TRTF Making A Difference: Teacher Grants In Action

Allen Hubbard lives for the excitement of the classroom. When students walk through the door, Hubbard’s infectious energy sparks the curiosity of his students’ budding minds.

As a physics teacher at Akins High School in Austin, Texas, Hubbard manages the thin line between education and frenzy as he works to instill his passion into the hearts of his students.

Hubbard has been teaching for 10 years, and he continues to “revamp” his teaching style.

“I’m following a type of teaching physics called modeling,” Hubbard said. “Essentially, it’s developing a model in the kid’s brain of what the physics is.”

His latest venture comes with the help of three newly purchased high-speed digital cameras.

The cameras allow students to track the motion of objects in the physics class. Students utilize the camera’s precision to make scientific inquiries into the nature of motion, speed and velocity. Afterwards, the students upload the footage to classroom computers and track the experiments’ results.

Hubbard was able to purchase the cameras through a $500 grant provided by the Texas Retired Teachers Foundation (TRTF). His grant is a part of the Classroom Assistance Grants program, and it was one of 15 allocated by TRTF in 2016.

One of Hubbard’s students, Peter Kwiatkowski, has found the camera’s precision useful. Previously, the students performed acceleration experiments by hand, and the method resulted in a great deal of human error. But with the cameras, students are able to closely define the physics.

“It’s super hard to do it exactly if you don’t use the camera,” Kwiatkowski said. “It’s still not going to be perfect… but it’s going to be as close as possible.”

Many students come to visit Hubbard after class. They discuss assignments and aspirations with him, and come seeking advice. Hubbard greets them with enthusiasm, and he hopes to see many of them continue to succeed despite the financial constraints placed on schools.

For Hubbard, the $500 provided an axis of freedom rarely given to teachers.

“My school will support me with equipment sometimes every other year,” Hubbard said. “It’s a great amount of money, and even better that I get to pick what to spend it on, so I feel like I can make it go a long way.”

Donate Today

You can help support projects like Allen Hubbard’s by donating to TRTF. Classroom teachers are in great need of financial assistance, and your donation will go towards improving the quality of education performed in Texas classrooms.

You can donate here. You may also call and donate over the phone with a credit card at 1.800.880.1650 (please ask for Dawn).

El third quarter issue of The VOICE also featured a special article about the Foundation, along with TRTF’s annual appeal letter and donation card. You can mail in your donation using the pre-paid envelope included with your issue.

You can also learn more about past grant recipients here.


Thank you for your support of TRTF during Foundation Month. TRTF would not be able to provide its programs without your generous donations. Even as Foundation Month comes to a close, there are still many needs to be met.

We are continuing to grow our Lehr-Pritchard Endowment Fund, which seeks to secure the future of the “A Helping Hand” program. You can learn more about the endowment fund here.

There are nearly 80,000 members of TRTA. If we all give a little, we could do a lot! Foundation Month is your opportunity to make a difference for a colleague that could use help, create an opportunity for classroom teachers and students, or help open the door for a new teacher brimming with youthful enthusiasm to teach young minds.

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