Bain Middle School scores big with $25,000 tech grant
Bain Middle School is getting quite the prize thanks to the work of one of their technology teachers, Justin Hopkins.
Hopkins teaches at Bain by day, but also works part-time as a computer repair technician for the Best Buy on Bald Hill Road in Warwick. At Best Buy, there is a nation-wide competition each year that they do in coordination with Intel. It’s called the “Intel Retail Edge,” which is an internet portal Intel makes for online education on computer processes and new products. Each retail store competes annually to use the portal in their stores and keep up with all the new products.
This year, Justin and his team at Best Buy won the grand prize of $25,000, which goes to a school in the winning store’s area that could use the money. In a match made in technological heaven, Hopkins was able to pitch for his Bain Middle School to get the money.
“I convinced my general manager to choose Bain because it’s in a poverty area, with around 75 percent of kids on free and reduced lunch,” he said. “And I knew the tech lab needed a makeover.”
Bain Principal Jeff Taylor was ecstatic about the prize, and proud that Hopkins was able to win his school the grant to improve their technological education.
“We’re very appreciative here at Bain. We’re always looking for ways to improve the programming options for our students and increase our technology,” he said. “We’re using that funding to improve one of our labs with new computers, which will directly impact the students and their education.”
In addition to upgrading the computers in one of their tech labs, Taylor said they’re looking into buying a 3D printer and a 3D scanner to put into the school as well.
The money will be used relatively soon this year, the principal said, and he’ll work with the technology department at Bain to set it up as soon as possible.
Last Thursday, representatives from Best Buy, including general manager Ron Lorenco, presented Taylor with the $25,000 prize in the form of a giant check made out to the middle school.
Taylor was surprised by all the Best Buy employees that came, but couldn’t have been happier for Hopkins to make this technological funding for Bain possible.
For a school that could certainly use an injection of funding, especially for its technological education for students, Intel, Best Buy and Hopkins provided Bain students with some much-appreciate funding for upgrades this past week.