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Tampa Prep was very excited to welcome Zach Ingrasci from Living on One to spend the day sharing his experiences with students. Tampa Prep students were introduced to Zach and his non-profit organization Living on One earlier in the year when they watched the documentary Living on One Dollar. The documentary follows Zach and a group of friends as they spend two months living in a small village in Guatemala on less than $1 per day. Middle and Upper School students were moved by what they saw and were looking forward to Zach’s visit to Tampa Prep.

Zach Ingrasci spoke to the entire Tampa Prep community
in the morning to share his experiences
in Guatemala.
Students spoke to Zach after his presentation
about questions they had and their
own experiences helping others.

The day began with Zach speaking to the entire student body during Assembly. Zach spoke about the struggles that he faced after committing to live in Guatemala on less than a $1 a day. The three biggest hurdles Zach and his friends had to get over were funding, leaving their families and friends and their fear of failure. To overcome these incredible hurdles, Zach explained how he found his inspiration, came up with creative solutions and took action. He explained that nothing else matters unless you go out and do it. Taking action is the toughest step, but also the most powerful.

During his presentation, Zach provided updates on people in Guatemala who were highlighted in the documentary Living on One Dollar. He showed the students video clips from Rosa’s high school graduation and provided an update on Chino. Many of the students were very interested to hear updates on Rosa’s business, funded by a micro-finance loan, and her dream of becoming a nurse. Zach encouraged the students to visit LivingonOne.org to check out the shirts that are part of Rosa’s business. Rosa and her friends stitch the pocket fabric, then Living On One applies the fabric to a T-shirt. Zach used Rosa’s story as the perfect example of how to give someone a hand up, rather than a handout. Many people in these communities do not want sympathy or a handout, but instead would like someone to assist them while maintaining their dignity. Tampa Prep students were shown a never before seen clip of their next documentary, Salam Neighbor, about Living On One’s time living in a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan. 

Throughout the day, many students had their
picture taken with Zach.
Zach met with a group of Upper School classes
after his morning presentation to answer
questions they had.

Throughout the day, Zach Insgrasci met with classes and large groups of Middle School and Upper School students. During his presentation to the Middle School, he asked them many questions about changes they can make in their lives to create a difference. Many students said that listening to him that morning made them want to help others. Students shared with Zach ways that they were already making a change by volunteering at Metropolitan Ministries, donating toys to Tampa General Hospital and getting involved with animal shelters.

Zach showed the Middle School how to do the Living On One
hand sign (L 1) for this big group picture.

The meeting with Upper School students was very focused on what Zach experienced when living in a Syrian refugee camp. The students wanted to know about the people who lived there and the living conditions. Many students were shocked to hear that the people in the refugee camp were previously living lives similar to theirs before being displaced. Hearing about the doctors, accountants and other successful people who were living in tents was very eye opening to the students who were visualizing their families being in the same type of situation.

Zach shared that they had a lot of trouble filming in the refugee camp due to the people being very aware of how the world is perceiving them and frustrated by the media attention they are getting. Filming women for the documentary was particularly challenging because it is not culturally acceptable to film women in public. Many journalists were at the camp looking for "shock value," rather than trying to share the true story as Zach's group was trying to do. Living on One wanted to convey the true story of life in a refugee camp by eating the same food, standing in the same lines and living in a tent; they wanted to capture the journey of being a refugee, restarting your life and what is means for your children and your children’s children.

Zach meets with a large group of Upper School
students to share his experiences living
in a Syrian refugee camp.
Zach shows off his shoes to Middle School
students. The shoes are made in Guatemala
by Teysha Shoes.

Hopefully Zach’s visit inspired the Tampa Prep community to figure out what inspires them, make a creative solution and  take action. His story was very inspiring and we are looking forward to seeing the full Salam Neighbor documentary when it comes out to the public. The original Living on One Dollar documentary filmed in Guatemala is available on Netflix and iTunes. For more information on Living on One or to order one of Rosa’s shirts, please visit LivingOnOne.org.

8th graders take a break from their normal class for storytime with Mrs. Lonetto.

To prepare for their trip to Boston, students in Mrs. Lonetto's 8th grade English classes were treated to a special storytime with cookies and milk this week. Mrs. Lonetto read them the children's book, "Make Way for Ducklings," by Robert McCloskey. Students had the chance to relax and unwind while enjoying a little snack. While on their trip to Boston, the students will visit the Boston Public Garden where there is a statue of the duck family featured in the book. This storytime is a favorite annual tradition at Tampa Prep for 8th graders right before their big trip!
Environment Club and Key Club students work
to clean up the area around the Hillsborough River.

The Environment Club paired up with the Key Club for the Hillsborough River Coastal Cleanup. Sixteen students and the advisors of the clubs spent a Saturday morning picking up trash around and under the Cass Street bridge and along the shoreline on the Tampa Prep easement to the Hillsborough River. Students collected five bags of trash and four bags of recycling. They were quite surprised at the amount of trash found for such a short part of the coastline. Styrofoam remains a large portion of the trash found along the waterway. Thanks to those who participated for pitching in to clean up our city!
After taking the foil off part of their leaves, students test
to see if the process of photosynthesis has begun.

Students in 9th grade Biology are learning about the process of photosynthesis. To demonstrate this process, students covered a leaf with foil to prevent light from touching the leaf. By covering half of the leaf to stop the process of photosynthesis, students are able to see the difference in how photosynthesis effects the leaf. To test for the process, each covered and uncovered portion of the leaf was tested for starch. A positive result for starch in the leaf provided evidence of photosynhesis at work. Students discovered that starch was present only in the half of the leaf that was exposed to sunlight, while the covered half of the leaf did not produce starch.

Young scientists test the leaves for starch to provide the evidence
of photosynthesis at work.

Mrs. Bahtic's Period 5 on the Morsani Hall stage! On the Gallery Level, student learn about the
low tech aspect of the theater, such as the double
door entry to keep light and sound
to a minimum.

Mrs. Bahtic, Mrs. Lonetto and Mr. Sandoval's seventh grade classes, accompanied by Ms. Souza, visited the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for Performing Arts on Monday for a backstage tour (in their Spirit Week pajamas)! The field trip was an extension of the drama unit, which involves the play The Foreigner. During the tour, students were introduced to the Center's purpose and design. Students toured three of the five theaters and learned interesting details about the operation and design of the different theaters. Students were informed of the origin of the ghost light and the capabilities of the sound canopy.

Seated in the Gallery, or "penthouse," seats, students
learn about the design of the seats, the light
and sound canopy.
Students begin their backstage tour
in the lobby
of the Straz Center.

High-tech versus low-tech aspects of the theater were discussed, and the tour guide challenged the students to come up with a career field that would not have a place in the theater. The highlight of the trip occurred when students were allowed to stand on the Morsani Hall stage. After visiting the "penthouse," or gallery seats, being on stage provided students a dramatically different perspective. The students enjoyed this educational outing across the river!

Students tour the dressing rooms where the actors
prepare for the big show.
 Students check out the loading area backstage
where many of the visiting show's stencils
can be found.


Students measure the mass of an egg after placing it in different solutions.

Students in 7th grade Life Science classes have been working on an "Egg-Speriment." In class, students are learning about the process of osmosis. To demonstrate this complicated process of water passing through a cell membrane, students tested an egg for changes when placed in different substances. First, students removed the shell of an egg by placing the egg in vinegar.
Life Science students had a great time learning
about osmosis during this "Egg-Speriment"!

After removing the shell, students placed the egg in water, salt water and finally colored water and took daily measurements of both the egg's mass and circumference to test for changes. This "Egg-Speriment" is the perfect hands-on way for students to visualize the process of osmosis in a cell membrane by using an egg shell.

Removing the egg's shell and getting the exact mass measurements were key pieces of this lab.

Mrs. Laurel Fredlake brushes up on her Spanish
in Mrs. Bridges-Pereira's class.
Mr. Matt Danahy jumps into the discussion
about American History in Mr. Edwards' class.

Last week, members of the Board of Trustees spent the day attending classes to experience life as a Tampa Prep student. They had the opportunity to sit in on two Middle and Upper School classes in the morning. During those classes, the Trustees did a variety of activities in classes, everything from observing the process of osmosis using an egg, participating in class discussions, playing games and much more! Students enjoyed having the visitors in their classes to add different perspectives to their lessons. In between their two classes, the Trustees attended Middle School Assembly where they cheered on sports teams for being great competitors and listened to exciting students announcements. During Assembly, the visitors learned about many Tampa Prep clubs and activities offered to Middle School students.

Thank you to the members of the Board of Trustees
who spent a morning as Tampa Prep students!

After attending multiple classes, the Trustees had the opportunity to sit together to discuss their day. Mrs. Stacey Leeds said, "The students were so engaged. All kids were respectful of each other's comments/thoughts, and were redirected positively by other classmates/teacher when their comment was a bit off. All kids were comfortable speaking to each other. History (Mrs. Harman's class) was collaborative and thoughtful – not just regurgitating facts."

Trustees had a great time
at Middle School Assembly!
Mrs. Carrie White made a lot of new friends
in the classes she attended!

Mrs. Penny Vinik was very appreciative for the opportunity to attend classes. She said, "thank you for allowing me to experience the magic that happens in a Tampa Prep classroom and thank you for all that you do for our kids!"

Mrs. Laurel Fredlake had great experiences in both of the classes that she attended. After the classes she said, "Mr. Williams led a challenging experiment in Physics. I could see the kids struggle, adjust, cooperate and eventually master the challenge. Impressive! In Mrs. Bridges-Pereira's Spanish 1B class, I saw an accomplished educator use multiple tools and techniques to keep the class engaged. The kids loved every minute of it!"

Mrs. Ginny Cates completed an experiment
with 7th grade students using an egg
to demonstrate osmosis.
Mr. John Fahey joins in a discussion
in Mr. Clements' English class.


Reid G. and Toby G. work together to create chemical reactions (left),
while Victoria S. and Belu B. balance chemical equations (right).

Students in Ms. Katie Calvin's Physical Science class are learning about chemical reactions and equations. In their latest lab, students used chemicals to observe the reactions that happened when they were combined. While completing the lab, students had to solve and balance quite a few difficult chemical equations, as well. Once the students combined chemicals like sodium carbonate, lead nitrate and potassium iodide, they were able to see color changes and precipitants form!
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More than just a college preparatory school...a preparation for life with a higher purpose than self

  • Tampa Preparatory School
  • Grades 6-12
  • tel 813 251 8481
  • 727 West Cass St, Tampa, FL, 33606
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