Subscribe with Bloglines MAST Academy Captain's Blog: April 2010

MAST Mission Statement

MAST Academy provides a marine setting and a nurturing environment for studies leading to academic success, career preparation, an appreciation of the sea, and environmental awareness. Stakeholders work together to instill a commitment to life-long learning and to advance and improve a challenging curriculum integrated with sciences and technology.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Voting is Closed!

The voting window for the Commencement Challenge is closed!  It certainly has been a terrific adventure.  I for one have learned quite a bit.  I am also impressed and grateful for the way the entire community has come out in support of our school.  Honestly, it has been inspriring.  Thank you to all for your emails, links, phone calls, texts, facebook, and every other way which you used to drum up support.  There is something to be noted in how we all have come together.  My humble thanks and appreciation to each and every one of our supporters.  Now, let's hope that MAST makes it to the final three!  Good night! 

Fair winds and tight lines.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The President’s Commencement Challenge: Making MAST’s Video

MAST Team Heads to NOSB Finals!

Here is the MAST NOSB team that headed to St. Petersburg this past Friday to compete the finals for the National Oceanic Science Bowl!  The team won regionals a few weeks back in a tough final that went back and forth with the Makos taking the final victory.  I spent some time trying to follow them via twitter this weekend but the tweets I could find kept kicking me over to facebook.  I can't wait for tomorrow morning to see how the team did!  They are Makos, so I am sure they showed their spirit and pride!

This Week in South Florida with Michael Putney

This morning Tosca, Margaux, Mrs. Herrera, Dr. Lichtenheld, and I went up to the Channel 10 studios, invited by Michael Putney, to share our Commencement Challenge story.  It was a really great experience.  Below is a collage of the photos that we took while there!  Please remember that voting starts tomorrow morning at 8am.  Please lend MAST your support!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Commencement Challenge Voting to Open Monday, April 26!

Below if the official Whitehouse press release outlining the procedures for voting and final selection of the winning school for the Presidant's Commencement Challenge!  Please let everyone know and share the news.  Thank you for your support!  The studnets' work is absolutely terrific - wait until you get to see the video!
 PLEASE VOTE FOR MAST!

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

__________________________________________________________________________________

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                             April 22, 2010





Public Voting Begins Monday for Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge

President Obama to choose national winner from three finalists selected by public



WASHINGTON – The White House and the Department of Education announced today that voting for the winner of the first annual Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge will begin Monday, April 26.





From 8 a.m. EDT on Monday, April 26th through 11:59 p.m. EDT on Thursday, April 29, 2010, the public will have an opportunity to review and rate a three-minute video and short essay from each of the six high school finalists at http://www.WhiteHouse.gov/Commencement. President Obama will select the national winner from the three high schools with the highest average ratings. The Commencement Challenge winner will be announced on Tuesday, May 4, 2010 and the President will visit the winning high school to deliver the commencement address later this spring.



Voters are encouraged to rank the finalists based on the criteria of the Commencement Challenge including:



• Educational success of the school as an example for other high schools around the country;

• The ability of the school to engage students in learning and to foster personal responsibility and academic excellence; and

• The success of the school in preparing students to graduate college and career-ready, to help meet the President’s 2020 goal that America have the highest proportion of college graduates of any nation in the world.



The Commencement Challenge, launched in late February, invited the nation’s public high schools to submit applications showing their dedication to providing students with an excellent education that will prepare them to graduate ready for college and career choices. Applications were judged based on the schools’ performance, four essay questions and supplemental data. The six finalists were selected for their dedication to academic excellence and for showing how they are helping prepare students to graduate college and career ready, and prepared to meet the President’s goal of having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020.

Finalists:

• Blue Valley Northwest High School (Overland Park, Kansas)

• Clark Montessori Junior High and High School (Cincinnati, Ohio)

• Denver School of Science and Technology (Denver, Colorado)

• Environmental Charter High School (Lawndale, California)

• Kalamazoo Central High School (Kalamazoo, Michigan)

• MAST Academy (Miami, Florida)

Complete details of the voting and selection process appear below:



Rating the Finalists

On Monday, April 26, 2010 at 8:00 a.m. EDT, public review and rating of the six high school finalists in President Obama’s High School Commencement Challenge will begin on http://www.WhiteHouse.gov/Commencement. A three-minute video and short essay from each school will highlight how it best satisfies the criteria of the Commencement Challenge. Visitors to the website can view each finalist’s video and written submission, presented in random order. For each school, visitors are encouraged to watch the video and read the essay question before deciding on a rating. Visitors will be allowed to rate the finalists on a scale of 1-5 (with 1 as the lowest rating and 5 as the highest). After a rating is submitted, the next school’s video and essay question will be presented for review and rating until all six schools have been viewed. The ability to rate videos will end at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Thursday, April 29, 2010.



Rating Criteria

Voters are encouraged to rank the finalists based on the criteria of the Commencement Challenge including:

• Educational success of the school as an example for other high schools around the country;

• The ability of the school to engage students in learning and to foster personal responsibility and academic excellence; and

• The success of the school in preparing students to graduate college and career-ready, to help meet the President’s 2020 goal that America have the highest proportion of college graduates of any nation in the world.



Determining the Winner

At the end of the rating period (April 26, 2010 at 8:00 a.m. EDT to April 29, 2010 at 11:59 p.m. EDT), the three schools with the highest average ratings will be submitted to President Obama for final selection. The winner of the Commencement Challenge will be announced on Tuesday, May 4, 2010.



# #

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

MAST Geography "Bees" Take a Bite Out of the Competition

Congratulations to Ms. Reboredo and the members of the MAST Geography Bee team.  They took 2nd place today in the Miami-Dade County Geography Bee competition.  Great job, Flavio, Joe, Ivan, Nicolas, Jose, and Pier.  We're very proud of our Makos!

Please also remember that Dr. Hood takes the National Oceanic Science Bowl team to nations beginning tomorrow.  Good luck!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Filming, Filming, Filming!

Today is the day! Filming is in progress!

100_0107

Academic Symposium - April 7, 2010

Thursday’s Early Release Luncheons

This past Thursday we had three luncheons as part of our early release activities.  The slideshow above has some shots of each.  The participation of the students in really made them special.  The international luncheon featured student performances (video to come later), the SHAPE luncheon celebrated the club members hard work all year, and the FEA luncheon included a review of the year in working with MAST Outreach and election of a new officer cadre.

As a completely different sidenote, I am trying to learn a new tool for creating entries.  On my netbook I received a copy of Windows Live Writer.  It seems to be a very friendly way of posting. I will continue to experiment.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Walk-through for Commencement Challenge Video

This afternoon we completed the walk-through for tomorrow’s Commencement Challenge video shooting.  All seems to be in order and the team appears to have their ideas collected and ready to begin shooting!  Everything has come together nicely with final preparations.  Tomorrow morning we will start early and get things off to a running start.  For any students and parents who have the chance to read this particular entry, please make sure you have your release signed and turned in to your homeport teacher.  Have a restful evening!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Weekly Calendars - April 12 - 16, 2010

Water Polo - GMAC Tournament @ MAST

This week we will host the GMAC water polo tournament at our pool on Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday.  Below are the draws for both the girls' and boys' tournaments.  After GMAC's it is prep time for districts and, if all goes well, states! (So I hope!!)  Please come out and support the Makos!

 

Video of the Commencement Challenge Notification Phone Call

A link in the title of this entry will take you to the video on whitehouse.gov wherein the six finalist schools are notifed of their being chosen.  I am posting it as a separate entry because of all that I have heard about it from so many different people.  I hope you enjoy it!

Next steps in the process include a conference call with the new video producers tomorrow right after school and looking forward to begin filming at MAST sometime later in the week.  Once the six videos are posted it will be time to vote.  At that point, please encourage everyone you know to vote and ask them to have their friends and neighbors lend MAST their support!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

President Obama's Commencement Challenge - Press Release

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

_______________________________________________________________________

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 9, 2010



President Obama, Department of Education Announce Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge Finalists

Six Public High Schools Selected to Compete for Presidential Commencement Address



WASHINGTON – The White House and the Department of Education announced today the six high schools selected as finalists for the first annual Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge. The Commencement Challenge, launched in late February, invited the nation’s public high schools to submit applications showing their dedication to providing students with an excellent education that will prepare them to graduate ready for college and career choices. Applications were judged based on the schools performance, four essay questions and supplemental data. The six finalists were selected for their dedication to academic excellence and for showing how they are helping prepare students to graduate college and career ready, and prepared to meet the President’s goal of having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020.

Finalists:

• Blue Valley Northwest High School (Overland Park, Kansas)

• Clark Montessori Junior High and High School (Cincinnati, Ohio)

• Denver School of Science and Technology (Denver, Colorado)

• Environmental Charter High School (Lawndale, California)

• Kalamazoo Central High School (Kalamazoo, Michigan)

• MAST Academy (Miami, Florida)

“I thank all of the schools that submitted applications for the first Commencement Challenge and I congratulate the six finalists for demonstrating effective approaches to teaching, learning and preparing students to graduate ready for college and a career,” said President Obama. “The quality of the applications we received is a testament to the exciting work happening in schools throughout the country, and I look forward to visiting and speaking at the winning school later this spring.”

“These six schools represent just a few of the stories of success that are happening all across the country,” said Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “We won’t accomplish the President’s national goal of leading the world in college completion by 2020 without the hard work and dedication of the school leaders, teachers and students exemplified by our six final high schools.”

Over the next few weeks, each school’s students will work with The Get Schooled Foundation, which includes Viacom and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation among its founding partners, to create a short video highlighting how the school best fulfills the Challenge’s criteria. The six videos, along with portions of each school’s written application, will be featured on the White House website in the coming weeks and the public will have an opportunity to vote for the three schools they think best meet the President’s goal. The President will select a national winner from these three finalists and will visit the winning high school to deliver the commencement later this spring.

Watch a video of the schools being notified of their selection on Thursday, April 8, 2010.

MAST Academy's Week in Review - What a Week!

To say that this week has been unique would be an understatement.  We started our return from spring break with a calm teacher work day and the posting of third quarter grades.  We all came back and headed out of port on Tuesday with a steady wind and a lot of excitement for the coming weeks that are full of action and final anticipation of the final quarter and eventually graduation.  Wednesday came and we brought back the Classic Academic Symposium (I promise to have more to say about this in another post) and it was a showcase of who and what we are as a school and community.  Thursday came and it gave an appearance as to allowing us to fall into a good sailing routine with fine weather and shining waters.  Then we received a phone call from the White House.  I received word that MAST had been selected as one of six national finalist for the President's Commencement Challenge.  The Challenge is a competition for all high schools across the United States in which we are asked to show our dedication to providing the best possible education for students in preparing them for college and career choices (I will post the actual press release following this entry).  Needless to say, we could not be any happier nor more proud of our students.  From the start, MAST's application has been student designed and student led.  The coming two weeks will be eventful!  In moving forward, the six finalists will be making a three minute video about their school with the assistance of Get Schooled, a professional video company.  Those videos will then be posted at http://www.whitehouse.gov/ for a period of voting for the entire nation.  Upon completion of the voting, three ultimate finalist will be presented to the President for his final selection.  Wish us luck and once the voting opens, please help MAST with your vote!

More to come ...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Shore Leave Coming to an End

Spring break is just about over and we will soon begin the final leg of our '09-'10 voyage. Rest well, have a very happy hoilday, and enjoy the time with your family. I look forward to seeing many of our crew members tomorrow and then the full complement of MAST on Tuesday!


-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Great MAST Technology Tool - Serious Potential

Devices come and go so quickly it is often hard to pick one up, learn about it, and then find how to exploit the ties it has to our curriculum and for learning in general (student and adult).  Case in point, I have been looking at and researching Flip video cameras.  I found another model, the Kodak Playsport HD, that has some higher rankings and a great bonus for MAST projects - waterproof up to 10 feet!  Imagine shots while snorkeling, videos attached to an ROV, shots of mangrove roots systems teeming with aquatic life!  There are a lot of possibilities.

Chime in and let us know what you might think and if you have a Kodak or Flip, let us know how you have used it and how it might connect to the things we do at MAST.

Spring Break Learning

It is hard to believe that it is Thursday already. I have spent much time relaxing and spending time with fasmily and friends.  In addition, I have been learning a lot about many of the directions I'd like to see MAST go as a school.  I have put in some time looking at how to expand and improve my blogging to make my post more appealing and spread the word to the whole MAST community.  I picked up an intersting set of books from the library, What No One Ever Tells You about Blogging and Podcasting by Ted Demopoulous and How to Do Everything with Your Web 2.0 Blog by Todd Stauffer.  They are pointing me in new directions about how you might be able to arrange blogs as documentation for all manner of work including science fair projects and both student and teacher electronic portfolios.  The ideas are yet hazy but I am beginning to see some terrific potential for what we can become as a school.

Another exploratory adventure that we have begin, we'd be glad of any help anyone might be able to lend, is with looking at moving the construction and maintenance of our web presence to Drupal.  Maintenance of our site is difficult at present and many web 2.0 tools hold promise for making the task much less cumbersome.  I am finding that the more I delve into the realm of new technology the more we will, MAST, the district, the state, all of us, need to examine carefully and in some collaborative manner what it is we want and the most efficient way of making it work for everyone.  In short, there is a lot of amazing learning that we are all going to have to do.  It may sound a bit daunting but it is sure to be exhilarating.

If you have any expertise or can point us to any quality resources, please post a comment and join the effort as we sail into the next century!

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Captain's Book Shelf

Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog