31,000 Reasons to Innovate

The KISD Education Foundation gave Kilgore teachers over 31,000 reasons to innovate. The Foundation Prize Patrol visited teachers on four campuses and presented oversized checks for six different projects that will help students advance their learning.
At Kilgore Middle School, a team of five teachers developed some advanced projects around the Model United Nations program. They asked for a “mobile creation station” that will allow students to take their projects and learning to different workspaces around the school. Suellen Pfeffer explained, “It is about time. When students can create these products where ever they are on campus, we can be more productive with the time we have.” The $8,170 award will fund carts that will house computers, design materials and supplies.
Also at Kilgore Middle School, teachers Marissa Coop and Dawn Poe wanted to expand their Tiny Home project by offering advanced design options to students. All 7th grade math students get to exercise their creative and artistic talents to design a tiny home. While doing so, they apply the math skills that they have learned to the real-world skills of figuring out floor coverings, square footage and real estate prices. The $11,170 grant award will allow the students to use additional computers and software to make their designs even more professional.
Delina Chitwood’s students at KMS are also benefitting from this year’s awards. The 8th grade math students will be receiving $2,635 for robots and programming tools to use in their math class. “By playing with these ‘toys,’ students are going to be applying programming and coding skills to practical tasks, like navigating around obstacles,” explained Chitwood. “These are skills for jobs that we don’t even know about, yet.”
At Chandler Elementary School, Sonia Ingle decided to take a stand for students that have trouble sitting still. She noticed that some of her students perform better when they have flexible work spaces that allow them to work while standing. Her $3,935 project will place some additional furniture in 3rd grade classrooms that will provide alternate work spaces.
Kilgore Intermediate School was not left out of the awards. Debra Dugger will bring $1,290 worth of video recording equipment and software to her students. “To Infinity and Beyond” is her project that will enable her students to create advanced videos.
Rounding out the awards was Kilgore High School’s Media and Game Design teacher Benjamin Wood. The $4,270 “Capture the Future” project will provide a motion capture suit for students. Not just for Hollywood blockbusters anymore, these suits allow student designers to capture the complex movements of live actors and then apply those movements to computer generated objects. “This technology cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in just the last few years. Our students will be some of the first in the state and probably the nation to be using this technology,” explained Wood.
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.