Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Prep's renovated wing has intensive STEM focus

Mobile desks, interactive whiteboards, high-definition projectors, sound-reflecting panels, friction-resistant floors. And enough bandwidth capable of supporting 999 devices.

Those are among the features in Tampa Preparatory School's renovated 6,400-square-foot wing dedicated to the study of careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, popularly referred to as STEM. The renovations cost between $500,000 and $600,000.

Tampa Prep's STEM focus mirrors a national trend of schools and other institutions of learning devoting more resources to those careers. "Many schools say take more math and science," said Kevin Plummer, head of school.

Though the renovations were two years in the making, it was well worth the wait, judging from the students' early reactions.

On a recent day, ninth-grader David Ebbert burst into the head of school's office exited to share the countdown clock he created on his iPad to track the precise time until he receives his pilot's license.

Students' interest in engineering is starting earlier than ever, with 42 sixth-graders taking an introduction to robotics course and 12 seventh- and eighth-graders enrolled in intermediate robotics.

Tampa Prep also offers underwater robotics, an engineering design and development course. Just two weeks into the new school year, students were working together to conquer lead circuits, the first step in creating a brain to power their final project, an underwater robot.

KK Quah, an engineering teacher, said the underwater robotics class "combines all the elements of designing and building, hardware and software, and great team skills to get the job done."

Donald Morrison, dean of faculty, said students in the STEM program have to complete their senior internship in a STEM field and spend at least one semester completing a visual arts course.

The students also must participate in STEM-related extracurricular activities, such as the science fair or robotics club, and attend related off-campus events. They also go to on-campus lectures by speakers like Col. Robert Shane Kimbrough, a NASA astronaut.

After completing the program, students receive a STEM certificate, which "will allow students to get a leg up on other students who intend to major in a STEM field in college both during the application process and once classes begin," Morrison said.

Jean Wall, director of college counseling, added: "A STEM certificate indicates to college admissions officers that a student has been willing to go above and beyond in his or her academic career in high school."

Tampa Prep's renovated wing has intensive STEM focus 09/18/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 5:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Review: Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald team up to cool down the Clearwater Jazz Holiday

    Blogs

    A cool breeze swept through Coachman Park Saturday night. Couple of them, actually.

    Kenny Loggins performed at the Clearwater Jazz Holiday on Oct. 21, 2017.
  2. No. 16 USF hangs on at Tulane, off to first 7-0 start

    College

    NEW ORLEANS — After half a season of mismatches, USF found itself in a grudge match Saturday night.

    USF quarterback Quinton Flowers (9) runs for a touchdown against Tulane during the first half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH103
  3. Lightning buries Penguins (w/video)

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Ryan Callahan spent a lot of time last season rehabilitating his injured hip alongside Steven Stamkos, who was rehabbing a knee after season-ending surgery. During those hours, Callahan noticed two things about Stamkos: his hunger and his excitement to return this season.

    Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Slater Koekkoek (29) advances the puck through the neutral zone during the first period of Saturday???‚??„?s (10/21/17) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  4. Spain planning to strip Catalonia of its autonomy

    World

    BARCELONA, Spain — The escalating confrontation over Catalonia's independence drive took its most serious turn Saturday as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain announced he would remove the leadership of the restive region and initiate a process of direct rule by the central government in Madrid.

    Demonstrators in Barcelona protest the decision to take control of Catalonia to derail the independence movement.
  5. Funeral held for soldier at center of political war of words (w/video)

    Nation

    COOPER CITY — Mourners remembered not only a U.S. soldier whose combat death in Africa led to a political fight between President Donald Trump and a Florida congresswoman but his three comrades who died with him.

    The casket of Sgt. La David T. Johnson of Miami Gardens, who was killed in an ambush in Niger. is wheeled out after a viewing at the Christ The Rock Church, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017  in Cooper City, Fla. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP) FLMIH102