Congratulations goes out to four teachers who were presented with awards for their contributions to the school.
Rob Ewing, the director of the aviation program, and Rob Milliner, the director of the Upper School STEM program, will share the Rossignol Academic Chair in Science award with the intention of using the money for their respective project starting in January. Stephen Mikell, who teaches honors and advanced placement physics at Farragut, received the the Board of Director’s Academic Chair for Physical Science and Gabe Whitney, the music teacher and band director at Farragut, received the Frank Wendt ‘42 Chair in Musical Arts.
Ewing intends to use his project, entitled “The Science of Flight,” to help students understand the concept of flight by producing and narrating flight training videos. Eight students from each grade in Upper School will be chosen based on grade point average and recommendation from teachers to create videos based on five components in flight including airport operations, ground reference maneuvers, air performance maneuvers, navigation and basic fundamentals of flight.
“This will be another hands-on way students can learn about aviation,” Ewing said. “Having them be involved in this way will enhance their education.”
“Drones, Lead the Way” was created by Milliner to give students the opportunity to do a specialized project in the engineering field with respect to flight. In doing so, Milliner anticipates students participating in something they are interested in while building their confidence.
“It’s a great feeling for them when they are finished to have that sense of accomplishment,” Milliner said.
Students from the Upper School who participate in the project will build a drone from ground up, including the parts, motor, frame, soldering, receiver, and flight controller. During the process, Milliner expects students to learn how the drone works according to how each part works and how each part enables the drone to fly and function. Finally, students will volunteer to use the working drone to record school activities like parades, football games, soccer games, waterfront and practices for use by the coaching staff, the admissions office and the marketing department.
Mikell contacted his friends working in the field and in the academic world to determine how best to use the $5,000 award.
“If we wanted to truly implement physics labs that were conducive to learning the craft, it would take an amount much bigger than $5,000,” Mikell said. “Therefore, getting the most for your money was integral to helping create a lab environment in physics’ classes.”
The answer came with 18 laptops that will be geared towards working specifically with labs on websites that feature high definition cameras. Students — two to a lab group — will be able to input information and “participate” in online labs that produce information at 240 frames per second.
Whitney, who is the founder and owner of NoiseMakers, Inc. in St. Petersburg, will use his award to purchase updated equipment for use in the music room and for the Admiral’s Own Band.
“This is a great opportunity for the students to immerse themselves into the world of music,” Whitney said. “By enhancing the music department and giving the students more to experience with regard to music, the more they ultimately enhance their life.”
About the Funds
The Rossignol Academic Chair in Science Fund and Board of Director’s Academic Chair for Physical Science Fund are opportunities for Admiral Farragut Academy teachers to develop a program of study in any area of science at any grade level. The Endowed Chair in Musical Arts Fund is the opportunity to develop and grow the Music Art program. Teachers were asked to fill out an application with project details and submit it to a panel for consideration.
The Endowed Rossignol Academic Chair in Science program was initially funded by a gift from Board of Director, Dr. Jean- Francois Rossignol.
The Endowed Board of Director’s Academic Chair for Physical Science program was initially funded by a gift from the Admiral Farragut Academy Board of Directors.
The Endowed Chair in Musical Arts Fund program was initially funded by a gift from an alumni donor from the class of 1942 North.