World Renowned Scientist, Dr. Pardis Sabeti Returns to Make Science Infectious for Prep Cadets

Dr. Sabeti returned again this year for another interactive session with SMA Prep cadets as part of The Inspire Project WebEx speaker series. The Q and A with cadets was timed to coincide with “Outbreak” a unique infectious disease outbreak simulation that has become a student-driven event and a campus highlight for 4 years running. This year’s simulation received extra support after Dr. Sabeti received one of ten L’Oréal “For Women in Science” grants and teamed with SMA Prep.

Many cadets were curious about Dr. Sabeti’s views on failure and success. Her advice for the short-term was to “deal with failure by going through the emotions,” however, long-term you have to remember you are going somewhere bigger then you may be able to see now. She also reminded cadets that as a scientist most of her days are filled with failures. “Science is a continuous disappointment. It’s a career that is made on the few times you succeed but most of your work are failures.”

As one of Time Magazine’s TIME 100 most influential people in 2015, she was asked if she feels pressure to always be successful.  She replied that nothing really matters that much if you are living a good life and caring for those around you. Recognition and success are, “not what makes a person because all of it you don’t have any control over anyway”. Time Magazine was a surprise but once you do it, it’s no big deal. “Spending more time with the people who you surround yourself with is more exciting.”

Cadets were also curious about what kind of student she was. “When I got to MIT, I struggled because everyone had grown-up with science all the time and I didn’t.  Nobody thought I would succeed.” Cadets assumed her science fair projects must have been amazing. She admits to having horrible projects, procrastinating on completing them.  “You don’t have to win the science fair to become a professor of genetics.” You need to remain curious your whole life. She credits her parents with pushing her to be who she is and also surrounding herself with people who enjoy what they are doing as well.

She explains to cadets: “People will pull you down. Have three buckets of people: 1) truly good in any context do good by other people. 2) Rotten nature or nurture, miserable and want to make you miserable. 3) Middle of the road, want to be good but struggle. Seek out mentors colleagues and friends in the first bucket and avoid the rotten and try to help those in the middle to find their way.” Surround yourself with really great people. If everyone feels supported everyone has a better experience.

Her final words of wisdom: “Be successful in school. Not as much in how you study, but about your own quality of life. When you are happy and healthy your brain works better than other peoples. “If you are doing it right work shouldn’t feel like work. Find something you enjoy doing”.

About Dr. Pardis Sabeti and The Sabeti Lab

Dr. Pardis Sabeti is a Professor at the Center for Systems Biology and Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University and the Department of Immunology and Infectious Disease at the Harvard School of Public Health. She is an Institute Member of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, and a Howard Hughes Investigator. Dr. Sabeti is a computational geneticist with expertise developing algorithms to detect genetic signatures of adaption in humans and the microbial organisms that infect humans. The goals of The Sabeti Lab are to use computational methods and genomics to understand mechanisms of evolutionary adaptation in humans and pathogens. We are pursuing these goals through 3 research foci:

  • Developing analytical and experimental methods to detect and investigate natural selection in the genome of humans and other species.
  • Examining host and viral genetic factors driving resistance to Lassa Fever in West Africa.
  • Examining signals of natural selection in pathogens, including Lassa virus, Ebola virus, and Plasmodium falciparum malaria to understand how they rapidly evolve and studying their genetic diversity to guide long-term intervention strategies.

Dr. Sabeti completed her undergraduate degree at MIT, her graduate work at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and her medical degree summa cum laude from Harvard Medical School as a Soros Fellow. Dr. Sabeti is a World Economic Forum (WEF) Young Global Leader and a National Geographic Emerging Explorer and was named a TIME magazine ‘Person of the Year’ as one of the Ebola fighters. Her awards included the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award for Natural Science, the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise, the NIH Innovator Award, the Packard Fellowship, and an Ellis Island Medal of Honor. She has served on the MIT Board of Trustees and the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Women in Science, Medicine, and Engineering. Dr. Sabeti is also the lead singer and co-songwriter of the rock band Thousand Days. Find out more at www.sabetilab.org

About L’Oreal USA For Women in Science

The For Women in Science program was created out of a simple belief: the world needs science, and science needs women because women in science have the power to change the world. The L’Oréal USA For Women in Science fellowship program awards five women postdoctoral scientists annually with grants of $60,000 each for their contributions in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields and commitment to serving as role models for younger generations.  To learn more visit www.lorealusa.com

About The Inspire Project 

Guest speakers changing student lives 30 minutes at a time…  a simple, individual 30-minute video conferencing session by every age, walk of life and occupation that have followed their dreams and succeeded.  The session will take place one at a time at the choosing of the participant’s availability.  The series derives its strength from the people that provide inspiration for the young students to not only believe in themselves but in their dreams. To find out more about the 2017-18 Project Earth speaker series visit theinspireproject.us/project-earth

Survivorman, Les Stroud, Celebrates Nature with Evening of Songs and Storytelling

The seasoned musician and real-world survivalist, Les Stroud, inspires with an evening of songs and storytelling through original music and video imagery that creates an intimate and profound call to get back to nature for music and nature lovers alike. This dynamic concert is a culmination of Les’ passions: adventure, nature, music, and performing. His music has influences from roots/blues, folk, and rock. Along with guitar and piano, Les is well-known for his exceptional harmonica playing.

Les comes to Sarasota having been with Sarasota Military Academy Prep’s The Inspire Project as a guest speaker for the past 2 years. For this year’s initiative Project Earth, Les will be on the SMA Prep campus connecting cadets with nature and teaching survival skills. He wraps up his visit in concert 8-10 p.m. on Saturday at Bayside Community Church East Campus.

ShelterBox USA will also be on hand that evening showcasing their emergency shelter to create awareness about their global effort to provide shelter and tools for those who have been displaced by natural disasters or conflicts. Les partners with ShelterBox in Canada and it is exciting to have connected with such an impactful organization locally through their Sarasota location.

Survivorman Songs and Storytelling 8-10 p.m.; Saturday, April 21 at Bayside Community Church East Campus, 8200 Bee Ridge Rd, Sarasota $20; sarasotamilitaryacademy.org 

About Survivorman, Les Stroud

Les Stroud has made a powerful name in the world of documentary filmmaking, indeed starting an entirely new genre of TV, yet he comes by his music honestly. Since the age of fourteen Stroud has been writing songs and studying musically. By age 23 his music was being shopped to the likes of Bruce Springsteen and he was a published songwriter with RCA/BMG music. Taking a break from music to concentrate on outdoor adventure throughout the mid 80’s and early 90’s Stroud eventually returned to his first love when he found an old guitar in a house in Yellowknife, NWT in Canada, while he was dog sitting 30 Inuit sled dogs (go figure!). He re-ignited his passion for music creation and picking up where he left off began writing again. He continued to write and record all through the inception and eventual success of filming the Survivorman TV series, which included writing the theme music for any documentary work he produced and releasing 4 CDs as well as performing hundreds of concerts (in between the Survivorman location shoots). lesstroud.ca/musician

About The Inspire Project 

Guest speakers changing student lives 30 minutes at a time…  a simple, individual 30-minute video conferencing session by every age, walk of life and occupation that have followed their dreams and succeeded.  The session will take place one at a time at the choosing of the participant’s availability.  The series derives its strength from the people that provide inspiration for the young students to not only believe in themselves but in their dreams. To find out more about the 2017-18 Project Earth speaker series visit theinspireproject.us/project-earth

About ShelterBox

ShelterBox is a global organization made up of people who believe in shelter as a human right – that shelter from the chaos of disaster and conflict is vital. We put families first. The commitment of our supporters enables us to provide emergency shelter and tools for families robbed of their homes by conflict and natural disaster.  ShelterBox

Learning in Action: Nature as Art Inspired by Environmental Artist, Andy Goldsworthy

SMA Prep artists tried their hand at creating outdoor sculptures inspired by the work of environmental artist, Andy Goldsworthy. SMA-CPT Pam Kok developed this unit in her Visual Arts classes to support the campus-wide initiative Project Earth. Exposure to making deeper connections to nature fits in perfectly with the overall goal of building compassionate and caring environmentally conscious individuals.

The budding environmental artists enjoyed the process of using patterns, textures, and natural materials to create art. Cadets offered some insights into their experience:

  • “It was fun to keep adding to other materials as we got more ideas.” I enjoyed that everyone made something different.
  • “It was fun, and we used teamwork. We had so many ideas once we joined our ideas together.”
  • “We used creative thinking. I liked the different colored rocks and leaves.”
  • “I liked that we were building outside. We used logical thinking to come up with a plan and then added on to it.”

The classes hope to place installations around campus to share their ideas and the importance of everyone recognizing a connection to the nature around them.

About Andy Goldsworthy

“Using the temporal materials as the reflection of the world we live in, Andy Goldsworthy collaborates with nature creating ephemeral works which remain immortalized only on photographs. Traveling around the world in a quest for perfect environment, he strives to understand nature by his direct participation, enjoying the freedom provided by the possibility to create something just using his hands and material that is within reach. His outdoor sculptures of snow, ice, leaves, rock, clay, feather and twigs represent the idea of change, movement, growth, and decay that is the vitality of nature, the driving energy that he tries to elicit through his pieces. Using the earth as a source, he makes art sensitive to every process that happens around us. Nature and land are in a state of change which itself is the key to understanding.” (www.widewalls.ch)

AndyGoldsworthy
Cadets used Andy Goldsworthy’s outdoor sculptures as inspiration for their own creations

About Sarasota Military Academy Prep

Sarasota Military Academy Prep is a public charter, middle school and authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, providing students with a 21st-century learning experience immersed in daily military principles of honor, respect, and leadership. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor, and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multicultural and globalized world. More information is available at www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org

About Project Earth

Project Earth is a student and faculty-driven collaborative effort spearheaded by Agri-Science, the Interact Club, and Project Inspire. Our goal is to become an Eco-School, a new certification backed by the National Wildlife Federation. It is a seven-step process that requires audits in twelve sustainable categories such as water consumption, energy use, and campus biodiversity. The certification would be a year-long effort that would promote environmental awareness of the cadets and a chance to lessen the carbon footprint of our school. To find out more about upcoming speakers visit Project Earth

 

TV’s Survivorman in Concert, April 21st, to support SMA Prep’s Project Earth, Tickets on Sale Now!

Tickets are $20 to the public and will be held for you at will call on the night of the show. Tickets are also on sale at both SMA Prep and SMA High School. “Buy Now” through your PayPal account or with your credit card below:

Tickets are $15 for all Sarasota Military Academy cadets and employees. Purchase on campus.

TV’s Survivorman, Les Stroud, is no stranger to SMA Prep. This is his 2nd year participating in the Project Inspire Guest Speaker Series where an array of world-renowned scientists, authors, and celebrities speak to cadets about facing challenges and fulfilling their dreams. This year’s campus-wide initiative, Project Earth, is a perfect fit for Les. He recently shared his love of the environment and nature when he spoke to cadets about traveling the world and surviving in nature. Les will also visit SMA Prep in April to show cadets authentic survival skills in the outdoor settings surrounding our campus.

SMA Prep is very excited to host Stroud in Sarasota where he will perform in concert to support Project Earth. “Les Stroud has a huge passion for music, and it permeates everything he does. He plays a wide array of instruments, and his harmonica skills are legendary. MusicTV will show you how Les’s love of nature inspires his music – and how his music helps keep his spirits up during many a dark night out in nature.” (smtv.com)

Don’t miss this live performance of an evening of songs and stories at Bayside Community Church East Campus, 8200 Bee Ridge Rd Sarasota on Saturday, April 21st, 8PM-10PM.

lesblogpic

About Sarasota Military Academy Prep

Sarasota Military Academy Prep is a public charter, middle school and authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, providing students with a 21st-century learning experience immersed in daily military principles of honor, respect, and leadership. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor, and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multicultural and globalized world. More information is available at www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org

About Survivorman, Les Stroud

Best known as the Canadian Screen Award-winning producer, creator and star of the hit TV series Survivorman (OLN Canada, The Science Channel US, Discovery Channel International, City TV (Rogers) Canada), Les Stroud is the only producer in the history of television to produce an internationally broadcast series entirely written, videotaped and hosted alone. With Les known as the original genre creator of ‘Survival TV’, Survivorman is one of the highest rated shows in the history of OLN Canada, the Science Channel US and Discovery Channel US and remains the highest-rated repeat show on the Discovery Channel. Survivorman is licensed for broadcast worldwide, with ratings in the US hitting 2 million on individual episodes. He has been nominated for 24 Canadian Screen Awards (formerly the Geminis) and has won for Best Writer (twice) and Best Photography. Visit www.lesstroud.ca for more information.

About Project Inspire Guest Speaker Series

Guest speakers changing student lives 30 minutes at a time…  a simple, individual 30-minute video conferencing session by every age, walk of life and occupation that have followed their dreams and succeeded.  The session will take place one at a time at the choosing of the participant’s availability.  The series derives its strength from the people that provide inspiration for the young students to not only believe in themselves but in their dreams. To find out more about the 2017-18 Project Earth speaker series visit theinspireproject.us/project-earth

SMA Prep Receives 14k in Education Foundation Grants!

SMA Prep did well this year receiving the Education Foundation’s school-wide $10,000 grant along with four $1,000 classroom grants!

SMA-MAJ Todd Brown, Individuals & Societies and Civics: The grant Project Earth received the $10,000 school-wide grant! SMA Prep was selected from 24 school-wide grant proposals. The Project Earth grant’s aim encompasses a school-wide effort towards Eco Certification that extends opportunities to all grades and subjects through embedded curriculum, field trips, and community outreach programs using the underpinnings of STEM and literacy as a driving force to improve SMA Prep’s carbon footprint and community outreach through involvement with local environmental public organizations. 

SMA-MAJ Billy Hodges, Design: “My grant is for the purchase of digital video cameras for the PREP World News program. These cameras will be used by our field news teams to interview sports team members and coaches, video highlights of football, basketball, and volleyball games, teachers and classroom events, school events (Outbreak and others), etc. Those interviews and clips will then be edited down to 30-45 second segments that will be incorporated into the daily live news show.”

SMA-CPT Pam Kok, Visual Arts:  “My grant is a Kickstarter grant called Figure it Out! We will be able to buy a classroom set of artist manikins so that each cadet can have one to use when learning to draw people.  Drawing the human figure is challenging, but very rewarding for young artists when they learn to draw realistic-looking people.  The wooden manikins will also be available for the design teachers when they create stop-action videos.”

SMA-MAJ Carol Pelletier, Language & Literature: “The grant is titled Got Books? The grant will support the purchase of a classroom library that includes nonfiction and fiction titles that are appropriate and interesting to middle school students. In addition, the titles that were selected will support the units currently taught in both 6th and 8th grade.”

SMA-MAJ Deb Walker, Design and AgriScience: “My grant is Decompo Depot. Cadets will grow mushrooms and set up earthworm farms. The project calls for dark spaces and it occurred to me I could use old files cabinets!”

About SMA Prep

Sarasota Military Academy Prep is a public charter, middle school and authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, providing students with a 21st-century learning experience immersed in daily military principles of honor, respect, and leadership. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor, and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multicultural and globalized world. More information is available at www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org

About Project Earth

Project Earth is a student and faculty-driven collaborative effort spearheaded by Agri-Science, the Interact Club, and Project Inspire. Our goal is to become an Eco-School, a new certification backed by the National Wildlife Federation. It is a seven-step process that requires audits in twelve sustainable categories such as water consumption, energy use, and campus biodiversity. The certification would be a year-long effort that would promote environmental awareness of the cadets and a chance to lessen the carbon footprint of our school. To find out more about upcoming speakers go to Project Earth

TV’s Survivorman, Les Stroud, Challenges SMA Prep Cadets to Connect with Nature

Award-winning producer, creator, and star of the hit TV series Survivorman , Les Stroud, challenged SMA Prep cadets to go outside and connect with nature. The adventure-seeking Stroud joined cadets across campus as part of the 2017-18 WebEx Speaker Series and campus-wide initiative Project Earth. Stroud is no stranger to SMA Prep having participated as a speaker in the 2016-17 Project Inspire. Cadets were delighted to listen to stories of survival, traveling the world and pursuing your passions.

Stroud began by discussing his current projects which include building his own television network SMTVnetwork.com. The network is an entertainment and educational resource to teach specific survival skills in authentic situations and environments all over the world. Stroud is also fulfilling his childhood dream of being a rock star. He recently released “an ambitious rock album called Survivorman’s Mother Earth featuring guest appearances by Slash and Steve Vai… focused on celebrating nature and connecting to the earth”. Whether as an author, filmmaker, activist, photographer or musician, one of the driving goals in all of Stroud’s pursuits is to connect people with nature.

Stroud recounted a recent run-in with a “playful” 400lb grizzly while on location for National Geographic as well as his most severe survival challenge occurring in Norway when he spent 10 days cold and wet developing Hypothermia. He made it clear to the cadets that “the cold is always the worst”.

SMA Prep cadets received a few well-grounded life lessons as well. Stroud responded to a question about dealing with stress and anxiety by stating, “calm down, catch your breath and consider zones of assessment… look at what you have to work with”. Start with your self, then your immediate surroundings and then further afield. When asked why he loved to travel so much, Stroud had a one-word answer, “perspective”. He went on to explain how he thrives on being somewhere different that changes how he sees the world and his place in it. One of his favorite places on earth is Peru.

Lastly, a question was asked about how to achieve success in life. Stroud did not hesitate as he responded, “engage in your own life and go after what you want to do… choose work that takes you where you want to go”.

This April, SMA Prep is looking forward to hosting Stroud, in person, on campus where he will walk cadets through an authentic, hands-on survival experience and he will also perform live for an evening of songs and stories at Bayside Community Church East Campus, 8200 Bee Ridge Rd Sarasota on Saturday April 21st, 8PM-10PM. Tickets are on sale at both SMA Prep and SMA High School. Tickets are $15 for SMA cadets and employees at both campuses and $20 to the public. For more information call 941-877-7737.

About Sarasota Military Academy Prep

Sarasota Military Academy Prep is a public charter, middle school and authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, providing students with a 21st-century learning experience immersed in daily military principles of honor, respect, and leadership. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor, and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multicultural and globalized world. More information is available at www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org

About Project Inspire Guest Speaker Series

Guest speakers changing student lives 30 minutes at a time…  a simple, individual 30-minute video conferencing session by every age, walk of life and occupation that have followed their dreams and succeeded.  The session will take place one at a time at the choosing of the participant’s availability.  The series derives its strength from the people that provide inspiration for the young students to not only believe in themselves but in their dreams. To find out more about the 2017-18 Project Earth Speaker Series visit www.projectinspire.net/project-earth

About Survivorman, Les Stroud

Best known as the Canadian Screen Award-winning producer, creator and star of the hit TV series Survivorman (OLN Canada, The Science Channel US, Discovery Channel International, City TV (Rogers) Canada), Les Stroud is the only producer in the history of television to produce an internationally broadcast series entirely written, videotaped and hosted alone. With Les known as the original genre creator of ‘Survival TV’, Survivorman is one of the highest rated shows in the history of OLN Canada, the Science Channel US and Discovery Channel US and remains the highest-rated repeat show on the Discovery Channel. Survivorman is licensed for broadcast worldwide, with ratings in the US hitting 2 million on individual episodes. He has been nominated for 24 Canadian Screen Awards (formerly the Geminis) and has won for Best Writer (twice) and Best Photography. Visit www.lesstroud.ca for more information.

About Project Earth

Project Earth is an SMA Prep student and faculty-driven collaborative effort spearheaded by Agri-Science, the Interact Club, and Project Inspire. Our goal is to become an Eco-School, a new certification backed by the National Wildlife Federation. It is a seven-step process that requires audits in twelve sustainable categories such as water consumption, energy use, and campus biodiversity. The certification would be a year-long effort that would promote environmental awareness of the cadets and a chance to lessen the carbon footprint of our school.

SMA Prep Inspires with World Renowned Guest Speakers for Project Earth Initative

SARASOTA, FL. August 24, 2017Sarasota Military Academy Prep, a public charter, middle school and authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, providing students with a 21st-century learning experience immersed in daily military principles of honor, respect, and leadership, is inspiring its cadets with a world-renowned speaker series. SMA Prep is promoting its campus-wide initiative Project Earth. The 2017-18 Project Earth Speaker Series line-up includes an array of world-renowned scientists, authors, and celebrities who offer SMA Prep cadets real-world exposure to changemakers who are positively impacting environmental issues on a global scale.

SMA Prep cadets interact with speakers through WebEx or in person and this year’s speakers include: Continue Reading

Data Scientist and Inventor, Dr. Radinsky, Wows SMA Prep Cadets With the Global Impact of Predicting the Future

Director of Data Science, IL Chief Scientist, eBay and Visiting Professor/Scientist, Technion, Dr. Kira Radinsky, enlightened a packed classroom of 60 fortunate cadets as part of SMA Prep’s Project Earth Speaker Series. Dr. Radinsky shared how her passion for prediction led her to create algorithms to tap into the human behavior underlying internet searching. Through a combination of questioning whether we can search to predict and a desire to automate causality and correlations, Dr. Radinsky, “developed algorithms that leverage web knowledge and dynamics to predict future events, that enable early warning of globally impactful events (e.g. riots or diseases) by spotting clues in past and present news reports”. (kiraradinsky.com)  

IMG_0394This phase of Dr. Radinsky’s career was spent understanding historical patterns and how they could predict the future. It was her creative use of algorithmic thinking that reaped the benefits of the computing ability to mine big data and to recognize the human fingerprints behind the internet searches around events. From tracing the steps of a historical Ebola outbreak to a volcanic eruption or predicting violent outbreaks that erupt within societies, Dr. Radinsky’s work is on target with the content and global concepts being investigated in 8th-grade Civics at SMA Prep.
Continue Reading

SMA Prep’s “OutBreak!” Receives Voya Unsung Heroes® Grant

SARASOTA, FL. August 24, 2017Sarasota Military Academy Prep, a public charter, middle school and authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, providing students with a 21st-century learning experience immersed in daily military principles of honor, respect, and leadership, announced that SMA Prep has received the Voya  Unsung Heroes® Grant for 2017. SMA Prep was one of only 100 chosen for the $2,000 grant. Continue Reading

NASA’s “Growing Beyond Earth Challenge” Accepts SMA Prep In Study

SARASOTA, FL. September 27th, 2017Sarasota Military Academy Prep, a public charter, middle school and authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, providing students with a 21st-century learning experience immersed in daily military principles of honor, respect, and leadership, announced that NASA has selected SMA Prep to participate with other middle and high schools in their “Growing Beyond Earth Challenge”. Continue Reading