BrightIdeas

Celebrating 20 years of Bright Ideas grants

At North Carolina’s electric cooperatives, we believe there is no more important investment than in our state’s youth. That’s why for the past 20 years, the electric co-ops 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 1.6 million students who have participated in 8,800 Bright Ideas projects, and given out more than $9.1 million.

Applications are being accepted through September. Final application deadlines can vary, depending on the sponsoring electric cooperative in your area.

Congratulations to our Bright Ideas Tar Heel Teacher of the Week!

Ms. Michele Josey
Hillside High School
Durham, N.C.

Math teacher Michele Josey makes it a personal goal to include real-world applications in lessons to help students understand the connections between math and everyday life. She seeks new ways to engage high-school students and make the learning process meaningful and memorable. In recognition of these dedicated efforts to ensure students’ success, Wake Electric based, in Wake Forest, is pleased to nominate Ms. Josey for recognition on a statewide level as a Bright Ideas Tar Heel Teacher of the Week.

Ms. Josey’s Bright Ideas project “Motion Detectors” earned a top score from Wake Electric’s Bright Ideas judges, who found it quite fascinating to read how students can utilize technology to understand the science of motion. In the project, students use attachments on graphing calculators to collect and model distance, velocity, and acceleration data. The technology can be used year after year to unmask the worlds of math, physical science and physics for hundreds of students, and the project also provides training to teachers for cross-curricular activities.

Ms. Josey will be recognized as a Tar Heel Teacher of the Week on the radio broadcast of the UNC vs. N.C. State game on Saturday, Nov. 29. She will receive four tickets to a Tar Heel football game and a plaque commemorating her achievement. Congratulations, Ms. Josey, and thank you for all you do!

North Carolina’s 26 electric cooperatives make possible the Tar Heel Teacher of the Week and Bright Ideas education grant programs in support of education and local communities. Only 26 exceptional North Carolina teachers will be honored as Teachers of the Week this year.

Wake Electric provides reliable, safe and affordable energy and related services to approximately 38,000 consumers in parts of Durham, Franklin, Granville, Johnston, Nash, Vance and Wake counties. For more information about North Carolina’s electric cooperatives’ commitment to community, click here.


See how Bright Ideas impacts teachers and students by watching our 20th anniversary celebration video:


This year, the cooperatives expect to award about $600,000 to educators at schools across the state for projects in a variety of disciplines including music, art, history, reading, science, career-planning and information technology. To find out if your school is eligible or to determine the final application deadline in your area, click the “Search for My School” tab above.

Applications are accepted each year from April through mid-September, and the program offers a convenient and simple online application process. The final deadline depends on your school’s sponsoring electric cooperative. Educators may apply as individuals or as a team for the grants, which are awarded in a competitive evaluation process by individual electric cooperatives throughout the state.

North Carolina’s 26 electric cooperatives are committed to the communities they serve. Find about more about the cooperatives’ community programs here.