BrightIdeas

Celebrating 20 years of Bright Ideas grants

At North Carolina’s electric cooperatives, we believe there is no more important investment than in our state’s youth. That’s why for the past 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 1.6 million students who have participated in 8,800 Bright Ideas projects, and given out more than $9.1 million.

Applications are being accepted through September. Final application deadlines can vary, depending on the sponsoring electric cooperative in your area.

Congratulations to our Bright Ideas Tar Heel Teacher of the Week!

Mr. Jamie Mabry
Concord Middle School
Concord, N.C.

“Outdoor Science on Wheels”
Union Power Cooperative commends exceptional educator Jamie Mabry for bringing science to life for students. The cooperative is proud to recognize him on a statewide level as a Tar Heel Teacher of the Week.

Recently awarded a Bright Ideas grant for his project entitled “Outdoor Science on Wheels,” Mr. Mabry makes learning fun by taking students out of the classroom and into an outdoor science lab packed with opportuninties for creatitivty, collaboration and problem solving. Through hands-on lab projects, students discover ecosystems, physical properties of matter, and types of forces and energy. By experiencing science in the real world, students develop deeper understanding and gain the confidence that they can master abstract concepts.

Mr. Mabry is being recognized for his achievement during the radio broadcast of a UNC basketball game on the Tar Heel Sports network. He will receive two tickets to a Tar Heels game and a plaque commemorating his achievement.

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 school year.

Union Power Cooperative is an electric distribution cooperative headquartered in Monroe serving more than 70,000 member accounts in Union, Stanly, Cabarrus, Mecklenburg and Rowan counties. For more information about North Carolina’s electric cooperatives’ commitment to community, click here.


See how Bright Ideas impacts teachers and students by watching our 20th anniversary celebration video:


This year, the cooperatives expect to award about $600,000 to educators at schools across the state for projects in a variety of disciplines including music, art, history, reading, science, career-planning and information technology. To find out if your school is eligible or to determine the final application deadline in your area, click the “Search for My School” tab above.

Applications are accepted each year from April through mid-September, and the program offers a convenient and simple online application process. The final deadline depends on your school’s sponsoring electric cooperative. 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 about more about the cooperatives’ community programs here.