Brevard Schools Foundation (BSF) recently awarded a total of $50,584 in Bright Ideas Classroom Grants to fifty-one teachers across the school district. The grants, ranging from $500-$1,500 per teacher, will be used to implement inventive, hands-on projects for students.
All Brevard County Public School teachers were invited to apply for funding. The goal of the Bright Ideas Classroom Grant program is to encourage teachers to develop innovative projects in areas of need where school budgets fall short or tax dollars cannot be used.
“Teachers typically spend between $500-$1,000 out of their own pocket for classroom supplies,” said Janice Kershaw, BSF President/CEO. “Without additional support, it is challenging for teachers to find ways to implement experiential learning that will engage students at the highest levels. As students returned to in-person learning this year, teachers needed ways to reengage and inspire students in their classrooms.”
Funded projects cross a wide range of subjects including 3D printing, robotics and coding, financial literacy, marine science, art, music, reading and more. Award winners have been notified virtually and in-person this year.
Erin Rice, a teacher at Tropical Elementary School, will use the $500 grant to purchase Ozobots, small, powerful robots. The Ozobots can be programmed using simple markers or more complex, bock-based programming allowing Rice to build up student skills during the year and in subsequent years. When notified by email, Rice replied “I am super excited we can purchase the Ozobots and glad you cannot see my happy dance.”
Teacher Jessica Davis at Viera Elementary School will use the $1,500 grant, funded by the General Federation of Women’s Club (GFWC) Viera Woman’s Club, for a 3D Printer. In the past, the school used two printers belonging to the former STEM teacher. “When she left the school, we lost our ability to use a 3D printer,” said Davis. “This grant will help our students create their own inventions as part of their Inventions Unit.”
The Bright Ideas Classroom Grant program is funded by proceeds from the sale of “Support Education” specialty license tags, corporate grants, community sponsorships and through a School District Education Foundation Matching Grant Program offered by the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations through an appropriation from the Florida Legislature.
Corporate funders include Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Truist Financial Corp (formerly, SunTrust). Merritt Island Rotary and the Viera Women’s Club are community funders and the Wyland Foundation also provided funding.
Opportunities to fund grants are available for individuals, businesses and civic organizations. To learn more about Brevard Schools Foundation Bright Ideas Grant program call 321-633-1000 ext. 11756 or firstname.lastname@example.org.