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SURPRISE! You won a Jackson EMC Bright Ideas Grant for your school!

Jackson EMC employees surprised 50 middle school teachers in 29 schools with more than $61,700 in grant money from the Bright Ideas program throughout the month of October. Winning entries represented a variety of disciplines, including engineering, history, information technology, language arts, math, music, science and social studies.

Jackson EMC increased the grant funding this year by more than $10,000, awarding 14 more classroom projects for experiential problem-solving such as exploring blood splatter analysis with forensic entomology and predicting the next viral outbreak. Several award winners will take their classroom outside to construct a compost unit or build a vertical aeroponic growing system for fruits and vegetables.

The Bright Ideas grant program, in its third year at Jackson EMC, funds creative lesson plans and innovative classroom projects developed by state-certified teachers for public middle schools within the counties served by Jackson EMC. Educators for grades six through eight can apply for up to $2,000 in grant funds for classroom projects that are not funded through general education dollars.

Projects must involve the students directly, provide a creative learning experience with ongoing benefits through innovative teaching methods, create opportunities for teamwork and support the continuous improvement of education in Georgia. Applications are judged by an independent panel from higher education institutions in North Georgia. Applications for 2017 Bright Ideas grants will open in February. For more information about the program, go to www.jacksonemc.com/brightideas.