September 8, 2021
City Schools Teachers Win Awards to Upgrade Classrooms
Awards to support new photography gear and maker space
“It just comes down to my students. Everything I do is about them.”
That’s how visual arts and photography teacher Jenna Porter of Roland Park Elementary/Middle explained her feelings after winning the 2021 CIA Mission Possible – Classroom Transformation contest and $25,000 award. The contest, organized by the Central Intelligence Agency and the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, sought videos from STEAM educators in Baltimore, Washington DC and Richmond that illustrated how $25,000 could “complete the mission” of improving their classroom and students’ learning through technology upgrades.
Jenna’s video featured her students’ beautiful photography, created entirely remotely over the pandemic using cell phone cameras, to show how their talent and the impact the latest photography equipment - digital cameras, lighting, and studio gear - could have on academic success. As Jenna put it in her video, “the technology would be absolutely groundbreaking and transformational for my students.”
In addition to Jenna’s award, Eugene Chase, a 10th grade computer science teacher at Digital Harbor High School, was honored with a second place award. He received $5,000 for technology upgrades to his classroom, which he plans to use to create a maker space.
A huge congratulations to Jenna Porter, Eugene Chase and the many students who will benefit from these awards! Check out Jenna’s video here, Eugene’s video here, and media coverage of this wonderful award by WBAL-TV and WJZ-TV.