Science teacher Robert Foor-Hogue, whose students are always raising money for one project or another, has found a new way to bring in dollars for South Carroll High School.
He is this year's statewide winner of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching.
The award, for secondary science, gives him $7,500 to spend on his school. He also will spend a week of March in Washington, and get to meet the president during a Rose Garden ceremony at the White House.
"I'll use it for equipment," he said of the prize money. "We can use computers and scales. I'm also department chair, and there are some things we really need. I could spend a lot more than that."
Mr. Foor-Hogue teaches advanced chemistry and science research. The latter class involves several large projects for which students raise money with such projects as selling pizza kits. They have raised about $50,000 in the past few years, he said, and have gotten some state grants.
"Good education is very, very expensive," he said.
Projects have included studying and protecting a stream and wetlands behind the school, including building a small bridge over the water for cross-country runners and all-terrain vehicles that otherwise might disturb the stream.
Mr. Foor-Hogue, who lives in Millers, said he has been nominated for the award four times before this year. In the past, he said, the applications have always focused on the teacher's philosophy. This year, it asked what students are actually doing, and he thinks that's what won him the award.
"We have a really active science program in Carroll County," he said. "They let us do some interesting things and take risks."
Mr. Foor-Hogue, 42, has taught in Carroll for 12 years and in Baltimore for six years before that.