|Virginia Key, Miami, Florida
|School district||Miami-Dade County Public Schools|
|Student to teacher ratio||14.5|
|School Hours||8:00AM to 3:00PM|
Maritime and Science Technology Academy, commonly referred to as MAST Academy, or MAST, is a public high school in Miami, Florida, on Virginia Key. MAST Academy is a magnet school under the governance of Miami-Dade County Public Schools. The school's principal is Josephine Otero, appointed in 2013. US News & World Report ranks MAST as the 58th best high school in the nation as of 2015.
The academic focus of MAST Academy is primarily marine studies. Students choose one of three major areas of study in which a traditional U.S. high school curriculum is infused with maritime-related subjects. These major areas of study are Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences (OAS), Maritime Studies and Culture (MSC), and Marine Related Industries (MRI). Some special course offerings include Marine Science, Oceanography, Solar Energy, Environmental Science, Swimming, and Water Safety.
MAST Academy is located on Virginia Key, a barrier island between Miami and Key Biscayne, across the street from the Miami Seaquarium and within walking distance from the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.
In 1990, MAST Academy was established in Key Biscayne.
In 2012, MAST Academy announced it will expand by 1,700 seats with preference for eligible Key Biscayne residents. It was controversial and highly debated whether residents of the Village of Key Biscayne should be opened up to all Key Biscayne high school students. A former student was reported as claiming, "I can't believe they are going to turn over the school to the affluent residents of Key Biscayne in return for $9 million," adding, "it will really destroy what MAST is all about."
In April 2015, a school shooting threat was posed toward MAST Academy, as a note reading, "On April 17, 2015 I will into this school and shoot everyone I see," was found. Some students decided to attend school on the day of the supposed shooting. In an interview with NBC 6 South Florida, one student was claimed his reasoning for attending to be, "I just really like learning, so I like going to class, and I'm not afraid." Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho later tweeted out, "I am always impressed by the composure of our student body. 'I am not scared. I am here to learn.'"
Due to the reputation of MAST Academy, Miami-Dade County Public Schools began "franchising" MAST. In 2010, MAST Medical @ Homestead was established. In 2011, José Martí Middle School, introduced its magnet program with a high school expansion in 2011, before completely re-branding itself as José Martí MAST 6-12 Academy in 2013. In 2013, another MAST high school opened at a Florida International University campus.
Awards and recognition
During the 1994-96 and 2006-07 school years, MAST Academy was recognized with the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Education, the highest award an American school can receive.
MAST Academy was one of six national finalists in the 2010 White House "Commencement Challenge". People from across the nation voted to determine which school would host President Barack Obama as a commencement speaker.
MAST has established a tradition of academic excellence, and has been ranked among Newsweek's Top 100 High Schools several times. MAST has been listed as one of "Miami-Dade's Best Schools", and, as of 2014, is ranked 10th in Florida.
The school's primary sports are water polo and swimming. The school also offers boy's basketball team, boys and girls soccer team, girls volleyball team, and as of 2013/2014 it has tennis for both boys and girls.
MAST is active in the National Ocean Sciences Bowl Competition, having established a tradition of placing first in the region and a fifth place national showing in 2006. The Black History Brain Bowl team won the 2006 Regional Championships.
MAST's robotics and engineering team, the MAST Academy Mecha Makos, founded in 2006, has competed in numerous competitions including Youth Fair, MATE, FIRST, and FIU's Wall of Wind competition. The Mecha Makos qualified for the VEX World Championship in the 2011, 2012, and 2013 school years.
The Beacon, MAST's student-run newspaper, and the yearbook, Mako Fuka, have received Gold Medals from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.
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- Kushlan & Hines 2014, p. 61.
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- MAST Academy
- M-DCPS School Information - MAST Academy
- Miami-Dade County Public Schools
- Maritime & Science Technology Academy, National Center for Education Statistics