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Tampa school news

Student award: King High School senior Ben Carpenter is one of 10 finalists for the U.S. Army/Pro Football Hall of Fame Award of Excellence, which recognizes the achievements of student athletes.

Carpenter has been on the Tampa Thunder power wheelchair soccer team for eight years, serving as captain for the last five. He has volunteered as a Shriner's Hospital for Children patient ambassador and for Junior Achievement. He founded the nonprofit Ben's Mends Club, which repairs books and donates them to charities. He is a student in the King High International Baccalaureate program.

Teacher award: Scott Rudes, principal at Orange Grove Middle Magnet School of the Arts, was given the Dr. Denise Davis-Cotton Emerging Leader Award by the Arts School Network, a nonprofit that promotes the development of arts programs.

Science Olympics: Elementary school students will compete in the finals of the Hillsborough County Elementary Science Olympics on Nov. 28 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Museum of Science and Industry, 4801 E Fowler Ave.

More than 140 elementary schools participated in semifinal rounds this month. Kindergarten students built towers with paper cups, first-graders built boats with aluminum foil, second-graders made paper airplanes, third-graders made balloon racers, fourth-graders made marshmallow flyers and fifth-graders made marble coasters.

Fundraiser run: The Take Stock in Children Strides for Education 5K Walk will take place Dec. 8 in Hillsborough County at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the walk begins at 9 a.m.

The walk will raise money for the Hillsborough Education Foundation, which provides mentors and scholarships for at-risk middle school students and graduating high school students. For more information on joining or starting a team, volunteering or donating, visit

Whale lesson: Stella the Whale visited Graham Elementary School this month as part of a 30-day migration project across the state. The Wyland Foundation, a nonprofit focused on preserving oceans, waterways and marine life, created the life-size illustration of the baby right whale to teach students about migration, whales, health and wellness. Graham Elementary was Stella's only stop in Hillsborough County, with a final stop at the Right Whale Festival in Jacksonville on Nov. 17.