TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Education and the Florida Education Foundation recognized 10 of the Panhandle’s highest-achieving eleventh grade STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) students at the Sunshine State Scholars conference last weekend. The two-day conference, presented by Lockheed Martin, celebrates the accomplishments of Florida’s elite students and provides a unique venue for the state’s colleges, universities and employers to recruit their talents.

“I am pleased to congratulate each of these Sunshine State Scholars for receiving this tremendous academic accomplishment and being selected to represent their school districts,” said Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart. “It is my hope that during this two-day event, these outstanding scholars will learn more about the higher education and career opportunities we have here in Florida and that they will consider pursuing their dreams in the Sunshine State.”

The honorees included Gulf County representative Sydnee O’Donnell from Port St. Joe Jr./Sr. High School.

Event sponsors for this year’s Sunshine State Scholars program include Lockheed Martin, AT&T, Universal Orlando, Blue Man Group, Florida Lottery, Helios Education Foundation, Kyra Solutions, SeaWorld Parks & Resorts, Microsoft Corporation, Florida Department of Education – School Choice Office, Florida Power & Light, Publix Super Markets Charities, Arthrex, Inc., IBM, AppRiver, Florida A&M University, Florida Atlantic University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida International University, Florida State University, University of Central Florida, University of Florida, University of North Florida, University of South Florida and University of West Florida.

For a list of scholars and more information about the event, visit Sunshine State Scholars.