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Teachers Awarded Bright Ideas Grants

Exciting, hands-on learning projects are coming to classrooms in the Caldwell County Schools thanks to $12,867 in Bright Ideas grants awarded recently by Blue Ridge Energy to educators during a special luncheon honoring winning teachers and their principals.  

Bright Ideas is an academic grants program sponsored by Blue Ridge Energy in conjunction with North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation and its 26 other member electric cooperatives. Bright Ideas grants help further traditional academic learning by funding innovative scholastic projects that go beyond available school funding.

Caldwell County Schools grant winners:

Freda Parker, Caldwell Applied Sciences Academy, $1,761

Fun with Robotics - In order to prepare students for their future, a school needs a curriculum that adapts to current career trends. Using Ranger Robots, especially in the Engineering Academy, will require students to go beyond simple robotic programming and develop skills necessary for the developing multidisciplinary branch of engineering called Mechatronics.

Chad Davis, Gateway School, $1,000

Gamification of Gateway - To gamify the classroom by incorporating Oculus Quest virtual reality adventures, BreakoutEDU escape room simulations, and GooseChase multimedia scavenger hunts so that our school can increase student engagement, better understand the North Carolina curriculum, and improve data from assessments due to student investment in the learning environment.

Amanda Bregel, Caldwell Early College High School, $1,100

Caldwell Proud - Caldwell Proud inspires students to discover themselves through their roots. A substantial amount of identity is connected to home, so developing comfort and confidence in the history and daily life of your hometown is akin to learning oneself. Caldwell Proud creates confident, proactive, and creative champions for our local community.

Patricia Hartley, Collettsville Elementary School, $593

Squishy Circuits - Fourth and Seventh Grade Students will learn about the study of electrically charged objects through the use of Squishy Circuits, a fun yet innovative way to understand conductivity. This project allows a hands-on approach to studying how electric circuits work.

Adrienne Dula, Gamewell Elementary School, $1,750

The Hovercraft Project - The Hovercraft Project is an experience where students work together to build hovercraft vehicles. Teams are provided with materials and the engine of a leaf blower. Students plan, assemble and test their vehicles. When assembled, the engine blows air into the vehicle allowing it to float across the floor.

Cassandra Reed, Horizons Elementary School, $1,716

Virtual Reality Classroom - I would like to utilize virtual learning in each classroom. To achieve this, I would need virtual headsets for each classroom and a cell phone for each classroom to use. I would also need a merge cube for each class. This would allow our students to experience lessons, explore environments, visit the past and much more.

David Brotherton, Hudson Middle School, $1,000

To cut, or not to cut! - My class introduces middle school students to healthcare careers. Dissections are currently used as a comparison to human anatomy; but, sixth-graders wielding scalpels is problematic. Online VR anatomy programs offer an added level of individual participation and curriculum differentiation.

Carla AIgram, South Caldwell High School, $1,996

The Big Read! - All 9th-grade students will read Alan Gratz’s new novel about D-Day titled Allies. Through this high-interest historical fiction book, read as a community, students will understand the multifaceted aspects of war by studying it in all core subjects...math, English, history, and science.

Erin Roper, Whitnel Elementary School, $600

Orffin' Around - This project is to intended to provide opportunities for students to play barred Orff instruments.

Jenna Bailey, Hibriten High School, $1,351

Intaglio Printmaking for the Classroom - I would like to develop the curriculum to teach high school art students the process of intaglio printmaking, which requires the use of a printing press. The project would include teaching printing processes like drypoint etching on plexiglass, chine-collé, and making multi-colored, multi-layered prints.

To date, Blue Ridge Energy has awarded more than $519,000 and provided direct funding assistance that has impacted over 100,000 students through 580 different grants.