PEF, Benwood and HCDE in collaboration with CO.LAB hosted the first Teacherpreneur 48Hour Launch weekend and pitch event, with 28 Hamilton County teachers pitching ideas to transform public education. The Teacherpreneur Incubator was designed to provide support, time and space for teachers to incubate big ideas and execute them in the best interests of their students, their profession and the Chattanooga community.
The top five projects received prize money for the teachers and funding to carry out the ideas, while a total of 15 projects were awarded financial support. All 28 projects will continue to receive support from PEF, Causeway, Co.Lab, and other community partners.
“The Teacherprenuer Incubator exemplifies the power of connecting innovative teachers to the community,” stated Robert Sharpe, assistant superintendent for Leadership and Education. “If the excitement and support from the 48Hour Launch weekend carries throughout the year, Chattanooga will be known as a place that invests just as much in Teacherprenuers as entrepreneurs.”
Keri Randolph, vice president of Learning for PEF, explained, “Teachers have great ideas, but they often don’t have the time, support and energy to get those ideas off the ground. We really envision much more than just a typical grant. We’re creating a community of teacher leaders who, with the support of one another and their community, will launch big ideas.”
The first –place prize went to the Howard School’s Jessica Hubbuch and Sean Brown for their “Standards Driven Project-Based Learning for High School Sciences” project. They will develop a project-based curriculum tied into Common Core standards and will use technology to support student research.
The second-place prize was awarded to “Beth’sList,” a website akin to Craigslist for teachers created by Red Bank Elementary’s Beth Wilson to connect teachers with other teachers and local businesses that have extra classroom and office supplies needed for the classroom.
The third-place prize was given to “First Person Fixer,” an interactive computer diagnostics and troubleshooting seminar proposed by Normal Park Museum Magnet’s Matthew Craig.
Lee Friedlander’s “AgLab” greenhouse, which uses food and ornamental crop production at Hixson High to teach problem solving, teamwork, innovation, and STEM principles, tied for fourth with “Leadership Think Tank – 21st Century Communication and Beyond,” a project from Bess T. Shepherd Elementary’s Valerie Brown, Linda Bugg, Lindsey Hagan, and Patricia Russell. The Think Tank team is planning to create a collaborative space for students and teachers to brainstorm ideas and use multiple technologies to make a positive impact on the community.
In addition to the top five teams, the following 10 teams won funding and support:
All-Star Assessments, Dan Basler, Ganns Middle Valley Elementary School
ATOMS: A Team of Motivated Scientists, Natalie Cothran, Central High School
From Ordinary to Bomb Diggity, Kimberly Elbakidze, Red Bank Middle School
Math Strategies App/Website, Derek Beaty, Ganns Middle Valley Elementary School
One Book, One County, One Child – A County-wide Book Club, Angela Davis, Hardy Elementary
PassPort, Lance Myhan, Ooltewah High School
Riding the Winds with Drones for Science and Safety, Leah Keith-Houle, Red Bank High School
Seminar Toolkit App, Cindy Gaston, Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts
The MakerSpace @ Our Library, Cristol Kapp, Clifton Hills Elementary School
Virtual Seminars – Expanding the World for Students, Ashley Cox, The Howard School
To help mentor or support one of these teams, please contact Keri Randolph at firstname.lastname@example.org or 668-2426.