Cayce, Busbee educators receive Bright Ideas grants

WEST COLUMBIA, SC -- Two educators in Lexington Two have been awarded Bright Ideas grants from Mid-Carolina Electric Cooperative for garden projects.

Brooke Hiatt, a teacher at Cayce Elementary, won $1,000 to launch with a team of Cayce teachers the “Growing Leaders” project, a school-wide initiative that will have students design and build a garden. Hiatt said the project will have students using math and science skills, as they size garden beds and determine seasonal plantings appropriate for South Carolina’s soil and climate. She said the goal is to “improve our physical environment in our school while providing students with a sense of responsibility as they grow as leaders in our school.”

Lisa Fisher, a STEAM instructional facilitator at Busbee Creative Arts Academy, won $1,000 to launch “Project Greenhouse,” an expansion of the school’s current outdoor garden. Project Greenhouse will establish an on-campus greenhouse that will serve as an educational hub, integrating science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. Fisher said the greenhouse will allow students to grow vegetables, fruits, and herbs year-round, and the produce will be used by the cafeteria staff to provide additional healthy options.

Mid-Carolina Electric Cooperative awarded $19,000 in grants this year to teachers in areas that they serve to support local educators and their students in innovative project work. The Lexington Two educators were honored with other winners at a recent luncheon.