By Tamas Mondovics

District Hosts Candlelight Vigil

Hillsborough County Public Schools teamed up with Narcotics Overdose Prevention & Education (NOPE) of Hillsborough, the Tampa Police Department, and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office for an emotional candlelight vigil honoring the memory of those who have lost their lives due to drug-related causes.

The event held at Hillsborough High School, located at 5000 N. Central Ave, in Tampa late last month allowed students and parents from around the bay area to reflect on the sad reality of drug and alcohol abuse among area youth, while raising awareness of protection and education.

The goal of NOPE is to reach the community through prevention and education. NOPE offers presentations to HCPS middle and high school students throughout the year, school officials said.

The occasion included a memorial wall with more than 500 photos on display, showing young people who have lost their lives as a result of drug or alcohol abuse. The community was invited to view the memorial wall and had the opportunity to add their story and a photo to the wall.

To start the program former Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor addressed attendees as the keynote speaker, while visitors also heard testimonials from parents who have lost their children to substance abuse.
Following the indoor program, participants stepped out to the school’s front lawn for the candlelight vigil.

For more information about Hillsborough County Public Schools, visit www.sdhc .k12.fl.us.

Great American Teach-In

Public schools throughout Hillsborough County will welcome visiting speakers into their classrooms Thursday, November 19 as part of the annual Great American Teach-In.

The Teach-In is hosted by Volunteer Services (formerly known as SERVE), the volunteer arm of the school district, and brings professionals and hobbyists into local schools to demonstrate the benefits of getting an education.  

Each year volunteer speakers include active members and veterans of the United States Armed Forces, police, firefighters and paramedics, and animal trainers, attorneys, business professionals, chefs, elected officials, entrepreneurs, musicians, and school board members.

For more information, visit www.sdhc. k12.fl.us.

Lennard Robotics Competes in NASA Astronaut Challenge

A group of Lennard High School students flexed their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) muscles while competing in the NASA Astronaut Challenge last month which tested all participants on their knowledge of robotics.

The two five-member Lennard teams battled against nearly 100 students (20 teams) in the region with aspiration to compete in the state finals at the Kennedy Space Center, which will include solving a problem in an actual space shuttle simulator.

According to Lennard High School Science teacher Jim Reve, the school is proud of the more than 20 students, boys and girls, involved in the Lennard Robotics program.

Reve said that the upcoming District competition is scheduled to be held in January at Plant High School.

“Students will have to build a robot from parts provided and compete against other high school teams,” he said.

This year the event is based on a capture the flag style event, where teams drive their robots to the other team’s base and capture their flag while the other team tries to do the same.

“Since we are an after school club, we do not receive any money from the school district, so our biggest costs are transportation to and from events and non-reusable parts, so money is always needed,” Reve said, adding, “If it was not for the support we receive from the Sun City Center and Ruskin Communities we would not be able to do the things that we do.”

To support Lennard Robotics, email james.reve@sdhc.k12.fl.us. or call Reve 641-5611 ext. 455.