Bright Ideas Grant Program

At Randolph Electric, we believe there is no more important investment than in our state’s youth. That’s why for more than 20 years, the electric co-ops of North Carolina have offered Bright Ideas education grants to Tar Heel teachers in K-12 classrooms across the state.

Bright Ideas grants provide funding for innovative, classroom-based projects that would otherwise not be possible. Since 1994, we have touched the lives of more than 2 million students who have participated in 9,800 Bright Ideas projects, and given out more than $10.2 million. Each year, close to 600 grants are funded across the state.

Proposals can come from any area of the curriculum. Projects must directly benefit students, provide ongoing benefits, and use innovative teaching methods. A panel of previous Bright Ideas grant winners, various counties’ Teachers of the Year, as well as retired teachers, carefully reviewed and discussed each application before deciding on the following final awards.

To apply, teachers must include a budget, explain the implementation, goals, creative elements and evaluation of the project, and have approval from the school principal. Applications will be judged in a competitive evaluation process, and judges will be on the lookout for projects that feature innovation and creativity. The application and grant-writing tips can be found at and will become available April 1st.

2016-17 Bright Ideas Grant Winners

  • June Allison, Randleman High School - $314.00 Eating What You Grow! Grant funding will purchase supplies for a raised vegetable garden that is wheelchair accessible. Students will plant, grow and eat seasonal vegetables while also learning many skills such as the importance of healthy lifestyles and responsibility.
  • John Bowman, Uwharrie Charter Academy - $869.00 Geocaching: Incorporating Technology for Healthier Lifestyles! Students will utilize GPS receivers to learn about geocaching, helping them get outside and get moving. This learning activity incorporates science, technology, health, and math, leading to a healthier lifestyle for years to come.
  • Kim Collazo, Robbins Elementary School - $1,955.00 The Launch Pad! Thanks to funding from the Bright Ideas grant, this project will provide robotic, coding, and engineering components and activities for the K-5 students to explore while they are building and learning in the STEM lab.
  • Dionne Currie-Hunsucker, Tabernacle Elementary School - $1,182.00 SUPER S.T.E.M.ulating Lab! The Super S.T.E.M.ulating  Lab project will ensure that STEM content is presented in a hands-on context that makes learning significant and meaningful for elementary aged students. Funding will help purchase Lego Early Simple 16 Machine Classroom Sets to be used in the various activities involved in the project.
  • Cassandra Lassiter, Charles McCrary Elementary School - $900.00 Boys Only Book Club! The Boys Only Book Club motivates boys to read and give boys a chance to build relationships with peers and male role models in an academic setting. Grant funds will help provide 5 Kids Edition Kindle Fires and new books for the boys to read with their peers during club time.
  • Kathy Malpass, Lindley Park Elementary School - $1,500.00 Explore, Create, and Learn with Lego Robotics! Through funding for this project, students in all grades at Lindley Park Elementary will have the opportunity to strengthen their understanding of engineering, problem solving, modeling, creating, investigating, and analyzing through hands-on creations of robotic devices.  The Bright Ideas funding will provide the robotic devices, motors and sensors that are used for coding technology and the Legos.
  • Elizabeth Pack, Asheboro High School Zoo School - $1,707.00 LabQuests for Natural Resources! Grant funds will be used to purchase LabQuest2 devices, which students will use to collect and analyze sensory data from the lab and field settings.  Field data will include temperature, pH, soil moisture, dissolved oxygen, carbon dioxide, water turbidity, and light intensity. The project will allow in-depth opportunities to study the environment and make informed decisions about stewardship and careers.
  • Carrie Robledo, Westmoore Elementary School - $799.00 Drones in Education: Letting Students’ Imaginations Soar! A drone for the school to own will be purchased with the funds awarded to Mrs. Robledo and her Drones in Education project. This project will utilize the drone in projects that help students learn to problem solve, collaborate, and think collectively to form conclusions and solutions.
  • Stephanie Ross, East Middle School - $1,135.00 Occupation Station! "Occupation Station" will be created for the self-contained classroom at East Middle School, to teach adolescents with moderate to severe learning disabilities as they transition into adulthood. The funding will also help provide items for the stations which will help teach students to focus, complete tasks and overcome career obstacles.
  • Lee Waln, West Middle School - $1,640.00 Green Screen Technology Studio Bringing Life to the Classroom! The awarded grant will help purchase a Green Screen for West Middle School. The Green Screen Technology Studio will provide an opportunity for students to produce, edit, and share created virtual content. By implementing a studio, students can produce instructional media and communicate their new knowledge with their peers and the greater audience.