Inspiring innovation requires stepping up as the early adopter of ground-breaking trends and emerging developments in this landscape we call education. Our increased focus on preparing our students from kindergarten through high school for college and future careers aligns with Sarasota County Schools' goals and the community's needs. 



Sarasota’s most recognizable and prestigious arts show and competition features more than 200 submissions from talented high school student artists annually. Student artists are encouraged to submit their art work for the chance to compete for awards and scholarships. Student art work - including paintings, drawings, photography, 3D art, sculpture and graphic art - is displayed at a public exhibit at Ringling College of Art + Design. The Top 25 artworks are selected by a panel of distinguished judges and auctioned off at the Education Foundation's signature fundraiser, The Bash: An Evening of Excellence AnewCreateSRQ is a multi-faceted initiative created to elevate arts education and has become the area’s preeminent high school arts competition and exhibit. 



Digital Learning Labs (DLLs) provide a safe and supportive space for students and their families participating in the sites’ after-school care programs to access both technology and innovative courses that help expand critical thinking skills and needs towards their education. The labs were developed in partnership with youth-serving organizations, such as Girls Inc. and Janie's Garden. Additionally, the Education Foundation provides workforce development and leadership opportunities for high school students who provide support at select DLLs and Innovation Hubs throughout Sarasota County. 



For over 25 years, the Education Foundation of Sarasota County has supported arts curriculum through creative and engaging classroom experiences and field trips to local museums and theaters. In 2011, in partnership with The Patterson Foundation, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, the Arts & Cultural Alliance, and numerous community arts organizations, EdExploreSRQ was created to connect teachers and students with hands on learning opportunities. Because of your support, students have the opportunity to learn about fractions with dancers, physics at the circus, and history at the museum.


The #SRQHacks Hackathon is an intense, collaborative coding and business plan experience that joins together middle and high school students with talented community mentors for an annual weekend-long event. It helps bridge the technology gap for students by connecting them with mentors from technology, design and business industries and tasking them to create a mobile app that addresses a community issue. Hackathon participants develop invaluable relationships with mentors that often transcend the three-day event which helps open doors to a brighter post-secondary future for these students.


Each spring students grades 3-12 have an opportunity to showcase their STEM skills through participation in the annual county-wide STEM Fair. Sarasota County students submit projects ranging in categories such as Life Science, Biomedical and Health Sciences, and Engineering. Community volunteers participate in judging the projects and the top middle and high school finalists move on to compete at the State Science Fair and even the Intel State and Intel National Championships and VEX Competitions.

The STEMSmart Summit is a one day, project based competition providing teams of middle and high school students an opportunity to compete in a cross-section of STEM focused categories including health care, web and logo design, 3D CAD design, engineering design and STEM business plan creation. The STEMSmart Summit not only tests students’ technical skills but provides experience with real-world interactions they might encounter in future STEM careers. Dozens of volunteer judges from the local business and education community evaluate students’ performance providing constructive feedback and an opportunity for mentoring in their field of expertise.