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3rd Annual EdExploreSRQ ED-stravaganza Showcases Active Learning Experiences Available to Local Schools

September 07, 2018
(SARASOTA, FL) — Everything from theatrical performances about bullying to science experiments using liquid nitrogen to produce ice cream were on display recently, as nearly 200 area teachers took time out from their weekend to attend EdExploreSRQ’s third annual ED-stravaganzastravaganza.

Held at Suncoast Technical College in Sarasota, the event featured more than 70 representatives from local arts, science and cultural organizations as well as teaching artists. Each showcased the in-class and field trip activities they have available to K-12 teachers and their students during the 2018-2019 school year.

“Research shows that students who are engaged in hands-on, experiential learning activities gain more from those lessons and retain more knowledge than students who are otherwise presented with similar materials,” says Angela Hartvigsen, fine arts program specialist with Sarasota County Schools and manager of the school district’s EdExploreSRQ program. “The purpose of ED-stravaganza is to give teachers the opportunity to meet face-to-face with the various organizations and teaching artists who offer such active learning experiences in our community.”

The event, which was made possible by support from The Patterson Foundation, also gave teachers a chance to learn about grants and other resources that are available to help fund their explorations through EdExploreSRQ, Sarasota County Schools’ web-based search platform designed to help educators identify experiential learning opportunities available to them and their schools. Featuring hundreds of offerings by local nonprofits and individual teaching artists, each EdExploreSRQ “exploration” is reviewed and approved by school district staff to ensure connections to educational standards.

Principal Susan Nations and a team of 35 teachers from Wilkinson Elementary School were among the big winners at this year’s ED-stravaganza, as they took home the grand prize for having the most attendees at the event. In recognition for their achievement, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County awarded Wilkinson with $1,000 to be used toward EdExploreSRQ explorations during the coming year.

Additional grant winners from this year’s event included:
  • Tuttle Elementary, $500 from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County;
  • Erin Gutierrez, Wilkinson Elementary, $1,000 from The Patterson Foundation;
  • Kate Baber, Venice Elementary, $1,000 from The Patterson Foundation;
  • Jory Smith, Atwater Elementary, $500 from The Patterson Foundation;
  • Leslee Odell, Tuttle Elementary, $500 from The Patterson Foundation; and
  • Heidi Swedberg, Laurel Nokomis School, $500 from The Patterson Foundation.
To learn more about Sarasota County Schools’ EdExploreSRQ program and this year’s ED-stravaganza, visit EdExploreSRQ.com or contact Angela Hartvigsen at angela.hartvigsen@sarasotacountyschools.net.
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