16:20 PM

Bringing Creative Classroom Projects to Life

Local middle school students are learning exciting concepts, thanks to their teachers with creative ideas and a Jackson EMC Bright Ideas grant. 

This school year, 50 teachers in 27 middle schools received Bright Ideas grants to bring new projects to life in their classrooms. These projects range from music to math and engineering to meteorology. 

Jackson EMC’s Bright Ideas grant program provides middle school teachers with up to $2,000 for classroom projects that would otherwise not be funded. Since 2015, the cooperative has awarded $476,163 in Bright Ideas grants to local teachers. 

Bright Ideas grant applications for the 2023-2024 school year will open in August.


Toni Sessions
Bear Creek Middle School
Barrow County

A math activity inspired by crime shows is an exciting way to get students engaged. In this classroom “whodunit,” students discover who's responsible for the crime by solving 10 math problems with 10 clues. A Bright Ideas grant funded the supplies needed for this murder-mystery project. 

“I just wanted to make math fun and engaging so that my students don’t dread coming to class,” said Toni Sessions, a math teacher. “Thank you so much for supporting our students and their learning!”


David Pauli
Osborne Middle School
Gwinnett County

Students at Osborne Middle School used a creative approach to learn how things move. Using a drone, they programmed the device to mimic the actions of a hummingbird. 

The biomechanics lesson, written by the 8th graders for their 7th grade peers, successfully demonstrated how hummingbirds collect nectar from a flower based on the color sensor on the drones. 

David Pauli, an engineering teacher, used funds from a Bright Ideas grant to purchase drones for his students to program.


Amanda McClellan
Hull Middle School
Gwinnett County

Hull Middle School orchestra teacher, Amanda McClellan, knows the importance of developing intonation skills for middle school orchestra students. Intonation — the accuracy of pitch on a stringed instrument — is a vital component of quickly ensuring an instrument is in tune. Students are required to hear a pitch and adjust their finger placement as needed. New electronic tuners give students a visual cue when they successfully match the pitch. 

“Students have been using the tuners we received from the Bright Ideas grant since January to not only tune our open string before class begins, but to fine tune finger interval training,” McClellan said. 

The tuners also helped students for a testing portion at a state competition. “It is certainly part of the reason all three judges awarded Hull Middle School the highest rating possible at the LGPE [Large Group Performance Evaluation],” McClellan added. The “Superior” rating was accompanied by a plaque for the classroom and the students wore their blue ribbons and platinum medals at their next concert.