A Grovetown Middle School teacher's cash award might help her pupils improve their science scores on standardized tests.
Kathleen Kohl teaches her sixth-grade science pupils about salinity and density during lab at Grovetown Middle School. Kohl was awarded a $2,000 ING Unsung Heroes prize.
Photo by J. Scott Trubey
Kathleen Kohl, a sixth-grade science teacher, recently won $2,000 from the ING Unsung Heroes awards program. The prize is given to support an educator's innovative teaching methods.
Kohl will use the money for an interactive computer program that gives her pupils a hands-on learning experience.
"It makes science more exciting and more understandable," Kohl said. "With scientific concepts, it's a lot easier if they see it and do it, rather than just hear about it. Nobody wants to sit there and listen to a lecture."
Kohl was one of 100 teachers to receive the $2,000 awards. She is in contention for $5,000, $10,000 and $25,000 awards, but she doesn't know when the grand-prize winners will be announced, she said.
To improve lagging science scores on the Criterion-Referenced Competency Test, state education officials recently introduced the Georgia Performance Standards curriculum.
Kohl said the award couldn't have come at a better time in helping her teach the new curriculum.
"Anything that I can use to make it more interesting for them, so they pay attention, is going to help them in the long run." she said. "So I can use this for a lot of reinforcement in going back over the things they've learned."
She has taught for 18 years, three of them at Grovetown Middle. She said the computer program uses her classroom white board as a computer screen. She can show video, draw on it and even send notes to students through an e-mail account.
"When they get to interact with the stuff on the board, or with the labs in the room, then it just makes (science) more understandable for them," she said.
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