Grants for Teachers
Harbor Freight Competition Recognizes Teachers in Trades
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Freight Tools for Schools has
opened the new application window for applying to win cash prizes
This competition puts the emphasis on recognizing educators and
programs teaching the "skilled trades" in public high
schools. It’s sponsored by the Smidt
Foundation, established by Harbor Freight Tools owner and founder
Eric Smidt, to support the advancement of skilled trades education in
the United States.
For 2021 three
grand prize winners will receive $100,000, with $70,000 of that going
to the trades program they work in and $30,000 going to the teacher
or teacher team. An additional 15 winners will each receive $50,000,
with $35,000 going to the public high school program and $15,000
going to the teacher or team.
winners have included:
Worley, an industrial technology teacher for West
Hills High School in Santee,
CA, whose students build furniture and manufacture machined parts,
learning about welding, computer-driven machining and other skills.
Nine in 10 students who take the program's first semester end up
continuing through all three years. More than 90 percent of students
complete all assigned projects, and 85 percent believe the program
teaches them skills like responsibility and timeliness. One in three
of her students enter the trades.
Taylor, who teaches construction for Warren
Technical School in Chamblee,
GA, immerses special-needs students in basic carpentry, electrical
and masonry before diving into specific trades. Classes tackle
community projects, including constructing and maintaining shelters
for homeless people.
an automotive technology teacher for Washington
County Technical High School in
Hagerstown, MD, who guides his students through taking donated
vehicles and repairing them for sale or auction or preparing them
for being scrapped. At least half of the seniors in Violet's program
have received cooperative work placements.
teachers became educators after many years of working in industry.
Access to the
application requires registering on
the teaching excellence website.
Those applications are due by 5 p.m. Pacific time, May 21, 2021. The
finalists will be named July 14, followed by a round two application
process. The winners will be announced in October.
Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.