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Visit to Prizewinners’ School Shows Awarded Funds Hard at Work

School pride, individual student support, and a blend of academic curriculum with career focused, project-based learning are just a few things Harbor Freight Tools for Schools team members Scott Springer and Bob Kilmer found on a visit to Gulfport High School. The school is home to three winners of the Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence. Dave Huffman and Patrick Wadsworth were awarded the prize in 2017 and Robert Caylor in 2020.

A few highlights from the visit:

  • Student Ambassadors: Our team was thrilled to meet Jack Bellew and Peyton Bardwell, two student advisors to Harbor Freight Tools for Schools. Jack and Peyton welcomed Scott and Bob and led a tour throughout the 1700-student campus. Jack has been involved in several trades programs at Gulfport, and Peyton has focused on engineering and robotics. These student ambassadors are helping provide a student perspective on skilled trades education, careers, and school life during the pandemic.
  • Nesting Shelters: Mr. Wadsworth’s high school students formed a partnership with the Audubon Society of Mississippi to help solve a real-world problem on the Gulf Coast. His students worked with elementary students in the community to build nesting shelters for coastal birds who migrate to local beaches every year. The project was focused on construction and mass production skills, science, technical writing and teamwork.
  • STEM Heaven: Mr. Huffman and Mr. Caylor are hard at work creating “STEM Heaven,” an outdoor workspace for students to experience the value of the skilled trades. To make it happen, Huffman has led the conversion of two shipping containers into workspaces. This short video provides more detail about the container modification project. The STEM Heaven project was funded through a pilot project grant of $10,000 from Harbor Freight Tools for Schools. The Gulfport team leveraged the promise of this inventive strategy into an additional $100,000 grant from the State of Mississippi.