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Tavares Middle School shines again!  A team of 8th grade students – Lainey Smith, Thomas Kirkland and Taylor Wolf — recently participated in the 2016 eCYBERMISSION STEM competition and earned an honorable mention! The event is an internet based science fair where students compete on a national level.

The purpose of their project was to design an effective and improved cutting board that stays in place while in use. They bought a cutting board and hot-glued five suction cups to the bottom of it. Their strategy successfully minimized the cutting board’s movement when it was in use.  The original cutting board slid and average distance of 4.75 in. The new and improved product slid an average distance of only .25 in.

“This project involved STEM because we used engineering to build the design using the design process,” the students wrote in their abstract. “We used math because we had to measure the direct distance they moved when cutting. We implied technology when we answered the questions and made the graph with an app. We also used science because by adding the suction cups, we reduced the motion in the board and this would reduce cutting related injuries.”

We are proud of you, Lainey, Thomas and Taylor!

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NHDLake County middle school and high school students are gearing up for the second annual National History Day competition. This competition allows students to create projects on historical topics in the categories of exhibit, paper, documentary, performance, or website.

Students from every middle school and four of the high schools (East Ridge, Eustis, Lake Minneola, and South Lake) will come together on March 5, 2016, at Windy Hill Middle School to be judged on their projects in the morning. In the afternoon, starting at 5:00 p.m. there will be an Open House and the awards ceremony will follow at 5:30 p.m.

Each year there is a different National History Day theme that students use as a guide for creating their projects. Last year’s theme was Leadership and Legacy. This year’s theme will be Exploration, Encounter, and Exchange. Students will be challenged to think, research, and write like historians while exploring human history and its effects on our society today.

The top two winners in each category will be moving on to the state competition, held in Tallahassee, May 1-3, 2016.

For more information or to see how you can sponsor or help with this event, contact Nicole DeLuca, Social Studies Program Specialist, at delucan@lake.k12.fl.us or 352-253-6874.

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142x140xBESTBUDDIES-LOGO.JPG.pagespeed.ic.LIVHXMCm5ZTavares Middle School was recently named the 2015 Best Buddies Middle School Chapter of the Year for Florida and the top Overall School Friendship Walk Team!

Best Buddies is a nonprofit organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“We are so excited to spread the mission for social inclusion,’’ said Michelle Metheny, a Tavares Middle School teacher who works with the chapter. “Our fundraising efforts has helped Best Buddies so Central Florida could open five new chapters in Lake County. Best Buddies not only positively impacts my students with autism, but their peer buddies, too.”

Statewide, Best Buddies Florida operates 160 chapters in middle schools, high schools and colleges. The chapter at Tavares Middle School raised $18,497 in support of the Best Buddies Friendship Walk, which has drawn more than 55,000 participants in more than 26 states and raised more than $5 million since it started in 2009.

The Tavares Middle School chapter was recognized for its fundraising accomplishments at the Best Buddies 2015 Leadership Conference at Indiana University this summer.

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A special thanks to CSI Erica Robertson from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office who paid a visit to the Tavares Middle School STEM club on May 13.  She did an outstanding job educating our students on her exciting job duties and responsibilities.  Her exuberance seemed to rub off as several students now report wanting to be crime scene investigators when they grow up!  Tavares Middle School appreciates her willingness to go above and beyond her normal day and give back by sharing with students.

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142x140xBESTBUDDIES-LOGO.JPG.pagespeed.ic.LIVHXMCm5ZThe Tavares Middle School Chapter of Best Buddies needs your help! Last year, TMS Best Buddies was named International Middle School Chapter of the Year. They are trying to hold onto their title. They can do it by being the nation’s top fundraiser for the Friendship Walk and by spreading the mission of social inclusion for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.

Best Buddies seeks to change society’s perception of people with intellectual disabilities by establishing meaningful friendships which, in turn, help people with intellectual disabilities navigate through life with more confidence and ease.

The school has started an “empty out your change” campaign. Please empty out the change in your cars, stuck in your chairs, under your sofas, etc., and donate it to the Tavares Middle Best Buddies Friendship Walk Team. Donations of any size will be greatly appreciated!

Please go directly to the following link to make your donation: http://www.Bestbuddiesflorida.org/cflwalk/tmsbestbuddies

If you have any questions, please contact Michelle Metheny 352-217-9958

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Students from 22 public and private schools in Lake County will compete next week in the 2015 Lake County Spelling Bee.

The local competition is part of the 2015 Scripps National Spelling Bee. Every year, tens of thousands of schools enroll in the program. During the fall and winter they conduct spelling bee programs at the classroom, grade and/or school level, and send their spelling champions to the next level of competition as designated by their local spelling bee sponsors.

In Lake, first-place winners from each participating school will compete in the county spelling bee, which is being coordinated by Lake County Schools’ Academic Services Unit in partnership with The Orlando Sentinel. The Golden Triangle Kiwanis in partnership with the Educational Foundation of Lake County will present the winner with a $100 check, and the runner-up will receive a $50 check.

The event is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 27, at the Eustis Community Center, 601 Northshore Drive, Eustis FL.

Participating schools are listed below:

Cecil E. Gray Middle             Imagine South Lake Charter          Seminole Springs Elementary
Christian Home and Bible     Lake Preparatory                           St. Paul’s Catholic
Clermont Elementary            Lost Lake Elementary                    Tavares Middle
East Ridge Middle                 Minneola Elementary Charter        Umatilla Middle
Eustis Elementary                 Montverde Academy                      Villages Elementary
Eustis Heights Elementary    Mount Dora Middle                         Windy Hill Middle
Eustis Middle                        Oak Park Middle
Groveland Elementary          Sawgrass Bay Elementary

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The entire Lake County community is invited to choose between two proposed calendar options for the 2015-2016 school year through an online poll at http://www.lake.k12.fl.us/calendarvote.

Parents, students, employees and community residents have until Tuesday, Jan. 13, to select an option. A summary of the options is shown below.

OPTION 1:
• School starts Monday, Aug. 24, 2015.
• Five days off around Thanksgiving – Nov. 23-27, 2015.
• Spring Break from March 21-25, 2016.
• School ends Thursday, June 9, 2016.

OPTION 2:
• School starts Monday, Aug. 24, 2015.
• Three days off around Thanksgiving – Nov. 25-27, 2015.
• Spring Break from March 21-25, 2016.
• School ends Tuesday, June 7, 2016.

Visit http://www.lake.k12.fl.us/calendarvote to view each option in detail.

The online poll will close on Tuesday, January 13.

The results of the poll will be forwarded to the Lake County School Board. The Board is expected to consider the 2015-2016 school calendar options at its meeting on Monday, January 26.

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