BrightIdeas

Bright Ideas has funded 10,400 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 2.1 million students who have participated in 10,400 Bright Ideas projects, and given out more than $10.9 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 September!

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 25 of the most outstanding grant winners in the state for their hard work and positive impact on students.
Fred Mason

Mr. Fred Mason
Columbus Career and College Academy
Whiteville, N.C.

Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation (BEMC), based in Supply, is proud to recognize Mr. Mason for his exceptional success in helping students find inspiration and prepare for careers. Mason’s project, “Leveling the Playing Field”, is sponsored by BEMC and allows students to learn and practice masonry skills. His students have earned attention competing at the regional and state levels, sometimes against adults who already earn a living in the masonry business. Mason was also named Columbus County Schools’ Teacher of the Year.

Mr. Mason and his project will be recognized Saturday, September 2 during the radio broadcast of the UNC vs. California game.
Michael Williams

Mr. Michael Williams
Warren New Tech High School
Warrenton, N.C.

Halifax Electric Membership Corporation, based in Enfield, nominated Mr. Williams in recognition of his creative approach to using video equipment to capture history in the making. His Bright Ideas project, “Parks, Places, & Space: The History of Home” allows his students to use 360-degree technology to capture footage of local landscapes and structures. The footage is used to draw historical connections as well as create an archive for online virtual tours.

Mr. Williams and his project will be recognized Saturday, September 9 during the radio broadcast of the UNC vs. Louisville game.

Amy Foss

Mrs. Amy Foss
Martin Millennium Academy
Tarboro, N.C.

Edgecombe-Martin County Electric Membership Corporation is proud to recognize Ms. Foss as an exceptional educator and Bright Ideas grant winner. Her project, “Going Global with Google Cardboard,” uses devices and phone applications to allow students to "travel" to new areas and view them in 3-D. Through the magic of virtual reality and immersive experiences, students can explore subjects ranging from the functions of the human body to faraway places like Mars.

Ms. Foss and her project will be recognized Saturday, September 30 during the radio broadcast of the UNC vs. Georgia Tech game.

Kristin Gray

Ms. Kristin Gray
Cape Hatteras Elementary
Buxton, N.C.

A creative and dedicated teacher from the coast, Ms. Kristin Gray is being recognized for her Bright Ideas grant sponsored by Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative, based in Buxton. Gray’s project, “The Circle of Life Book,” helps her elementary school students get an up-close and personal look at the life cycles of live crickets, butterflies and ladybugs. The goal of the project is to create a self-sustaining ecosystem within a butterfly farm, enabling students to see how organisms change throughout their development, and how life cycles are repeated.

Mrs. Gray and her project will be recognized Saturday, September 23 during the radio broadcast of the UNC vs. Duke game.
Marie Moss

Mrs. Marie Moss
Camden County High
Camden, N.C.

Albemarle Electric Membership Corporation, based in Winfall, proudly nominates Mrs. Marie Moss as its Tar Heel Teacher of the Week. Moss was chosen because of her commitment to updating her school’s science laboratory with emerging technology. Her Bright Ideas project is called “Advanced Science with Data Analysis.” Moss’ project aims to close the gap for her students by ensuring they have access to materials essential to preparation for college laboratory studies.

Mrs. Moss and her project will be recognized Saturday, September 16 during the radio broadcast of the UNC vs. Old Dominion game.





All of the Tar Heel Teacher of the Week nominees will receive tickets to a Tar Heel Football 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.

Congratulations to all of the Tar Heel Teachers of the Week for the month of September.

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!