South Broward High School Features Unique Magnet Program

The home of the Bulldogs has a club called the Reef Dogs. Why? South Broward High School has the only Marine Science Maritime Magnet program in Broward County.

As part of the program, the Reef Dogs design, build and program underwater robots which they can test in the school's brand new, Olympic-sized pool.

"The maritime industry is $100 billion in economic output, and it's huge locally in Broward," said Program Director Kevin Hagerty. "We get them ready with all the ancillary skills that they need to perform either in the maritime industry or as a marine biologist, oceanographer, because it complements all the science classes they take here, marine biology, marine science, marine ecology."

In order to perform and win competitions, the students have to program the robots properly. That fits the school's mantra: It's all about computer coding.

"Absolutely, we are one of the leaders in having coding in our high school," said Principal Olayemi Awofadeju. "We offer three levels of coding courses here and next year we're going to add an advanced placement coding class."

NBC 6 visited a class in which students were learning basic coding, and at the same time, learning global logistics, the fundamentals of supply chain management, and how it all relates to computer science.

"These are principals you can apply if you're going into medicine, biomedical engineering. They're building blocks for a variety of careers," explained Computer Science Teacher Mitzi Plunkett.

South Broward High is one of four public school in the county to offer the Cambridge Program, in which students earn the Advanced International Certificate of Education diploma. It's sort of a school within the school, although Cambridge students can get involved with some of the other programs as electives.

The Bulldog band is currently enjoying a renaissance, having earned all superiors in recent competitions. The band just received an invitation to march in the New Year's Day parade in London next year. The band, and the school, are on a roll.

"We are Broward County's best kept secret here in Hollywood, Florida," Awofadeju said.

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