By Tamas Mondovics

Hillsborough Regional STEM Fair Showcases Local Students   

The 2017 Hillsborough Regional Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Fair, the largest in the Southeast, concluded last month with two awards ceremonies at the Tampa Convention Center honoring the outstanding work of many local talents.

The competition saw more than 2,100 students from all grade levels who have displayed 1,700 projects in three divisions, to be reviewed by 600 judges.

“This is not a single day event. Students have spent months or even years working on their projects,” said Larry Plank, director for K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education.

Some of the area elementary school winners included Bevis student Arnav Chavda, who received the Urban E Recycling Excellence Award for his project; Recycle The Rays.

The Busch Gardens Award went to Brooker Elementary student Sienna Ryan for her project: Oil Slick, while the Great Explorations Award went to Apollo Beach Elementary student, Gavin Smoak for his project; It’s Shake’n Time!

Middle and high school winners are scheduled to be hosted by Bristol-Myers Squibb for a day of learning with scientists and engineers focused upon careers in STEM and strategies for success in the State of Florida Science and Engineering Fair to be held later in March.

“We thank our sponsors, particularly Bristol-Myers Squibb, Stantec, and TECO, as well as the nearly 600 judges who assisted this week during our three days at the Tampa Convention Center,” Plank said.

For more information about STEM education in Hillsborough County please visit

HCC Students Selected To The 2017 All-Florida Academic Team

Hillsborough Community College (HCC) was pleased to announce last month that eight of its students had been selected to the 2017 All-Florida Academic Team.

According to school officials the students were selected for their academic achievement, leadership and service to their community.

HCC’s eight students, who were among 127 students selected from across the state to receive the honor, included: Abdoulaye Ba, Melissa De La Cruz, Nicole Liberato, Imane Malih, Emily Otten, Abigayle Renk, Allen Rogers and Lance Wood.

Selecting the small group of students is particularly noteworthy considering the fact that Hillsborough Community College serves more than 45,000 students annually on five campuses across the region.

HCC campuses located Brandon, and Ruskin, Plant City, Ybor City as well as on Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa.
Hillsborough Community College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Each student who has earned the honor to be selected was first nominated by his or her respective college to the All-USA Academic Team competition sponsored by USA Today and the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society.

To recognize the students’ outstanding achievements the All-Florida Academic Team Awards ceremony is hosted by The Florida College System on Friday, April 7, in Tallahassee.
For more information about AFAT, please visit

Hillsborough County Helps Students Achieve Higher Education Goals Through Scholarships

Hillsborough County Social Services and the Community Action Board recently joined forces to assist local students with their goal of achieving a higher education.

The County is now offering scholarships for up to $5,000 to eligible students wishing to continue their education by attending an institution of higher learning.

In 2016, 52 scholarships totaling $260,000 were awarded to Hillsborough County students through Hillsborough County Social Services.

According to officials, scholarship applications for the 2017-2018 school year will be accepted through Friday, March 31.

Applicants must be between the ages of 17 and 22, and have a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Sixteen year-old students who are graduating seniors may also apply.

Applicants must reside in Hillsborough County, must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 whose household income falls within 125 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines of the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG).

Applicants will also be evaluated on their community service and school involvement, application and letters of recommendation, academic record (transcript) and essay response.

Application materials can be downloaded on the Scholarship Application page on the County website, which also provides detailed instructions on how to apply.

Students may submit completed applications online, via mail, or hand deliver applications in person to any County Community Resource Center.

Mailed applications can be sent to P.O. Box 1110, Department of Social Services 24th Floor, Attention Sylvia Wint, Tampa, FL 33601.

Scholarship recipients will be notified in writing prior to the start of the fall semester.

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