Bennett Sasson, an 11-year-old Acreage resident, earned his second perfect score on the FSA mathematics exam. It’s a rare accomplishment; he has two letters from Gov. Rick Scott to prove it.
In 2016, as a third grader at Acreage Pines Elementary School, Bennett was one of only 215 pupils in Palm Beach county and 2,249 students in the entire state to earn a perfect math score on that year’s exam. More than 220,000 students attempted the exam statewide that year.
In 2018, he did it again, earning a second perfect math score, this time as a fifth grader at Acreage Pines. That exam may have even proven to be a little more difficult, with as few as 1,528 perfect math scores statewide and only 159 in the county. The Florida State Board of Education doesn’t track perfect scores across multiple years, but getting two is fairly uncommon.
“I’m just a normal kid,” Sasson said. “Maybe I’m just good at test taking, I don’t know.”
In addition to academics, Sasson plays soccer in two leagues, likes to draw, watch YouTube and solve the Rubik’s cube. He is a self-taught programmer and writes code in Java, Python, Scratch and a few other languages. He lives with his parents, two older brothers and younger sister.
Today, Sasson is a sixth grader enrolled at the H.L. Watkins Middle School Robotics Academy in Lake Park, a program focusing on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. Students learn to design, program and compete with a variety of robotics kits, including VEX and Lego robots. Building the robots allows students to develop their programming ability; and acquire problem solving and engineering skills.
The hands-on engineering experience gained at schools like H.L. Watkins has given many hardworking, dedicated young Palm Beach County students a great head start building a foundation across a variety of technology industries as they continue on to high school, college and beyond. Involvement in robotics programs has been proven to help students as companies work to enhance their workforce pipeline and continue a commitment to increase access to STEM programs.