Pinellas education news: Showcasing STEM, prepaid college plans and more

News and notes about K-12 schools and colleges in Pinellas County.
Students enjoyed working with Legos during this STEM summer camp at Gulf Beaches Elementary in 2015. For the summer of 2019, the Pinellas school district plans STEM camps at several schools in June. Families are invited to start signing up now. [SCOTT KEELER   |   TIMES]
Students enjoyed working with Legos during this STEM summer camp at Gulf Beaches Elementary in 2015. For the summer of 2019, the Pinellas school district plans STEM camps at several schools in June. Families are invited to start signing up now. [SCOTT KEELER | TIMES]
Published April 11

Pinellas offers expo, summer camps for kids interested in STEM

The sixth annual Pinellas County Schools STEM Expo will be held April 27 at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg and will showcase engineering design projects completed by more than 4,300 students from 98 schools. Meanwhile, the school district has started registering students for its summer STEM camps in June. One series of camps is open to students in grades 2 through 7 at four locations: Leila Davis Elementary in Clearwater (June 3-6), East Lake Middle (June 10-13), Ridgecrest Elementary in Largo (June 17-20) and Tyrone Middle in St. Petersburg (June 24-27). The $100 cost includes lunch each day. The district also will hold two STEM honors camps for students in eighth and ninth grades at East Lake Middle and Lakewood High. Those camps will run from June 10 to 20, Mondays through Thursdays. The cost is $150, which includes daily lunch, two field trips and a T-shirt. Both camps will be held from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day. For more information about the camps and the expo at USF, visit pcsb.org/STEM.

Deadline nears to enroll in Florida Prepaid College plans

The open enrollment period for the Florida Prepaid College Plan will close April 30. The plan allows families to lock in college plan prices and prepay the future cost of college tuition and fees. When students are ready for college, it pays covered costs at Florida colleges or universities. For more information, visit myfloridaprepaid.com.

Eckerd College speakers to discuss ‘your food footprint’

Holistic health coaches Maya Carl and Robert Lawson will host a presentation titled “You, Food and the World” at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday in Miller Auditorium at Eckerd College. Participants are urged to “learn about your food footprint, how powerful you truly are in the world and how honoring yourself means honoring the earth.” The school provided this description of the topic: “Food, medicine, entertainment, tradition and creation are the basis of many worldwide issues. Few of us realize the connection between a trip to the grocery store and our energy levels, between family dinner and climate change, between our appetizer and politics. We are directly connected to the earth, and every food choice we make affects so much more than we realize.” The presentation is free and open to the public, and is sponsored by the Office of Sustainability and the communication discipline at Eckerd. The campus is at 4200 54th Ave. S in St Petersburg.

Student club at USF St. Petersburg addresses food waste

The Food Recovery Club at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg is hosting one of five regional Food Recovery Summits around the nation in April. The event — from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. April 20 in the University Student Center Ballrooms — is an opportunity to get involved in and connect with community food experts. It will highlight how to reduce food waste in homes, businesses and schools, and allow for the community to collaborate and implement action on food waste issues. The USF St. Petersburg club is one of 230 Food Recovery Network chapters around the country. To register for the summit, visit foodrecoverynetwork.org/regional-summits.

Ridgecrest Elementary volunteer wins state honor

Tracy Ellis, a volunteer at Ridgecrest Elementary in Largo, has been selected as a Florida Outstanding Volunteer of the Year for 2018-19, education commissioner Richard Corcoran announced last week. Ellis has volunteered at Ridgecrest for six years, spearheading school projects, acting as a club sponsor, facilitating workshops and other events, and advocating for disadvantaged children. The award is given in each of Florida’s five regions to a student, an adult and a senior volunteer. Ellis was honored in the adult category for Region 4, which covers west central Florida.

Elementary school lunches

Monday: Hamburger or cheeseburger, chicken and broccoli penne alfredo with bread stick, fruit and yogurt plate, bologna and cheese sandwich, sliced carrots, fresh veggie dippers.

Tuesday: School Favorites Day — students choose the hot entrees and vegetables. Entrée salad: Farmers Salad or Apple‐a‐Day Salad. Sandwich: Jamwich Kit. Romaine side salad.

Wednesday: Chicken tender basket with crinkle oven fries, macaroni and cheese, yogurt and fruit parfait, ham and cheese croissant, sliced cucumbers, spinach or collard greens.

Thursday: Beef or pork tacos, Max Cheese Sticks, chef salad, chicken caesar wrap, marinara cup, refried fiesta beans, side salad.

Friday: No school.

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