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Two Polk County Public Schools eleventh grade students will represent Polk County at the annual State STEM Recognition and Recruiting Conference scheduled to take place next year in Orlando. Youlei Li of Bartow International Baccalaureate and Alexandra Rhodes of George Jenkins High are the District’s Sunshine State Scholars. Mr. Li and Miss Rhodes were chosen to represent the District after a review of their excellent academic records and after scoring the top two marks on math and science examinations which were administered to eleventh grade students from various high schools in Polk County.
The focus of the Sunshine State Scholars program is to recognize Florida’s top eleventh grade students and expose them to future careers and opportunities available in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). During the two-day program, students and their parents are given a chance to interact with industry leaders and talk with representatives from Florida’s Colleges and Universities. Participants also participate in workshops to learn about the latest innovations and discoveries in the STEM industry.
According to the informational video created by officials with the Sunshine State Scholars Program, the hope is that the program will encourage talented students to stay within the state of Florida for post secondary education and professional careers, ultimately having a positive impact on the state’s economy.