The distinctive facade of the main building on Florida Polytechnic's campus.
Florida’s 12th university, Florida Polytechnic University, is an architectural marvel that sits right next to Interstate 4 in Polk County.
The main building features a swooping veil-like facade designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.
The public can get a peek of the new campus when it opens on Saturday. But WUSF reporter Steve Newborn took a tour with university spokesman Crystal Lauderdale to talk about the features and Calatrava’s intent.
“It was designed to inspire innovation,” Lauderdale said of the design, which she said people have described as looking like a spaceship, a fountain, or less impressively, a football.
Staff from CPALMS, a Florida site created to help teachers with standards and curriculum, show off a 3-D printer. CPALMS is creating a pilot program with some Florida districts to let schools and students try out the high-tech printers.
Some items that were created with a 3-D printer. The staff at CPALMS, which provides standards and curriculum help for Florida teachers, were demonstrating the printer.
Educators check out a demonstration by Amplify, an education technology firm owned by News Corp. and run by former New York City schools chancellor Joel Klein.
Educators check out the products from Lenovo, a Chinese company which makes computers, tablets and other electronics.
Lincoln High School history teacher Stephen Veliz had his first breakthrough using technology in the classroom when he had his sixth grade students blog.
Susan Bearden, director of information technology at Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy in Melbourne.
Some cubes created with a 3-D printer. The cubes may be the same size, but the printer can created them with different densities. Staff at CPALMS, a Florida site which helps teachers with curriculum and standards, were demonstrating the printer at FETC.
Last week Orlando hosted one of the oldest and largest education technology conferences in the country.
Jimmy Johnson is a custodian at Dr. Phillips High School in Orange County. School custodians have one of the highest rates of work-related injuries, more than food service workers and teaching assistants who work with severely disabled students. In Orange County, there were 125 custodian injuries in 2011, which cost the district $372,645 in worker’s compensation.
Orange County schools now require candidates to pass a physical fitness test . But many applicants don’t pass it. Schools are short janitors and custodians like Sylvia Moya say they’re working overtime, scrambling to keep schools clean.
Tony Rodriguez is the head custodian at Dr. Phillips High. He says janitor equipment is more than just mops and brooms. School custodians hurt their backs lifting furniture and burn themselves with cleaning chemicals and machines. Rodriguez took the fitness test a couple months ago and thinks it’s a good requirement for the job.
The supply room at Dr. Phillips High School isn’t your stereotypical janitor’s closet. It’s filled with machines the size of small tractors used to empty the dumpsters and wax floors.
Jose Luis Marantes, co-founder of Students Working For Equal Rights, said it is risky for undocumented students to share their information with the federal government, but he said it took “power and energy” to win this right. “Watch what happens if when you try to take those rights away,” he said.
Miami Dade College president Eduardo Padron speaking with DREAMer Carlos Roa, an undocumented immigrant and engineering student at Miami Dade College.
DREAM Act supporter Estevan Roncancio at a news conference at Miami Dade College. Starting today, undocumented students who came to the country under age 17 can start applying for temporary status in the country under Deferred Action.
Immigrant activists says their next step is fighting for status for their parents and passing the DREAM Act.
More than 140,000 Florida undocumented students can now apply for a temporary work visa and a stay from deportation.
Both are part of a new federal initiative which makes its easier for young immigrants to remain in the United States legally. President Barack Obama ordered the change a year and a half after the failure of the DREAM Act in Congress. That bill would have eased citizenship requirements for young undocumented immigrants.
Lawmakers and lobbyists look down from the second floor on the state Capitol building as students protest higher education cuts and tuition increases.
Students occupied the Capitol chanting, “They say cut back, we say fight back.” State representative Dwight Bullard (D-Miami), center, jumped in chanting to let the students know they have a friend in the legislature.
“I support more funding for education, so the same issues they’re fighting for, its easy for me to stand with them,” Bullard said.
“I love seeing youth energy getting involved in government because often times its too many blue jackets and khaki pants walking around this place.”
Florida students meet outside of the Capitol in Tallahassee to distribute signs before they Occupy the Capitol to protest tuition increases and cuts to higher education funding and scholarship programs.
Ralph Wilson, a PHD students in mathematics at Florida State University, gets his tuition paid through a research assistantship. “I have it great compared to a lot of the undergraduates or high school students who are about to start their educations here in Florida because the tuition is seeming like its going to continue increasing every year,” Wilson said. “These are my colleagues, these are my friends. And if something is going to threaten their livelihood, I absolutely take offense.”
Florida State University junior Cherry Smith, freshman Elizabeth McCawley and Lissa Reed, and senior Gladys Nobriga. Nobriga acknowledges Florida has some of the cheapest tuition rates in the country. “They’re saying they want to raise it closer to national averages, but that’s always rising also,” Nobriga said. “Its not fair that we don’t get the same education rate that they may have gotten.”
Broward College, Palm Beach State College and Valencia College – the second largest community college in the state – voted not to raise tuition. Continue Reading →
The paddle at Holmes County High School in Bonifay, Fla. was made by students in woodshop class four years ago.
The paddle at Holmes County High school is made of ash wood. Its about 6 ounces heavy, 16 inches long, 5 inches wide, and half an inch think.
The paddle at Madison County Central elementary and middle school was made by a member in the community out of plexiglass. The paddle is about 18 inches long, 7 inches wide and a quarter of an inch thick.
The paddle at Sneads High School in Jackson County, Fla. sits on the principal’s desk.
The late comedian Richard Pryor had a classic bit about being forced to find and strip a “decent switch” so that his grandmother could administer a “decent whippin.'”
Florida students in school districts that still use a paddle to spank misbehaving pupils know the feeling.
At Holmes County High School in Bonifay, Fla., students make the paddles in woodshop class.
“You can’t buy them anywhere,” said Eddie Dixson, the school’s principal. “There’s not a market for them, so yeah, students make it.”
Textbooks at South Broward High School in Hollywood, Fla. are stacked on the ground, instead of on bookshelves, in order to save money. Broward County school’s $141 million budget deficit is the largest in the state. South Broward High lost six teachers this summer, while other schools, like Cypress Bay High in Weston, Fla. lost up to 40 teachers this summer alone.
The Broward County Public School District instituted a new barcode system to keep better track of textbooks and make sure students return them after the school year. South Borward High’s textbook coordinator estimates the new system has saved the school up to $50,000 in unreturned textbooks.
The video production equipment in the MTV classroom at South Broward High was replaced by stacks and stacks of textbooks after the video production program was cut last school year because of shrinking budgets. Some of the equipment, like the stage lights, were left behind.
Debra Hixon has taught at South Broward High for the past 17 years as a marine science teacher. But before and after school, and during the lunch period, Hixon also works as the school textbook coordinator in order to earn extra income. Broward County teachers are the lowest paid teachers in the state.
A marine science class at South Broward High. Kevius Morgan, center, and Taylor Drake, right.
Taylor Drake, Kevius Morgan and Cristinne Paneit, seniors at South Broward High, say some teachers give them extra credit for bringing in items like markers, rulers, paper and tissues. All three say their final grades increased by a full letter in at least one class. “A lot of teachers do it,” Drake said, whose C grade increased to a B after she brought in classroom materials. “If they see that you’re trying and you’re still struggling and you bring in those items, it will boost you a lot.” Paneit says “its like a raise” for working hard in class.
Kayla Kervin and Elinor Taieb are seniors at Cypress Bay High School in Weston, Fla. where 40 teachers were cut this school year. Taieb says, “some teachers actually request if you can bring some paper in for them because they are limited,” but she says students don’t get any credit for it.
Every school district in Florida is dealing with layoffs and budget cuts. But Broward County in South Florida is facing the largest budget deficit in the state—more than $140 million. And its forced teachers and students in the nation’s 6th largest school district to get creative about spending money.
Students at South Broward High in Hollywood waited in the rain during the first week of school to get inside what used to be the video production classroom. Only, the video production program was cut last school year.