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$50,000 Awarded in Bright Ideas Grants

Educators from 24 schools received $50,608 in Bright Ideas innovation grants in November from Jackson EMC. These funds will empower educators to teach middle school students everything from engineering design using 3D printing to life science in a garden that uses innovative design to involve students of all ability levels. One school will learn to build magnetic levitation vehicles. Another school will use Bright Ideas grant funds to create a Maker Space and Critical Think Tank for all students to use in the media center.

“Educators we spoke with when we were planning this program advised that middle school grades are a critical time when students continue their education or drop out. They felt while creativity and innovation are important at all education levels, this was a particularly critical time to engage them, and where Bright Ideas could do the most good,” said Bonnie Jones, Jackson EMC director of public relations and communications. “Based on their feedback, we focused these grants on educational opportunities in 6th, 7th and 8th grades.”

This new grant program is aimed at funding creative and innovative classroom projects for middle schools within the counties Jackson EMC serves. Educators in grades 6-8 could earn up to $2,000 for classroom projects that would otherwise go unfunded.

The projects funded directly involve students, provide a creative learning experience through innovative teaching methods, provide ongoing benefits to the students, create opportunities for teamwork and support the continuous improvement of education in Georgia.

Applications for the 2016 program will open in April. For more information about the program, see www.jacksonemc.com/brightideas.