1699 Weekend of Discovery: Celebrating Our Heritage

Click the gallery above to view larger.

Ocean Springs – In 1971, a group of dedicated citizens formed the 1699 Historical Society in order to preserve and celebrate the unique culture and history of Ocean Springs and the surrounding Gulf Coast.

Every spring, the Society stages a dramatic reenactment as the showcase of its annual “Weekend of Discovery.” The event brings to life the April 1699 story of Pierre LeMoyne Sieur d’Iberville and his armada of ships sailing into Biloxi Bay. Commissioned by King Louis XIV to explore the shores of the upper Gulf of Mexico, he and his expedition crew first discovered Ship Island before stumbling upon a high, defendable bluff, known today as Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Stopher Haug, chairman of the event this year, believes it’s important to help the public realize the significance of the landing. “I think that the culture and the heritage and influence that the d’Iberville landing had on the Gulf South in 1699 is essentially equivalent to the Jamestown landing in the Northeast back in 1603,” said Stopher. “So we’ve worked hard to try to get that message out and bring the history to life.”

The weekend kicks off Friday night with the Mary C. House Party featuring the Mardi Gras Indian Collective from New Orleans. Admission to the event is free, but donation opportunities abound with a full bar, art auction, and a Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament. Festivities resume Saturday morning and include a 5K race, kids fun-run, paddleboard races, pet parade, a regatta at the Ocean Springs Yacht Club and will wrap up with the 1699 d’Iberville reenactment. Haug says he hopes everyone goes back home having had a great time at the event, but also with a greater knowledge and appreciation for the significance of the 1699 landing. “One thing that we would like folks to be aware of is that we’ve partnered with the Vancleave Live Oak Choctaw, who descend from original native Americans that were here in 1699. We’ve been working with them to try and bring more authenticity and historical accuracy to the reenactment this year and to recognize their culture and contributions as well.”

Everyone is invited to join in this exciting time and become a part of this commemorative celebration!

Learn more by visiting www.1699landing.com

Learn more »
Comments Off on 1699 Weekend of Discovery: Celebrating Our Heritage

Keynote Speaker Announced for Explosion of Excellence

Click the image above to view larger.

This year’s 28th Annual Explosion of Excellence will be held in May at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s Jackson County Campus.  This year’s Keynote Speaker is Dr. Kimberly Cox Rasmussen.  This scholarship program honors the academic achievements of the graduating high school seniors who are in the top ten percent of their classes in all area high schools in Jackson County (including the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science).

Dr. Rasmussen is the Grants Bureau Director at the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources and has previously worked at The University of Southern Mississippi, The Bacot McCarty Foundation and the Office of Personnel Management, Federal Investigative Services Division.  Dr. Rasmussen holds a Bachelors in International Studies and a Masters in Criminal Justice, both from The University of Southern Mississippi.  She has also attended the Goethe Institut and Viennese Center for Middle Eastern Studies, both for German language study.  She holds a doctorate in International Law/Criminal Justice from the University of Vienna (Vienna, Austria), where she focused her dissertation on substance abuse treatment among the incarcerated population.

 

 

Dr. Rasmussen is active in her community where she serves on numerous boards and participates in many volunteer organizations.  She serves as President of the Junior Auxiliary of Gulfport, Chair of the Gulf Coast Centurions Association and is a member of the Salute to the Military Dinner Planning Committee.  She is a graduate of Leadership Jackson County and previously served as a Jackson County Chamber of Commerce Ambassador.  In addition to her professional and civic responsibilities, Dr. Rasmussen enjoys singing the National Anthem at various community events.  Dr. Rasmussen is a 2000 graduate of Gautier High School and a former Explosion of Excellence scholarship recipient.  She currently resides in Gautier with her husband, Ric, and their two daughters, Julep and Iris.

The Explosion of Excellence is a program jointly sponsored by the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce-Main Street-Tourism Bureau, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and all high schools in Jackson County.  It is a fund of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation.  The Chairman of this year’s Explosion of Excellence is Pat Descher of the McDonald’s Descher Organization, and the Co-Chairman is Dr. Bill Descher.

The public is encouraged to consider a $250, $1,000 or $5,000 scholarship.  These scholarships are donated by the public to encourage these students to consider employment in Jackson County when their education is finished.  The scholarships can be made in memory or in honor of someone, in the name of a company or individual or left anonymous.  The public can help honor these students by writing a check to the “Gulf Coast Community Foundation/Explosion of Excellence” and mailing it to “Explosion of Excellence, Post Office Box 480, Pascagoula, MS  39568-0480.”

To answer any questions, please call the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce at 228-762-3391 or email Valerie Dedeaux, Administrative Assistant, at Chamber@jcchamber.com.

Learn more »
Comments Off on Keynote Speaker Announced for Explosion of Excellence

The University of Southern Mississippi Opens Marine Education Center

The Marine Education Center (MEC) at The University of Southern Mississippi’s Cedar Point teaching site in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, serves as the education and outreach arm of the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory.

Situated on 100 acres, the new facility provides an immersion experience for participants in a unique, coastal setting. Included in the new facility are public exhibits, laboratories and meeting spaces, as well as outdoor learning experiences featuring trails, outdoor and floating classrooms, and a pedestrian suspension bridge. Through its broad array of programs, the MEC offers both students and the public an understanding of how the Gulf of Mexico affects daily life and provides a science-based understanding of ecosystem health. School groups in Coastal Science Camps, students seeking research experience, teachers pursuing professional development, and community volunteers and citizen-scientists will all benefit from the facility.

The MEC replaces the J. L. Scott Marine Education Center in Biloxi, which was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, and is wind- and flood-resilient and energy-efficient, serving as an example of sustainable and effective coastal building techniques in harmony with its coastal environment.

This $16.1 million comp lex was constructed primarily with funding from a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant, administered by the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, and the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources. Outdoor trails were made possible by a grant from the Mississippi Gulf Coast Nature Heritage Area; the outdoor kitchen was made possible by Blossman Gas. The MEC was designed by Lake Flato Architects and constructed by Starks Contracting Co., Inc.

Learn more at http://gcrl.usm.edu/mec/

Learn more »
Comments Off on The University of Southern Mississippi Opens Marine Education Center

Under the Sea Super Saturday Set This Weekend

Click the image above to view larger.

The Pascagoula-Gautier School District will host its Under the Sea Super Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, April 14, 2018 at the Aaron Jones Family Interactive Center. The event is open free to the public, rain or shine. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Featured exhibitors will be the Pascagoula River Audubon Center, Dauphin Island Sea Lab, USM Marine Education Center, Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum, Mississippi Coast Fly Fisher, The Nature Conservancy, Pascagoula Recreation Center, Girl Scouts and Excel by 5.

All of the themed rooms will be open for play including Wetland Animals, Pirate Ship, Main Street, Toddler Town, block room, virtual reality, flight simulator room, planetarium, iMac lab, miniature golf and the playground.

The center is located at 1415 Skip St., Pascagoula. For more information, call Kelli McCorkle, at 228-938-6418.

Learn more »
Comments Off on Under the Sea Super Saturday Set This Weekend

FABLAB Summer Camp Dates Are Set!

Click the image above to view larger.

A FABLAB consists of a suite of digital fabrication and rapid prototyping machines, including a large computer numerical control (CNC) router (the ShopBot), a vinyl cutter, a laser engraver, an electronics work bench, a 3D printer, and the accompanying computers and software for design, programming, and machine communications. This equipment allows students to use computer-aided design to make almost anything they can imagine.

The FABLAB Jackson County in Vancleave will be putting on events throughout the summer for kids of all ages. Please check out the flyer to see what they’ve got coming up.

Learn more »
Comments Off on FABLAB Summer Camp Dates Are Set!

Scholarship Program Honors Top Ten Percent of Graduating Seniors in Jackson County

This year’s 28th Annual Explosion of Excellence will be held in May at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s Jackson County Campus. This program honors the academic achievements of the graduating high school seniors who are in the top ten percent of their classes in all area high schools in Jackson County (including the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science). The Explosion of Excellence is a program jointly sponsored by the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce-Main Street-Tourism Bureau, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and all high schools in Jackson County. It is a fund of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation.

The public is encouraged to consider a $250, $1,000 or $5,000 scholarship—all of which are 100 percent tax deductible. These scholarships are donated by the public to encourage these students to consider employment in Jackson County when their education is finished. The public can help honor these students by writing a check to the “Gulf Coast Community Foundation/Explosion of Excellence” and mailing it to “Explosion of Excellence, Post Office Box 480, Pascagoula, MS 39568-0480.”

Click the image above to view larger.

The Chairman of this year’s Explosion of Excellence is Pat Descher of the McDonald’s Descher Organization, and the Co-Chairman is Dr. Bill Descher. The Keynote Speaker is Dr. Kimberly Cox Rasmussen.

For more information, please call the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce at 228-762-3391 or email Valerie Dedeaux, Administrative Assistant, at Chamber@jcchamber.com.

Learn more »
Comments Off on Scholarship Program Honors Top Ten Percent of Graduating Seniors in Jackson County

Rapiscan Systems Classic and Chevron Present $25,000 Check to Excel by 5 at “Read to Me” Event

Click the gallery above to view larger.

Rapiscan Systems Classic and Chevron presented a $25,000 check to Excel by 5 this morning at their “Read to Me” event. The event was a partnership between the three organizations, and the generous donation will support our Gulf Coast Excel by 5 communities and early childhood literacy programs. 

The event featured PGA TOUR Champions professional Rod Spittle and his wife, Ann Spittle, who read the book Love Is All Around Mississippi to a group of twenty preschool children. Each child was given a Curious George story book autographed by Spittle.

Spittle will compete in this week’s Rapiscan Systems Classic, a tournament focused on early childhood education. They promote tips for reading to children with their free admission ticket, which doubles as a child’s bookmark. One side features helpful tips to engage young readers, like pointing out letters and words. The other side provides information about the tournament’s Chevron Family Day and Junior Clinic this Saturday, March 24th.

Excel by 5 was founded to benefit pre-K children by providing families with much needed resources. The innovative program emphasizes the important roles played by parents and early childhood educators during a child’s most formative years — from birth to age 5. They use research-based practices and enhance existing resources to optimize the care and education of young children. As a result, children are better prepared to enter school happy and healthy, with the skills they need to succeed.

 

Learn more »
Comments Off on Rapiscan Systems Classic and Chevron Present $25,000 Check to Excel by 5 at “Read to Me” Event

First Lady Deborah Bryant of Mississippi Reads to Moss Point Preschoolers

Click the gallery above to view larger.

First Lady Deborah Bryant of Mississippi visited the Moss Point School District Family Education Center this morning to read with a group of preschoolers. After Mayor Mario King made the invitation, MPSD superintendent Dr. Shannon Vincent worked with her staff to organize the event. Deborah Bryant is passionate about early childhood education in Mississippi and travels throughout the state to encourage it.

Preschoolers from Little People Learning Center and Mary’s Little Lambs arrived and waited excitedly. Excel by 5 Chairman Debby Renfroe entertained the children before Carolyn Moore, School Board President and chief professional officer at United Way for Jackson and George Counties, welcomed Mrs. Bryant.

The children listened intently to an interactive story about ice cream, dogs and dinosaurs that taught the importance of sharing, and even sang along with some of the words.

“Excel by 5 in Moss Point was honored to be included in this event with our State’s First Lady,” said Debby Renfroe, Chairman of Excel by 5, Inc. “Many thanks to Mrs. Bryant and the Moss Point School District for recognizing the importance of reading to the preschoolers from some of the wonderful child care centers in our city.”

Learn more »
Comments Off on First Lady Deborah Bryant of Mississippi Reads to Moss Point Preschoolers

New FABLAB Jackson County Encourages STEM Education in Mississippi

Chevron celebrated the opening of a fabrication lab (FABLAB) in Vancleave today that will further spur the creative economy and interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) fields.

The grand opening and ceremonial ribbon-cutting included remarks by representatives of Chevron, Jackson County School District, FAB Foundation and the Mississippi Department of Education.

Click the gallery above to view larger.

“We are excited to partner with Fab Foundation and the Jackson County School District to open Mississippi’s first state-of-the-art FABLAB,” said Chris Cavote, Chevron Pascagoula Refinery General Manager. “Education and economic development are linked, and it is essential that our future workforce be prepared to take advantage of the opportunities they’ll have before them.”

In April 2017, Chevron provided a $1.2 million grant to fund a mobile FABLAB unit and stationary FABLAB located in Vancleave. This is the ninth lab Chevron has brought to areas where the company operates. “Investing in STEM is a national imperative and we are dedicated to working with our partners to provide cutting-edge tools that foster innovation for the benefit of K-12 students around the country,” said Janet Auer, Global Social Investment Advisor at Chevron.

FABLAB Jackson County will provide opportunities for K-12 students and members of the community to design and invent almost anything they can imagine. The lab includes a suite of digital fabrication tools and prototyping machines such as laser cutters, 3D Printers, vinyl cutters and milling machines.

“Opening FABLAB Jackson County increases access to STEM resources for K-12 students and the wider community, connecting people and creating opportunities for learning, experimentation and business,” said Dr. Barry Amacker, Jackson County School District Superintendent.

The Fab Foundation supports Fab Labs worldwide in a wide range of projects that foster and accelerate education, innovation, entrepreneurship, business development and community building. FABLAB Jackson County located at 12004 Highway 57 will be open to the community, businesses and students. Visit www.fablabjacksoncounty.org for more information.

Chevron has invested $400 million in STEM education in the United States since 2013.

About Chevron

Chevron Corporation is one of the world’s leading integrated energy companies. The company is involved in virtually every facet of the energy industry. Chevron explores for, produces and transports crude oil and natural gas; refines, markets and distributes transportation fuels and lubricants; manufactures and sells petrochemicals and additives; generates power and produces geothermal energy; and develops and deploys technologies that enhance business value in every aspect of the company’s operations. Chevron is based in San Ramon, Calif. More information about Chevron is available at www.chevron.com.

About Fab Foundation

Formed in 2009 to facilitate and support the growth of the international fab lab network as well as the development of regional capacity-building organizations. The Fab Foundation is a US non-profit 501(c) 3 organization that emerged from MIT’s Center for Bits & Atoms Fab Lab Program. Our mission is to provide access to the tools, the knowledge and the financial means to educate, innovate and invent using technology and digital fabrication to allow anyone to make (almost) anything, and thereby creating opportunities to improve lives and livelihoods around the world. Community organizations, educational institutions and non-profit concerns are our primary beneficiaries.

 

Learn more »
Comments Off on New FABLAB Jackson County Encourages STEM Education in Mississippi

FABLAB Jackson County opening Thursday in Vancleave

Chevron and the FAB Foundation will host the grand opening of FABLAB Jackson County in Vancleave on Thursday, March 15 at 11 a.m.

The FABLAB is a nonprofit digital fabrication laboratory that encourages students and aspiring inventors in the community to play, create, experiment and build their skills in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM).

The grand opening and ceremonial ribbon-cutting program will include remarks by representatives from Chevron, Jackson County School District, FAB Foundation and Mississippi Department of Education. A tour of the facility will follow. Students will also demonstrate the hands-on learning, technology resources, and tools that FABLAB Jackson County offers.  

Chevron is committed to increasing the quality of and access to STEAM education in the United States. Through its partnership with The Fab Foundation, Chevron provides students and teachers with the tools and resources they need to instill an interest in STEAM and inspire the next generation of innovators. 

FABLAB Jackson County is the ninth of 10 Fab Labs that Chevron has brought to areas where the company operates through its partnership with The Fab Foundation. 

FABLAB Jackson County will work to advance STEM education, human-centered design, collaborative projects and the creative economy, connecting people and creating opportunities for learning, research, experimentation and business. Visit www.fablabjacksoncounty.org for more information about the lab.

 

Learn more »
Comments Off on FABLAB Jackson County opening Thursday in Vancleave