Drones in woodland elementary classroom soar, flip and teach static electricity in water

On a recent day, after reading and studying about the various applications of drones, Starling’s students talked and laughed as they rotated among drone learning stations, programming the devices with the use of the Tickle app on their iPads.

At one station, they could program a drone to fly over a disaster scene made of Lego structures, thus learning simultaneously about the concepts of flight and disaster management. At another station, they could use drones as part of a high-tech bowling game, learning math skills through scorekeeping.

• Sanders Memorial Elementary School, a STEAM magnet school at 5126 School Road, Land O’Lakes, will host school tours for parents and prospective students at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Friday. Principal Jason Petry and the school staff will lead parents through each grade level, the collaboration center, outdoor classroom areas, the boardwalk and athletic facilities. Sanders was designed specifically to focus on science, technology, engineering, the arts and math. Florida Standards are embedded in all subjects. The school has unmanned aerial systems, solar panels and other high-tech devices, as well as computers and iPads for each student. For information, contact Kristie Newsome at (813) 794-1500.

Pasco County Schools will hold parent information meetings for the two new STEM magnet middle schools that will open in August. The superintendent, the magnet school principals and district staffers will discuss the STEM magnet theme and programs that will be offered at each school. Parents will also will hear about magnet school application time lines and options for transportation. Meeting times are at 6 p.m. at the following schools:

Parents of sixth- and seventh-graders at the host schools and those listed for the meetings at Paul R. Smith Middle School and Fivay High School, as well as those of current fifth-graders in the elementary schools that feed into them, are encouraged to attend. Elementary feeder schools for the Bayonet Point Middle magnet are Anclote, Calusa, Chasco, Cotee River, Deer Park, Fox Hollow, Gulf Highlands, Gulf Trace, Gulfside, Hudson Locke, Longleaf, Marlowe, Moon Lake, Northwest, Odessa, Richey, Schrader, Seven Springs, Sunray, Trinity and Trinity Oaks. Elementary feeder schools for the Centennial Middle magnet are Centennial, Cox, Double Branch, Lacoochee, New River, Pasco, Quail Hollow, San Antonio, Seven Oaks, Veterans, Watergrass, Wesley Chapel, West Zephyrhills and Woodland.

Applications will be accepted from fifth- to seventh-graders from feeder schools from Jan. 18 to 31. Students from non-feeder schools will need to apply for acceptance through the regular school choice application period, from Feb. 1 to March 1. Both application processes will involve a lottery to determine which students will be accepted.

• Take Stock in Children scholarship applications are being accepted online through Jan. 24 for Pasco County students in Grades 8 to 10 who receive free or reduced-price lunches. Take Stock in Children, which provides scholarships, mentors and hope to deserving economically challenged students, is celebrating its 20th year. The program currently serves 160 high school students in Pasco County. Students must maintain good grades and behavior, meet with a volunteer mentor, attend college-readiness workshops and complete an annual project as part of their commitment to the program. Students completing obligations will receive up to a four-year tuition scholarship to a Florida public state college or university. To learn more, contact [email protected] or call (813) 794-2134. For application, go to pascoeducationfoundation.org

• The Pasco Education Foundation is taking online scholarship applications through Jan. 31 for seniors graduating in 2016. All scholarship recipients will be notified in March and recognized at the Pasco Education Foundation’s Scholarship Awards Banquet on April 21. For information and application, go to pascoeducationfoundation.org.