Orlando Science Schools’ robotics team, 4013 Clockwork Mania, recently participated in this year’s FIRST Robotics Competition Championship. At the event, junior Sebastian Orellana, of Windermere, was one of 10 students presented with the Dean’s List Award.
Those recognized were selected out of more than 73,000 students in 19 countries.
“Winning this award is a huge honor,” Orellana said. “I owe it all to the support of my teammates and the teachers at OSS who push us to be our best.”
The award recognizes the top FRC students who demonstrate leadership qualities and a passion for science and technology. Winners are nominated by their team mentors. For OSS, Maribel Barea has served as the team’s lead for several years.
“We are proud of all the students who participated in the FRC World Championship,” said Dr. Yalcin Akin, Orlando Science Schools’ executive director. “In addition, Sebastian’s recognition speaks to how motivated and passionate our students are about applying STEM concepts.”
The four-day World Championship was held in April in St. Louis and featured three competitions: FIRST Robotics Competition Championship, FIRST Tech Challenge World Championship and FIRST LEGO League World Festival.
+ SunRidge students shine at media fest
Three media/journalism students from SunRidge Middle School participated in the Orange County Student Media Festival.
The second-year students created live-action book trailers to be entered along with more than 30 other submissions in the countywide contest.
Elias Tazi took second place for “The Tortoise and the Hare,” and AmyRoesch received honorable mention for “One for the Murphys.”
+ New school receives name
Although it wasn’t the most supported name within the community, Independence Elementary will be the name of the new elementary school opening in August in West Orange.
The Orange County School Board chose the name Independence Elementary for a new school being built in the Independence area, one of six villages in Horizon West.
The top three names, all recommended by parents, were based on the patriotic theme of the village. Freedom Elementary got 28% of the community vote, with Independence Elementary close behind at 25%. Liberty Elementary was the third choice, with 17% of about 500 votes.
Board member PamGould, who represents the area where the school will be located, said the name would best represent the area in which the school will be located. Other board members noted the other names could have been confusing because the district already has a Freedom High School and Freedom and Liberty middle schools. The school, previously known as 63-E-W-4, will mostly relieve overcrowding at Keene’s Crossing Elementary, while offering some relief to Sunset Park Elementary.
+ Area students receive Broad Prize
Five West Orange-area students were among the 29 in Orange County Public Schools to receive the Broad Prize.
Local recipients include Amanda Clementel, of Dr. Phillips High, AlexiaGreenwood, of West Orange, and MisaelLugo and KhalidShatara, of Olympia.
Fifty-four high-school seniors from Gwinnett County Public Schools in Georgia and Orange County Public Schools in Florida will receive $1 million in Broad Prize scholarships to attend college, The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation announced. The districts are the first co-winners in the history of The Broad Prize.
In 2014, The Broad Prize review board named only two finalists, and the selection jury decided to name both districts as winners, and each received $500,000 in scholarships.
Broad Prize scholarships are awarded to graduating seniors who, like their school districts, demonstrate improvement throughout high school and who have financial need.
Broad Prize scholars receive two- or four-year scholarships depending on the type of institution they choose to attend. Scholarship recipients who enroll in four-year institutions receive $20,000 paid over four years ($5,000 per year). Students who enroll in two-year institutions receive $5,000 scholarships paid out over two years ($2,500 per year).
+ OCPS schools named among elite
The Washington Post recently released its Challenge Index National Rankings, the newspaper’s annual list of the top 9% of high schools in the nation.
All four West Orange-area high schools made the list. Olympia High was ranked No. 50 in Florida, followed by Dr. Phillips High School (104), West Orange High School (110) and Ocoee High School (184).
The Challenge Index measures the amount of student participation in taking Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests, divided by the number of seniors who graduated that year.