Bright Ideas has funded 9,800 education grants in N.C. Will yours be next?

At North Carolina’s electric cooperatives, we believe there is no more important investment than in our state’s youth. That’s why for more than 20 years, the electric co-ops have offered Bright Ideas education grants to Tar Heel teachers in K-12 classrooms across the state.

Bright Ideas grants provide funding for innovative, classroom-based projects that would otherwise not be possible. Since 1994, we have touched the lives of more than 2 million students who have participated in 9,800 Bright Ideas projects, and given out more than $10.2 million. Each year, close to 600 grants are funded across the state.

Tar Heel Teacher of the Week
Congratulations to our Bright Ideas Tar Heel Teachers of the Week for the month of January!

Every year, North Carolina’s electric cooperatives contribute about $600,000 to N.C. educators through our Bright Ideas Education Grant program. Now, the co-ops are recognizing 26 of the most outstanding grant winners in the state for their hard work and positive impact on students.
Julie Queen

Mrs Julie Queen
Rosman High School
Rosman, N.C.

Giving back to the community is the name of the game for this Tar Heel Teacher of the Week. Julie Queen of Rosman High School is being recognized for her Bright Ideas grant project, “Senior Service Day,” which will enable students to renovate deteriorating local homes and businesses. Haywood Electric Membership Corporation is proud to recognize Queen on a statewide level for spearheading a project that benefits not only students, but also the community, and that earned the highest score between all four of Haywood EMC’s judges in 2016.

Mrs. Queen and her project will be recognized January 3 & 7 during the radio broadcasts of the UNC men’s basketball games against Clemson and N.C. State.

Miriam Sutton

Mrs. Miriam Sutton
Morehead City Middle School
Morehead City, N.C.

Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative (CCEC) is recognizing Miriam Sutton as a Tar Heel Teacher of the Week. Sutton has won multiple Bright Ideas grants from CCEC for her truly innovative teaching projects designed to engage students in science and the environment. Her latest project, “R2D2: Researching the Reserve with Data-driven Drones,” will allow students to explore and collect data from marine debris in an ecosystem. Sutton believes her project will spark an interest in drone-driven research, a booming research industry along the N.C. coast.

Mrs. Sutton and her project will be recognized January 11 & 14 during the radio broadcasts of the UNC men’s basketball games against Wake Forest and Florida State universities.

Mr. Justin Jones
Ansonville Elementary School
Ansonville, N.C

From scientist to educator: Pee Dee Electric has nominated Justin Jones as a Tar Heel Teacher of the Week for his exceptional success in bringing science to life for students. Formerly a scientist in the private sector, Jones has earned recognition for his #NCBrightIdeas project, “Solar Generator and Solar Powered Incubator.” Jones’ class will use the sun’s energy to power an incubator to hatch chicken eggs. His project emphasizes the study of renewable energy, forms of energy and life cycles. Jones recognition is unique in the fact that he also served as Pee Dee Electric’s Kenan Fellow this summer. As a Kenan Fellow, Jones spent weeks working with the electric cooperative to explore how electricity is delivered to co-op members.

Mr. Jones and his project will be recognized January 16 and 21 during the radio broadcasts of the UNC men’s basketball games against Syracuse and Boston College.
Sharon Green

Mrs. Sharon Green
Caldwell Early College High School
Hudson, N.C.

Blue Ridge Energy is recognizing Mrs. Sharon Green as a Tar Heel Teacher of the Week. Green’s project, “Sustainability: A Thread through Life,” aids her students in developing an understanding of the importance of all aspects of sustainability. Her Bright Ideas project gets students thinking about the environment, sustainable practices of various countries, democracy sustainability, and social sustainability through service to others.

Mrs. Green and her project will be recognized January 26 & 28 during the radio broadcasts of the UNC Men’s Basketball games against Virginia Tech and Miami.

All of the Tar Heel Teacher of the Week nominees will receive two tickets to a Tar Heel Basketball game and a plaque commemorating their achievements.

North Carolina’s 26 electric cooperatives make possible the Tar Heel Teacher of the Week and Bright Ideas education grant programs in support of education and local communities. Only 26 exceptional North Carolina teachers will be honored as Teachers of the Week this year.

Once again, congratulations to all of the Tar Heel Teachers of the Week for the month of January.

Will your project be next?

The application process kicks off in April and lasts through September. Final application deadlines can vary, depending on the sponsoring co-op in your area.

Grant Winners from Randolph EMC

Educators may apply as individuals or as a team for the grants, which are awarded in a competitive evaluation process by individual electric cooperatives throughout the state.

North Carolina’s 26 electric cooperatives are committed to the communities they serve. Find out more about North Carolina's electric cooperatives and the cooperatives’ community programs we support.

Bright Ideas recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. See how Bright Ideas impacted teachers and students by watching our celebration video!