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2016 Bright Ideas Winners Announced

The Bright Ideas Brigade surprised this year's winning teachers in their classrooms Oct. 17-20 with a grant check, goody bag, and flowers for their creative classroom projects. Teachers began submitting applications for this year's round of grants in May and a total of 22 teachers at 12 different schools were awarded for a grand total of $15,310. 



Congratulations to the 2016 grant recipients:

Lamar County:

Beth Aiken- Stories, STEAM, and Experiments, Lamar County Primary School, Barnesville: $924.45. Students will work in teams using science, math, language arts, and creative arts to solve problems derived from different literature sources.

Ginger CannonCompetent at the Capital, Lamar County Elementary School, Barnesville: $996.00. The entire third grade will have a chance to visit Atlanta and tour the Capital building as they learn about Georgia government, the General Assembly, and the different branches of government. 

Jessica DunnAlligator Bait, Lamar County Elementary School, Barnesville: $995.00. Forty-five third graders will visit the Okefenokee Swamp during their study on habitats of Georgia and the various plants and animals that live in them.

Princess Eleby- Novels in Math & Science Class: Why, I don't mind if I do! Lamar County Elementary School, Barnesville: $994.35. This project will incorporate novels that make real world connections in math and science to build lifelong readers and writers.

Gina Ralston - Helping Hands, Lamar County Elementary School, Barnesville: $536.00. Using the “Leader in Me” classroom kit, gifted fifth grade students will work as mentors to students throughout the school identified as having skill deficiencies in reading and math.

Ann Jones - Dig, Plant, Grow, Lamar County Middle School, Barnesville: $990.00. Sixth grade students will learn how to plant and take care of vegetable and flower gardens. The gardeners will harvest the vegetables and flowers when they have matured and will donate the vegetables to the culinary club at the school.

David Ritch – 3D Immersive Education to Increase Math Achievement, Lamar County Middle School, Barnesville: $989.11. This project will use math, engineering and technology to illustrate spatial and mental rotation to help students understand and strengthen their concept of 3D environments and increase their math achievement. Students will build 3D Lego block type figures using the Lego Build Academy site and Oculus Rift virtual helmets.

Ingrid Dingler and Nicole Shepherd - Exploring the Night Sky, Rock Springs Christian Academy, Milner: $851.65. Students will be immersed in literature and meaningful activities about space using telescope kits, Earth and moon models, space projectors, and motorized solar systems.

CarolAnn Evans –Middle School Squawks with Great Book Talks! Rock Springs Christian Academy, Milner: $446.40. Middle school students will use various novels to help incorporate language arts, writing, art, and technology into their lessons by enabling the students to refine their listening, speaking, readying, writing, problem solving, and presentation skills.

Sarah Glover and Cheryl Colwell - “Breaking Out" of Boring Classwork! Rock Springs Christian Academy, Milner: $595.00. BreakoutEDU is an experimental learning tool that breaks students out of normal classroom work and routines, forcing them to use team work and critical thinking to solve riddles in order to increase learning, recall, and application of regular classroom text material.

Tori Joyce - Tower Garden, Rock Springs Christian Academy, Milner: $891.95. A Tower Garden system will be purchased to allow students to grow various plants indoors, including healthy fruits and vegetables. The system is based on aerophonics and hydroponics and will not require soil and provides year round gardening.


Pike County:

Clay Woerner and Clayton Moon - Build It and They Will Learn, Pike County 9th Grade Academy, Zebulon: $991.82. Students will use various building materials to construct the cultural landscape of a region in the world as they learn about that area's particular economic system, agricultural system, infrastructure, political systems, and culture.

Stacy Brown - School of Rock, Pike County Middle School, Zebulon: $467.99. Students will gain hands on experience with musical instruments including guitars, keyboards, and hand drums as they explore the history of music and how it has evolved over the past 100 years. 


Crawford County:                       

Amy Hill - STEAMing up with Agriculture, Crawford County Eagles Nest: Roberta: $601.97. Kindergarteners will participate in hands-on, interactive activities that may include building things using shapes, foods, magnets, blocks, and recycled materials, cooking activities, experiments, research projects, habitat constructions, visitors, and field trips.


Spalding County:

Jessica Lalumiere - Fossil MuseumFutral Road Elementary Fossil Museum, Griffin: $482.25. Students will use fossil kits to create fossils based on researching online, reading texts, and investigating authentic fossils. Students will then organize a Museum Day for students from other grades to be in invited to learn about fossils.

Rachael Long - BEE Excited A'BOT Learning, Crescent Elementary, Griffin: $983.68. Primary school students will be provided a hands-on learning experience with small robots while learning math, science, social studies, and English Language Arts concepts. They will learn to code in a developmentally appropriate manner through games and activities.

Laurie Eurich - Encaustic Painting Advanced Art Class Project, Spalding High School, Griffin: $1,000.00. High school students will learn the history and technique of encaustic painting and make unique art work of their own to display for the community to enjoy.


Upson County:

Donna Fouts - Spheros for Student LearningUpson Lee North Elementary, Thomaston: $909.93. This project funds seven Sphero SPRK+ robots to spark curiosity and engage students in coding and problem solving. The Spheros will be a tool used to increase students’ 21st century skills and technological literacy by allowing them to use the tools of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) industry.

Chandra Youngblood - Engaging Learners with Interactive Notebooks, Upson Lee South Elementary, Thomaston: $662.45.  Interactive notebooks are used for class notes as well as for other activities where the student will be asked to express his/her own ideas. The purpose of the interactive notebook is to enable students to be creative, independent thinkers and writers. Students use graphically organized notes of what they are learning by involving an illustrated timeliness, matrix, annotated map, flowchart, advertisement, etc, to synthesize and apply their learning.

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