The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

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November 15, 2012

Three SWE High School teachers awarded Bright Idea Grants

TARBORO — PINETOPS — Three SouthWest Edgecombe High School teachers were awarded Bright Idea Grants from Edgecombe-Martin County Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) to implement new ideas in their classrooms.

Agriscience Applications & Horticulture Science teacher Shelley Amour was awarded $1,500 towards her project, “Practical Hydroponics.” With her grant funding, students will set up a personal hydroponic unit to grow their own salad items. They will compare their systems to a working commercial system and be able to explain the systems to a novice. The students will get to enjoy their plants on “salad day” in class, as well. Students will also learn to calculate fertilizer application needs and write and speak about their newly acquired skills.

Chuck Baker, media coordinator at SouthWest, was selected to receive $1,000 to launch his project “Have you heard any good books lately?” The program will provide audio books for the media center, along with the exceptional children’s and English departments. The grant will fund the purchase of 30 audio books in titles from the required reading list for high school English classes, with hopes to purchase others in the future.  

Col. Mike Whitehurst, senior aerospace science and Air Force JROTC instructor, received $877 from EMC to purchase 150 model rockets and engines so that his cadets can build and launch model rockets this semester for a project he titled “Going Where No Man Has Gone Before.”

“The goal is to expose the student to the three-dimensional world of space travel,” said Whitehurst. “This will introduce the students to ‘hands on’ training, taking them out of the classroom and into the field with tools that will take their breath away.”

Each educator that applied for a Bright Ideas grant was required to complete an application describing how the funds would benefit students, what kind of students would be served, goals and objectives, how the project would be evaluated and worked into the curriculum, and how the funds would be itemized to purchase needed materials, training and technology.

The Bright Ideas education grant program, sponsored by North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives, awards grants to North Carolina teachers in grades K-12 for innovative, classroom-based projects that lack funding. Certified teachers from participating schools are eligible to apply for grants of up to $2,000.

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