Cultivating Innovation: KISD Ed Foundation Awards Grants

 

Education is a lot like gardening.  You plant a seed, water it, nurture it, feed it.  And then you let it take off on its own.

The KISD Education Foundation “Prize Patrol” made its way around the Kilgore High School campus today to award four grants for innovative teaching projects.  The grants totalled nearly $22,000 and will directly impact over 344 students in specific projects.  

The KHS Greenhouse and Garden project will combine science, English, nutrition and agriculture students in a cross-curricular “garden of ideas.”  Chemistry students will analyze the elements, soil and water that go into the greenhouse and garden maintained by the agriculture students.  In their English classes, students will research the many issues that impact our food supply.  Nutrition students, of course, will work directly with the bounty.

Another innovative project grew out of the robotics program at KHS.  Many students were having trouble finding space and resources to build the intricate parts and items that they need to customize their robotic creations.  The solution seems amazingly simple:  create a space with the tools and resources for creative minds to build what their minds imagine.  Adding cutting edge tools like a CNC laser cutter benefit students with real-world job skills that are in high demand.

Creating an innovative learning environment shouldn’t be rocket science … but sometimes that is exactly what it is.  Math and science teachers at Kilgore High joined together to create a class that will study, build and launch all types of rockets.  Even if your student doesn’t plan to work at NASA, the experience of creating a physical product to solve a theoretical problem (like overcoming gravity) is the perfect path into the world of science, technology and engineering.

The final award went to a program that is exploding at Kilgore High (and jumping, running, and crawling across computer screens).   The Game Design program has seen tremendous student interest.  With the addition of 3D printing and modelling equipment students will not only be designing for virtual worlds, but they will also design physical products that will help them market their game ideas.  

The Kilgore ISD Foundation is a 501 c(3) nonprofit tax-exempt philanthropic organization of citizens that share a vision of enhancing education in Kilgore ISD.