Bright Ideas Grants Honor Teachers

Last week, local teachers received quite the surprise when they were greeted with cheers, balloons and money to fund very special classroom projects.

By next week, more than $40,000 in Bright Ideas grants will enable teachers in Bryan, McIntosh and Liberty counties to bring their Bright Ideas to life.

Funding for Bright Ideas grants comes from members of the Coastal Electric Cooperative who round up their electricity bills to the next dollar through Operation Round Up. These nickels and dimes are pooled and reinvested in the community through the Coastal Electric Cooperative Foundation.

Since the Bright Ideas program was established in 2002, nearly $450,000 has been awarded to empower local teachers to put their creative teaching ideas into practice.

“These children are our future and our most precious resource,” said Chris Fettes, CEO of Coastal Electric Cooperative, who presented donations on behalf of the Foundation. “We are here to support the dedicated people who work hard every day to provide quality education and improve the quality of life for our students.

Bryan County Grant Summaries: With eight winners, Richmond Hill Middle School received the most Bright Ideas grants of any school this year. Below is a summary of each of their projects:

• Andrew Robertson’s $1,007.86 grant project, “The Effect of Color,” will allow students to research the effect of lighting of different colors on mood, mood, attention and creativity. Students will use nature-inspired LED lighting and light blankets to make spaces more inviting and conducive to learning, while also learning how to wire and install lighting.

• Lisa Tuttle’s $1,940.50 grant project, ‘Exploring Energy Alternatives’, will allow students to investigate the use of alternative energy sources to power neighborhoods and then build a model of their community. They will learn about renewable energies, sustainability and their benefits for the planet.

• As part of Mary Bowden’s $1,999.16 grant project, ‘Live to Give through Math’, students will work in groups to determine how a problem facing our community could be solved through 3D printing . Students will use their math skills regarding fractions, unit conversions, scale factors, ratios, measurements, and more. to create, design and 3D print their solutions.

• Robert Hodgdon’s $1,340.00 grant project, “Technology and Applications of Precision Horticulture”, will provide the necessary equipment to enable students to collect data on soil and crop health, which will which will result in higher crop yields, more efficient water use and less fertilizer runoff. , which is one of the main sources of environmental degradation in many rivers.

• As part of Tammy Luke’s $1,934.03 grant project, “Designed to Sew, Print and Learn”, students will research science topics such as biology, ocean research, Mesozoic creatures and chemistry, then express their discoveries through artistic expression, namely embroidery on fabric, painting and animation.

• For Tracy Thompson’s $1,974.66 grant project, “Teacher,” students will build and program a hexapod robotic spider so they can learn fundamental skills in engineering, design, and programming. They will interpret code results in real time, as the robots will mimic real organisms while making connections to their real-world use to help humans.

• Dennis Moore’s $1,690.00 grant project, “Sustainable Sources of Energy,” focuses on the use of renewable energy and will give students hands-on, real-world opportunities to see how it works and how it can to be used. Students will use a mobile solar electric generator for various functions, such as energizing pumps that circulate the water/fertilizer mixture through the school’s hydroponic systems and power the electric vehicles that students will build.

• Dustin Barnwell’s $1,645 grant project, “Etching the Earth,” will provide students with small, app-controlled laser cutters to create and design logos, artwork, and more for a project entrepreneur in their social studies class.

* Sarah Chancey of McAllister Elementary has won a $763.32 grant to fund her project, “3D Solutions,” which will allow students to 3D print designs they make in an erosion-focused science unit.

As a culminating activity, students design solutions to mitigate coastal erosion. By designing these prototypes, students become real-world problem solvers and can be part of something that can actually make a difference in the lives around them.

* Ashlyn Borden of Carver Elementary won a $1,707.99 grant for “Horticulture Therapy Through Hydroponic Gardening,” in which students will assemble and maintain a mobile hydroponic garden that will travel to every classroom in the school. By addressing various sensory elements, the garden will improve students’ gross and fine motor skills, health and mood. The garden will also challenge students’ science skills by observing and recording data and determining maintenance needs. The gardens will provide students who may be struggling academically with opportunities to succeed.

* Windi Holmes and Dr. Sheri Hundley of Carver Elementary have won an $1,884.61 grant to start a school robotics club to inspire learners to deepen their engineering skills to succeed in today’s world of science and technology today. In this club, students will design and build robots with real-world applications. It will encourage and facilitate hands-on interactive learning.

* Erin Turner of Richmond Hill High School has won a $1,987 grant for her ‘Outdoor Classroom Project’, which will bring together teachers, students and the community to create an outdoor classroom outdoors at school.

* Stephen Peterson of Richmond Hill High School won a $1,960 grant for ‘Project Robot’. The grant funding will provide three brains, 11 smart motors, two vision sensors, and three controllers with all necessary chargers, cables, and radios to allow student teams to compete in obstacle courses, color recognition, coding and advanced functions.

These new components will allow all engineering students and robotics club members not only to see a sensor, but also to design, install and operate a sensor they have programmed.

* Stefanie Whiten of Richmond Hill High School has won a $1,993 scholarship for her project, “Livestream Multi-Camera Production”, which will allow more students to participate in live productions, further preparing them for careers in cinema and television. The school’s Audio, Video, Tech & Film program offers the community the ability to watch everything from football games to theater performances to live streams.

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