College Station ISD students showcase new technology, equipment

KBTX News 3 at Six(Recurring)
Published: Apr. 6, 2023 at 3:46 PM CDT
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - The College Station ISD Education Foundation shined a light on six innovative teaching grants Thursday. It was a part of the foundation’s Grant Showcase at College Station High School and River Bend Elementary.

At College Station High School, foundation members, donors and guests had the opportunity to see a piece of the Chemistry Road Show and the Unlocking the Air Waves for Modern Live Streaming initiative.

The Chemistry Road Show is put on by AP Chemistry students and teacher Jeremy Dockan. The students create thrilling experiments and travel to present them to South Knoll Elementary students. An $11,000 multi-campus grant was awarded for the show.

Stephen Green leads the Unlocking Air Waves for Modern Live Streaming initiative. This helps students develop modern production skills in audio and video broadcasting with the help of high-tech video equipment. It’s made possible through a $15,000 multi-campus grant.

“Those kids are learning hands-on opportunities as we speak, that they can take out after they graduate,” the foundation’s executive director Teresa Benden said. “A, get a job. B, maybe work a part-time job while they’re going to school for college or maybe just jump right in and do something at their college level.”

At River Bend Elementary, Carrie Morgan shared the impact of the $400 motor lab grant for her initiative, Spotlighting the Scenes for Self-Control. This focuses on teaching students social-emotion skills that help them in times of intense stress and anxiety.

The I Can Be a Scientist initiative is led by Stephanie Arnold, who received a $1,000 grant to provide second-grade students with hands-on laboratory skills to stimulate interest in science. Students explore chemistry, physics and environmental science with tools and experiments.

Kate Cruickshanks received an $8,000 grant for her Treats for the Mind initiative. This helps nourish students’ minds through books from the school’s book vending machine.

Lauryn Fiechtner, a digital learning coach, is a part of the EdTech Cohort, which helps to bring more technology into classrooms. She said her team is working to prepare students for a future that exceeds their expectations.

“Everyday, more and more jobs are being created where they’re heavily dependent on tech skills,” Fiechtner said. “So creating an environment where students are learning through that technology and interacting and using it in ways to help them be successful is critical to our students.”

The foundation awarded 64 grants totaling over $300,000 this school year. Those funds benefit every College Station ISD campus, which is over 14,000 students and 2,000 teachers and staff members. Grants were awarded in construction, drone technology, health, fine arts, entrepreneurship, computer science, literacy, special education and student clubs.

“We’re here for our kids,” Benden said. “We want them to have every opportunity, every chance to do exciting things to make learning come alive.”

Since the foundation’s inception in 1999, it has awarded 752 teacher grants totaling $2.3 million.