New tech students race marbles to raise money for essential workers

Published 8:15 am Friday, September 24, 2021

NILES — A group of freshman high school students recently hosted a unique competition to raise funds for area essential workers.

Niles New Tech recently worked alongside community businesses for a marble race to raise money for essential workers. As part of the ninth-grade learners’ first project of the school year, students were tasked with creating a marble race track and calling upon businesses to sponsor the various marble racers. The winning team was able to choose an essential worker group to donate to.

In total, the freshman students raised more than $1,500 to go toward military service people.

“We wanted to use that money to help essential workers in our community,” said student Kloe Kiggins. “They work really hard in our community.”

“It feels good [to donate],” added Myles Jones, fellow ninth-grade New Tech student. “I feel more inspired and helpful to my community knowing that I could do something for them.”

The project is meant to serve as an introduction to Niles New Tech’s project-based curriculum, said Kasey Scaccia, freshman facilitator.

“Our program thrives on the betterment of the community,” Scaccia said. “Whatever we learn in our studios goes out into the community and betters our community. These guys, even as freshmen, have a huge impact at a young age, and that impact will grow as they go through the program.”

Throughout the two-week project, students learned skills such as public speaking and networking with local businesses.

Though neither Kiggins or Jones were on the team with the fastest marble, they both said they enjoyed the project and giving back to their community. Now, they are looking forward to future New Tech projects.

“We had fun, 100 percent,” Jones said. “Project-based learning seems really cool.”

Scaccia said she was proud of how her students completed the project.

“They did a great job,” she said.