Coach L. competes for $10,000 grant


Cameron Reeve

Coach L. demonstrates the aerodynamics of a quadcopter


America’s science education is benefiting from a boom in funding through private grants, so cash-strapped teachers have had more opportunities than ever to make their classes great.

G.H.S Physics teacher Kurt Lichtenwald, known by students as “Coach L.”, is pushing to improve science education and put students into more hands-on situations, through the use of money from a new grant.

Coach L. was nominated for a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). He was thrown into the running with other teachers from around the country for a $10,000 grant.

This would be a substantial amount of money for his program. Coach L. believes in hands on work. “Other schools are 2D, just on the board and done. This grant is about expanding our horizons.”

For the last 13 years he hasn’t had a budget, having to supply all the materials for the class himself. Now he has $1000 a year to work with. This may seem like a lot at first glance, but running both physics and robotics classes for an entire year is not cheap, because of the high price of equipment.

Coach L. has a hands-on teaching style involving the use of  high tech equipment like quadcopters, soldering stations, laptops and engines. These things do not come cheap. Recently he has gotten a former student to donate $2,500 and to have his company match that, so Coach L. has reached a total of $5,000.

“Spending all of this money will take high school level lessons and reconstruct them to make them college level.” said Coach L. This would also make the classroom environment more fun and engaging for students.

“I was nominated for this before, but Bush was in office and I couldn’t see myself going through this and shaking a man’s hand who I don’t respect.”