Cobb Tank Competition Nets Big Catch for Twelve Cobb County Schools


Cobb County teachers recently competed for and won a total of $83,400 to implement innovation in their classrooms through a program called Cobb Tank.

The brainchild of Superintendent Chris Ragsdale, Cobb Tank is based on the TV show “Shark Tank” in which contestants present their ideas to the “sharks” in the “tank” in hopes of receiving funding.

Teacher response was enthusiastic with more than 100 applicants. In the end, 9 finalists were selected to go before the Cobb Sharks, a group consisting of local leaders in business and education as well as a high school student.

CT_LOGO2The finalists, representing schools from across Cobb County, gave creative, dynamic, and passionate presentations to the Cobb Sharks. From setting up an observatory at a high school to teaching elementary students how to program robots, each proposal clearly supported the district vision of “One Team, One Goal: Student Success.”

In a surprise move, the Cobb Sharks decided to fund all of the projects, citing the strength of their innovative ideas. The list of finalists and their awards are listed below.

  • Berkil Alexander, Kennesaw Mountain High School, $10,000 for “Moving the Planets and Stars into the Classroom”
  • Alexa Dean, Tritt Elementary School, $3,600 for “Programming Through Robotics”
  • Becky Gonzales, Big Shanty Elementary School, $12,500 for “Big Shanty’s STEM Outdoor Innovation Lab”
  • Sonya Henry, Hendricks Elementary School, $10,000 for “The Reading Nook”
  • Tiffany Hourigan, Kelli Stagich, and Missy Johnson of McCall Primary School, $10,000 for “Aspirations Station”
  • Tami McIntire, representing the McIntire Family of teachers, $10,300 for Smyrna Elementary School, Palmer Middle School, Campbell Middle School, and Lassiter High School for “Virtual Mentors”
  • Rachel Mudgett, Floyd Middle School, $10,000 for “iOrchestra: The Classroom of the Future”
  • Jamie Richardson, Cooper Middle School, $10,200 for “Power in the Palm of Their Hands”
  • Ben Smalley, Pebblebrook High School, $6,800 for “Virtually Anything is Possible”

The Cobb Tank event was filmed live and had its broadcast debut on December 4 on COBB edTV. Viewers may watch the show on the Cobb County School District’s YouTube channel or on COBB edTV.