Environmental Science and Gardening

Broccoli and Red Leaf LettuceBethune Academy students have several opportunities to garden. We believe in the benefits gardening can have on lifelong health, education, and well-being.  Gardening is a valuable tool for a variety content areas. School gardens offer opportunities for fun and physical activity while serving as an important educational tool to help students understand how healthy food is produced. Our students experience: grow labs, herb gardens, planting seeds in the ground, raised beds and Hydroponic stacGarden careks.

We also enjoy butterfly gardens on campus. Edible gardens rely on pollination to produce fruits and vegetables.

One important benefit of gardening at Bethune Academy is forming relationships with people in the community.  We are able to sustain our gardening program with the support of our PTA, school staff, various grants and donations.

The Environmental Club that is responsible for our recycling program. Students learn how recycling benefits our environment. They collect, sort and recycle products used on campus. Bethune Academy students also visit Polk County Waste Management Landfill to learn about landfill management, recycling of paint, curbside recycling services, household hazardous waste processing.



pcsb_bethune_092014_0051Technology is integrated in our curriculum through the use of desktop computers, laptops and iPads in the classrooms and Media Center. Bethune Academy has several computer labs throughout the school as well as mobile carts that can be used throughout the school. The Engineering Lab features laptops, desktops and 3D printers. The Science Lab utilizes Vernier LabQuest Technology.


Monthly Awards



Spirit Day

Bethune Academy hosts a Spirit Day Celebration the last Friday of each month. The ceremony begins with the Pledge of Allegiance, school mission statement and announcements. The principal gives updates about the STEM activities at the school. Students have the opportunity to wear a “Spirit Day” t-shirt and jeans. We include music performances and other special activities. We encourage the parents to come and celebrate with us.

Cadets of the Month

All classroom teachers and special area teachers select two students to receive a “Cadet of the Month” award. Teachers write a special message on the certificate that highlights excellence in academics or citizenship. Many of the awards highlight excellence in the STEM areas. When the students come to the stage, Mrs. Knowles reads the certificate aloud and students receive a few prizes. All of the students selected as Cadets of the Month will also have an ice-cream party during their lunchtime.


“STEM-tastic Scientist” of the Month

Our Science Resource Teacher facilitates the science lab at Bethune Academy. She selects one student from the school each month who has demonstrated leadership or innovative ideas in the science lab or other areas of science instruction. Each recipient receives a science goody bag so they can experience more science fun at home.





STEM Engineer of the Month

Our Math Resource Teacher facilitates the engineering lab at Bethune Academy.  She selects one student each month who has demonstrated leadership or innovative ideas in the engineering lab. Each recipient receives a decorated hard hat. The hard hats are donated by one of our business partners (Cemex). The students keep the hard hat. Some students are selected for their leadership role in engineering.