Congratulations to nine of WCDS's teachers for being awarded 2017 Bright Ideas grants! Collectively, these teachers received nearly $9,000 in grant money to support student mastery in their classrooms.
For more than 20 years, the NC electric co-ops have offered Bright Ideas education grants to teachers in K-12 classrooms across the state. Bright Ideas grants provide funding for innovative, creative, classroom-based projects that might otherwise not be possible.
In addition, WCDS was recognized for having the 3rd most award recipients of all the schools represented in our region.
Check out this year's Bright Ideas below and stay tuned for updates as these projects are executed throughout the year!
"Science Rocks!" by Dena Creger -
Kids Love Rocks! "Science Rocks!" exposes students to the basics of mineral science and teaches the scientific process by providing opportunities for students to observe, form hypotheses, and draw conclusions. Best of all, students will be able to explore the role of geologist in our classroom hands-on science lab.
"Imagination Stations for Young Engineers" by Dona Briggs -
Literature, like folk and fairy tales, set the stage for engineering projects in our “Imagination Stations.” Students use STEAM skills to help their characters by engineering happier endings to famous stories. They collaborate to plan, create and test solutions to help the prince scale a tower to rescue Rapunzel, build a chair that even Goldilocks can’t break, design a house that can’t be blown down no matter how hard you try. . .and more! As students use trial and error to explore each station, they will be able to revise their plan and self-correct themselves, learning from their “mistakes,” literally.
"Teaching with Technology" by Cathie Hooks -
My grant, "Teaching with Technology," will purchase virtual reality goggles that will turn history lessons into 3D experiences. By plugging the goggle into a cell phone, students will be able to virtually visit museums around the world, stand on the Gettysburg battlefield, visit Pearl Harbor, explore space, and more.
"Microbiomes" by Thomas Gay -
The theme for 6th grade science is microbiomes. In an effort to make the topic more concrete, students will us Smart Gardens from Click-and-Grow to investigate the impact of the stuff we can't see in our world on the stuff we can. In addition, we will study the health benefits of freshly grown herbs.
"Collaborative Maker Space" by Lorre Gifford -
The "Collaborative Maker Space" project partners 1st grade students with 11th/12th grade students in a series of STEM challenges. This collaborative partnership is intended to inspire imagination and a love for engineering, allow a platform for the development of problem-solving strategies, and create opportunities for mentorship and community building. The grant will fund the materials needed to begin the process of creating a dedicated 3K-12 maker space!
"Picking up STEAM through Osmo" by Dawn McDonald -
Children have inquiring minds and are eager to discover how things work. Using OSMO, an award winning iPad system, students will use games to develop critical skills. They will be involved with activities using coding, tangrams, drawing/creativity, computation, decision making, and problem solving. All of these skills will be incorporated through fun games that the children control as they work in collaborative groups.
"Fun with Simple Machines using Legos" by Becky Belvan -
Students will gain a fundamental understanding of simple and powered machines, structures, and forces. The Lego sets come with lessons, extension activities, and problem-solving tasks, as well as teacher guides and student worksheets that guide students in making self-propelled creations.
"Making the Connection - Sensation to Perception" by Robert Peele -
My grant will be used in the Advanced Placement psychology class to enhance the study of the central nervous system, perception, and sensation using 3D models of the brain, eye, ear, and torso. Students will use various digital learning apps/programs to present their findings.
"DNA Fingerprinting!" by Ed Sharp -
This grant will enable all Biology, AP Biology, and Molecular Biology/Genetics students at WCDS to learn about DNA techniques by actually doing them. First, students will do electrophoresis, the basic technique for studying DNA. Then they will use a research machine called a thermal cycler to amplify tiny amounts of DNA from their cheek cells, making enough DNA to distinguish each student in the class. Working in groups, they will solve a DNA murder mystery and do internet research on other DNA techniques, and they will present their findings to their classes.