Bright Ideas in NC Classrooms
Seven of the 600+ co-op-sponsored projects from the 2016-2017 school year
North Carolina’s electric cooperatives have been supporting innovative classroom projects through the Bright Ideas program since 1994. Kindergarten through high school teachers apply for grants through their electric co-op each fall. Visit ncbrightideas.com for more information. Here are just a few examples of the more than 600 projects supported during the 2016–2017 school year.
Union Power Cooperative
“PORTRAITS OF HOPE”
Teacher: Danielle Gaimari, Cox Mill High School, Concord
Participating students: 200
Students received photos of youth around the world who have been neglected, orphaned or disadvantaged and created portraits for them. They researched the countries, cultures and social climate these children have come from and learned to understand the importance and value of helping others. Being able to touch a life through appreciating art is an experience of a lifetime.
“ENGINEER THROUGH THE YEAR”
Teacher: Marianne Stein, Cooleemee Elementary
Participating students: 85
This initiative gives kindergarten students opportunities to engage in problem-based learning every month. Students learned how to collaborate to apply 21st century STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills to tackle “kid- friendly” challenges.
Blue Ridge Energy
“SEAPERCH REMOTELY OPERATED VEHICLES”
Teacher: Robert Tufts, Cranberry Middle School, Elk Park
Participating students: 20
Students started with very basic materials provided in kits to build a fully functioning underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV). Students also designed and built an obstacle course to move their ROVs through, proving their ROVs capabilities. Many students have expressed excitement and a desire to be part of the SeaPerch program this year.
“GREEN SCREEN TECHNOLOGY STUDIO: BRINGING LIFE TO THE CLASSROOM"
Teacher: Lee Waln, West Middle School, Mt. Gilead
Participating students: 420
Green screens replace solid-colored backgrounds from behind the subject of a photo or video with a new background. Students are using this integrated technology to produce, edit and share instructional media and communicate their new knowledge with peers and others.
“THE CAMPUS COOP: A FARM TO TABLE INITIATIVE”
Teachers: Jacqueline Gaddy, Jillian Casey, Joyce Leonard, Albert Jones; Richlands High School
Participating students: 550
The Campus Coop is the first animal facilities for the RHS Agricultural Department Farm. Agriculture students are able to learn how to care for chickens and maintain a safe and clean environment, and Foods students are able to learn about fresh egg handling and their uses.
“BRINGING LEARNING TO LIFE WITH TINKER CRATES”
Teacher: Allison Tate, Forrest W. Hunt Elementary, Forest City
Participating students: 80
Tinker Crates are boxed activities that provide students with hands-on learning through STEM. Fourth graders worked in small groups to build things such as robotic contraptions, circuits, vaults and motion sensing machines. Each activity has a reading component, which helps bring reading to life.
“GLOBAL IMMERSION EXPERIENCE: A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING ADVENTURE”
Teacher: Cynthia Linton, Stough Elementary, Raleigh
Participating students: 85
Part of the project included students creating professionally printed books that featured their own stories. At the end of the projects, parents were invited to hear their children read their stories aloud and watch them be presented with a copy of their own books.
Even more Bright Ideas