Story by Sonja Bailes, Public Relations Liaison for Bossier Parish Schools
When it comes to exciting students about technology, Elm Grove Middle School STEM teacher Spencer Kiper is a stand-out.
So much so, Kiper was recently named the Region 7 Middle School Technology Educator of the Year by the Louisiana Association of Computer Using Educators at its annual conference in New Orleans.
LACUE acts as the state’s largest educational technology organization offering resources, professional development and funding to Louisiana teachers in order to facilitate better educational technology use and practices in education. It is also an affiliate of the International Society of Technology in Education (ISTE).
Kiper traveled to the conference with other Bossier Parish educators who were named 2014 LACUE regional winners. They included Lainey Hodge at Haughton High; Kelly Stough in SPED at the Evaluation Center and Tammy Hall, Bossier Parish Curriculum Coordinator.
Regional winners at each level were chosen based on service to their schools and districts, contributions, and the technology education community as well as their personal triumphs and victories in the classrooms using technology.
It was there Kiper was chosen as the state winner out of eight regions represented in the middle school category. A recent example of how he consistently strives to educate both his students as well as fellow teachers is the SeaPerch underwater robotics regional training workshop he brought to Bossier Parish in December.
Educators from Bossier, Caddo, Desoto, Iberville, Sci-Port and the Department of Defense gathered one Saturday to learn how to implement an underwater robotics curriculum to further engage students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).
It was Kiper’s experience at Space Camp over the summer that made the workshop possible. He observed the SeaPerch platform then and applied for and won grants to purchase underwater robotic kits for his classroom. That excitement extended to other Bossier Parish middle and high school teachers, resulting in SeaPerch educators from the University of Rhode Island traveling to Bossier, free of charge, to lead training.
Kiper was ecstatic about the LACUE state recognition.
“Having received my Master’s of Education in Educational Technology and building my career around technology use in the classroom, this is one of the highest honors that I could receive,” he said. “It is reaffirming to know that I am heading in the right direction by pursuing my interests in educational technology and should continue to use it to make an impact in education.”