Ames High School to spend $300,000 technology grant

Jodi Mace

Kids in Ames may soon have more access to computers at Ames High School. School officials hope, with the help of a federal grant, that Ames students will spend less time in Iowa State’s computer labs.

Within the next few weeks, Ames High School officials will decide how to allocate the $300,000 Star Schools Grant in ways that will best improve teaching and learning through technology.

Ames High was chosen from 34 applicants by the Iowa Department of Education’s Office of Technology and Iowa Public Television’s Educational Telecommunications Division. Selection was based on the school’s existing technology systems and proposed curriculum plans.

The intent of the grant is to stress the importance of technology in the classroom. Ames High District Technology Director Bill Schoenenberger said teachers will undergo developmental training as part of the curriculum planning.

The grant will allow AHS to “jump two or three years ahead” of where they would normally have been for technology, said Principal Chuck Achter.

Although AHS officials have not determined the exact details of their proposal to Star School representatives, they have composed a list of activities to which they could allocate the funds.

Money is not the only objective of the grant, Schoenenberger said, adding that students and teachers will benefit from increased access to facilities.

He was hopeful AHS students would take advantage of the new technology when it arrives.

“Our hope is that students will have more opportunities to do these things rather than going elsewhere,” he said.

AHS will receive its grant money before Sept. 30. Upon receipt of the funds, AHS will serve as a demonstration site for technology in Iowa schools for at least the next two years.