Bright Ideas education grants, sponsored by Randolph Electric and North Carolina’s electric cooperatives, provide resources to educators for innovative, hands-on, classroom projects up to $2,000 that would not otherwise be funded.
This year, Randolph Electric awarded a total of $12,000 to nine projects that will touch the lives of nearly 1,300 local students.
Proposals can come from any area of the curriculum. Projects must directly benefit students, provide ongoing benefits, and use innovative teaching methods. A panel of previous Bright Ideas grant winners and various counties’ teachers carefully reviewed and discussed each application before deciding on the following final awards.
“We’re thrilled to award such dedicated and innovative educators with Bright Ideas grants,” said Kathleen Duckworth, communication and outreach specialist at Randolph EMC. “Their creative projects will enhance engagement within the classroom setting, help students think ‘outside the box’ and teach skills that will build students into strong leaders of the future.”
STEAM bins – $1,500
Terry Maness, Green Ridge Elementary
Funding will help make for a learning environment based on the needs of the whole child and not just focusing in on specific learning standards. Students will be able to weave together and to communicate their understanding of STEAM concepts throughout the school day.
Going Global with STEM – $1,500
Carrie Robledo, Highfalls Elementary
Second grade students will participate in Level Up Village’s course, Global Storybook Engineers. In this course, together with their global partner, students will learn fables, stories and myths from different cultures, and then explore how they can re-engineer the outcome using household materials.
Rainbow Ukuleles – $1,347
Kathleen Gee, Charles McCrary Elementary
Using a color-coded system, students will be systematically taught the history and parts of the ukulele, how to tune, use fingerstyle, read music and play chords.
Makey Makey – $1,617
Lee Waln, West Middle
Using a Makey-Makey board, students will use technology to interact with their environment in imaginative new ways.
Sphero SPRK – $1,800
Blakely Scearce, Uwharrie Charter Middle
Students will learn programming with MacroLab and OrbBasic followed by multi-day STEAM challenges. These multi-day experiments foster creative problem-solving and teamwork.
Exceptional Children Greenhouse – $1,580
Stephanie Ross, East Middle
In addition to learning many hands-on skills in the greenhouse, students will work with developing peers who are trained to work with students with special needs in order to teach them things like social skills, following directions, cooperation and developing expectations together.
LEGO Robotics Club – $760
Lauren deSerres, Chatham Central High
This club will give students a chance to explore robotics and coding. Each week, students will be given a different engineering task to complete using the LEGO robotics curriculum.
Fire and Fusion – $1,300
Chrissy Neelon, Uwharrie Charter High
Students will begin an Enameled Jewelry Unit by learning about how enameling was used by cultures in the past and how the process has advanced into the technological and scientific process that we use today.
Mini Movie Masters – $600
Jennifer Walker, Uwharrie Charter High
Students will write scripts, create scenes, characters, backgrounds and props, and finally put everything together into films.
Learn more about the Bright Ideas Education Grant Program