local high schools are invited to submit applications for $1,000 scholarships. Each applicant is asked to write a narrative about his/her positive experience with a family member or friend who is affected by Alzheimer's disease or dementia.

A panel of Advisory Council members of the Alvin A. Dubin Alzheimer's Resource Center will review the applications, focusing on the narrative as well as the student's volunteer experience, and future goals.

Completed applications, including letters of recommendation, must be postmarked by March 31, 2020. Recipients will be announced in May. The center has awarded over $30,000 in scholarships. To obtain an application, students can visit the Alvin A. Dubin Alzheimer's Resource Center's web site at

The Alvin A. Dubin Alzheimer's Resource Center, a local United Way partner agency, provides informational, educational and supportive assistance to individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders and their caregivers in Lee and Hendry counties. Contact the Dubin Alzheimer's Resource Center at 239-437-3007.

Children's Learning Center accepting registrations at new location

Child Care of Southwest Florida is accepting student registrations for its newly relocated The Children's Learning Center in Fort Myers.

The Children's Learning Center, which previously operated on the campus of Florida SouthWestern State College, moved in early January to a new location at 37 Barkley Circle. Previous students were granted priority transfers, and Child Care of Southwest Florida has now opened registration to additional families in the Fort Myers area.

The new 5,064-square-foot facility can accommodate up to 89 children from infants through pre-kindergarten, as well as an after-school program for students up to 8 years old.

Accredited through the National Accreditation Commission for Early Learning Leaders, The Children's Learning Center is recognized as a Gold Seal Quality Care Program through the Florida Department of Children and Families, and maintains a five-star rating through the Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida. The Children's Learning Center follows the nationally recognized, research-based Creative Curriculum that builds a safe, nurturing learning environment that develops young minds, supports families, strengthens the community and secures the future.

The Children's Learning Center operates weekdays from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Scholarship assistance is available, and nutritious meals and snacks are included at no additional charge through Child Care of Southwest Florida's participation in the USDA's Child Food Care Program.

To learn more about The Children's Learning Center or Child Care of Southwest Florida's five additional centers in Lee and Hendry counties, call 239-278-1002 or visit

Dr. Ward new director of nursing at Hodges University

Hodges University recently announced that Dr. Barbara Ward has joined as the School of Health Sciences Nursing Program Director. Her responsibilities include overseeing and continuing to grow the university's bachelor of science in nursing program, which is accredited by ACEN.

Ward brings over 30 years of professional nursing experience. In her career, she has served in many academic roles, including faculty, clinical coordinator, associate degree nursing program director and nurse administrator of an associate and baccalaureate degree program. and Baccalaureate degree program. Ward earned a master of science in nursing (emphasis in nursing education) from Grand Canyon University and a doctor of nursing practice from Grand Canyon University College of Nursing and Health Care.

Ward is board certified as a registered nurse in the states of Florida and Washing-ton, and formerly certified as an adult critical care registered nurse. She also holds a Certified Nurse Educator certification from the National League for Nursing.

More information about Hodges University is available at



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