14:17 PM

Celebrating Bright Ideas 2022

Local middle school teachers have exciting ideas that bring learning to life for their students, and Jackson EMC is proud to sponsor Bright Ideas grants for educators offering innovative projects in their classes.

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 $404,655 in Bright Ideas grants to local teachers. 

This academic year, 39 teachers in 22 middle schools were awarded Jackson EMC Bright Ideas grants totaling $61,161. Winning entries represented instruction in engineering, music, biology, computer science, math, history, English language arts and more. 

Bright Ideas grant applications for the 2022-2023 school year will open in August.


Lynn Murphy 

Chestatee Academy of Inquiry and Talent Development

Hall County 


Designing a virtual theme park isn’t just fun; it’s also educational. Students in STEM teacher Lynn Murphy’s class created a theme park design project. “This Bright Ideas grant enabled students to use interactive technology to design a theme park ride or experience,” Murphy said. “They used artistry, coding, construction and circuitry to invent a new ride based on their favorite Disney or Pixar movie,” she added.


Tori Jones 

Lumpkin County Middle School 

Lumpkin County 


Students in seventh-grade teacher Tori Jones’ class learned about biomedical engineering design with a project called, “Lend a Hand.” “My students created designs for prosthetic hands and assistive devices, wrote proposals for their designs, and then printed them using a 3D printer,” Jones said. The next step for her students is submitting their designs to a group of volunteers who use 3D printers to create low-cost prosthetic upper limb devices for children and adults in need.


Anna Herdliska

Twin Rivers Middle School

Gwinnett County 


Students in Anna Herdliska’s class learned about spectroscopy – the study of the interaction between matter and electromagnetic radiation. “Using Bluetooth-regulated spectrophotometers, students analyzed the wavelengths of light in living organisms,” Herdliska said. Her students studied the pigments in different plants – such as spinach, peppers, rhubarb, red cabbage and kale – and quantified them using the electromagnetic spectrum of light. "This allowed students to make a connection between the energy used for cell processes and colors of light," Herdliska said.