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Caldwell Teachers Win Bright Ideas Grants from Blue Ridge Energy
Exciting, hands-on learning projects are coming to six local Caldwell classrooms thanks to $7,115 in Bright Ideas grants awarded recently by Blue Ridge Energy to local educators during a special virtual celebration honoring winning teachers and their schools.
Bright Ideas is an academic grants program sponsored annually by Blue Ridge Energy. Bright Ideas grants help further traditional academic learning by funding innovative scholastic projects that go beyond available school funding.
To date, Blue Ridge Energy has awarded more than $568,000 in Bright Ideas classroom grants impacting over 110,000 local students and teachers. This year, the cooperative is funding winning grants totaling $24,954 to 24 classrooms in Caldwell, Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany, Wilkes and Avery counties.
Caldwell County grant-winning teachers are:
Angela Longano of Granite Falls Elementary for “Kindergarten is Getting a PhD in Science!” This $1,328 grant focuses on a hands-on science curriculum approach to engage students in learning driven by their natural curiosity for the world around them.
David Brotherton of Hudson Middle for “No Really, Is that Real?” The grant for $1,060 introduces students to the important field of healthcare careers using a virtual reality anatomy program.
Savannah Cole of West Caldwell High for “Robots in the Math and Science Classroom!” This $1,500 grant will introduce students to computer programming using small robots to bridge the physical and digital world of coding.
Katie Reid of West Caldwell High for “ChemLabs in Chem Class.” The grant for $1,077 will give students a better understanding of chemistry because they can see and observe chemical reactions and conduct laboratory experiments.
Emily Absher of Whitnel Elementary for “Makerspace in the Making!” This $1,500 grant will provide hands-on exploration stations where students can use building bricks, STEM bins, and coding mouse bots to engage in creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking.
Heather Simmons of Baton Elementary for “Storywalk Trails.” This $650 grant will help expand an outdoor classroom to get students outside and moving. The project will help make reading and the outdoors more fun and engaging as students read page after page along the trail using interactive books.
According to Director of Community Relations Tasha Rountree, “This is a unique time for our students and educators. I’m proud that Blue Ridge is able to fund creative classroom ideas.”
Blue Ridge Energy is part of several North Carolina electric cooperatives providing Bright Ideas grants. Together, they have provided more than $13.6 million for classroom projects impacting over 2.7 million students in North Carolina.
Blue Ridge Energy is a member-owned electric cooperative serving some 78,000 members in Caldwell, Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany, Avery, Alexander and Wilkes counties. To learn more about the Bright Ideas grants program, visit www.BlueRidgeEnergy.com or contact your local Blue Ridge Energy office.