Karyn Suggs believes the best way to teach students about aerodynamics and motion is to let them experience it for themselves.
That’s why she was so excited to learn that she had received a Bright Ideas grant from the Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative and the Carteret-Craven Electric Foundation.
“It’s everything I asked for,” she said, celebrating with a broad smile and a brief dance.
The $992 grant will help pay for materials for students to create wooden miniature cars powered by carbon dioxide cartridges and rockets made from plastic bottles.
“We didn’t know how we would do it, but now we can,” Suggs said of the project she called “The Science of Going Fast and Reaching New Heights” in her grant application.
Bill Ward and Lisa Taylor-Galizia, of Carteret-Craven, went around to area schools last week surprising teachers with the grant awards. In all, 36 teachers in Craven and Carteret counties received grants totaling $23,316. Ward said the grants would impact 4,450 students.
Suggs, who teaches at Early College EAST in Havelock, said the project was a success last school year and she knows it will be again this year.
“They had a blast,” she said of her students. “It was fun and this will be an addition to that lesson.”
Taylor-Galizia knows the impact the grant will have.
“This should really inspire some future engineers,” she said.
Suggs said the grant money provided by Carteret-Craven is crucial in these current times of tight education budgets.
“They have given our school a lot of money,” she said. “Our kids are so lucky.”
The grant program has been around 19 years, and Ward said he has been a part of it the entire time. He said surprising teachers with the grant awards never gets old.
“It’s the best part of the job,” said Ward, Carteret-Craven’s director of community relations.
Naomi Clark, teacher at Havelock Middle School, received a $1,000 grant for her project called “Read, Write, Create, Present: Integration of Social Studies and Literacy.” The money will help with the purchase of books for use on student iPads.
For Clark, it was her 16th grant.
“Carteret-Craven built this classroom,” she said, pointing out items such as dictionaries, iPads and other classroom items purchased through the grant program. “It never gets old.”
She credits her students for keeping her inspired.
“I’m so blessed,” she said.
Other area teachers to receive Bright Ideas grants include: Reba Schmidt at Havelock Elementary School; Kerri Bogue at Havelock High School; Rosemary Steinman at Havelock Middle School; Gina Thornton at Tucker Creek Middle School; Ashley Alicea at W.J. Gurganus Elementary School; Ashley Perry at W.J. Gurganus Elementary School; and Susan Taylor at Gramercy Christian School.
Since the program started in 1994, Carteret-Craven has provided $325,000 in grants for projects that have benefited about 67,200 students. The purpose of the program is to improve teaching by awarding grants for projects that would not otherwise receive funding, with the goal to improve student learning.
Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative is a not-for-profit, member-owned organization that provides power to more than 32,000 members in Carteret, Craven, Jones and Onslow counties.