Article by: Sara Musgrove
The Brownwood Education Foundation (BEF) actively works to support and invest in the lives of Brownwood ISD’s teachers and students. They awarded BISD teachers with grant funding at Convocation on Tuesday, August 9th. BEF’s grants for the 2022-23 school year were made possible through generous donations from the community, as well as ongoing fundraising efforts. “The Foundation has the ability to help make positive impacts in the lives of our students and teachers that are measurable and life-changing,” said Eric Evans, the Brownwood Education Foundation Board Vice President. “We make the most impact out of the funds received.” From alternative seating, new supplies, innovative learning kits, and STEM initiatives, Brownwood’s teachers can use the Education Foundation’s funding to create rigorous and superior learning environments.
Over $8,400 went to various teachers across the Brownwood school district. The following teachers received grants for their various projects:
STEM initiatives allow enhanced learning opportunities for students within Brownwood ISD. As students move from elementary, into intermediate and middle school, they receive multiple opportunities to learn coding, robotics, and other high-tech education. These teachers found innovative ways to enhance their students’ learning experience. “The BEF looks for opportunities to impact kids through the annual grants,” Evans said. “When we can help teachers engage their students in creative and sometime alternative methods, everyone benefits.”
“Students learn by trying and doing,” the ZSpace homepage narrates. “Students can try and do without fear of breaking materials, spilling chemicals, making a wrong incision, or blowing up a circuit.” Learning through artificial reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) experiences is the main idea behind ZSpace applications. ZSpace functions like a typical desktop computer and combines with the use of lightweight glasses and a stylus to create a three-dimensional experience for the student. The ZSpace software application tracks the user's eyewear and tells the system in real time how to illustrate the object on the screen like a real, tangible object in front of the user. ZSpace software also tracks the stylus, enabling the user to interact with objects projected in the screen. Users can move around and dissect the object before them. ZSpace provides learning experiences for kindergarten through twelfth grade, health-science and medical processes, agri-science, transportation, and advanced manufacturing and skilled trades.
Brownwood High School Health Science Technology Teacher, Annalyn Deen, has been incorporating this advanced training into her classroom after receiving a grant from the Brownwood Education Foundation in 2019. She incorporates the Anatomy program on the computer to help students learn. “The students use it to conceptualize the different body systems,” Deen said. The human anatomy parts, “literally jump off the screen. This greatly increases their understanding of the body system being studied.” Students can see the models in front of the screen and explore all the dimensions of the elements they are studying. This takes the idea of ‘pen and paper’ to ‘tactile object’ for the student. Tabletop virtual reality is transforming education today, and BHS leads the way in innovative education technology.
The Brownwood Education Foundation (BEF) provides grants to teachers so they may incorporate advanced STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) initiatives into BHS classrooms. STEM projects engage students’ senses, creativity, and tactile learning practices, which makes learning process more memorable and fascinating to students. The BEF 50x1000 fundraiser provides funds directly to STEM initiatives in Brownwood classrooms. To be a part of this crucial community effort, where 1,000 people each donate $50, visit http://supportbisd.com/50x1000.
Article by: Sara Musgrove