2014 SECU Emerging Issues Prize for Innovation Finalists

State Employees Credit Union Emerging Issues Prize for Innovation

Read about the winners from the 2014 SECU Emerging Issues Prize for Innovation contest!

Pennies for Progress | North Carolina State University

Pennies for Progress is an innovative funding platform for social good. We use emerging point-of-sale and payment processing technologies to provide a solicitation strategy for small businesses. Our program is simple: each time a customer makes a purchase they can round their bill to the next dollar and donate the difference. We target donations that are less than one dollar and locate high-volume transaction locations. Our goal is to decrease the barriers to entry for donating, which increases total donations at the point of sale. We provide businesses with a subsidized point-of-sale system running on an iOS based cash register, so whenever a customer makes a purchase they can round up their bill for schools. While this may seem like a small amount of money, implementing the system at high transaction-volume retailers in large scale can quickly raise a significant amount of funds. A popular coffee shop could raise $10,950 a year. Multiplying a single business’s contributions across North Carolina’s small businesses and retailers generates significant revenues for local schools. If half of North Carolinians donated just ten pennies each week, we could raise $50,000,000 to support local schools.

My HealthEd | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Currently, the state of North Carolina mandates that every public school teach a comprehensive health education curriculum including nutrition and comprehensive sexual education in 7th grade, 8th grade, and high school. As the NC Department of Public Instruction starts to assess the Healthy Living Essential Standards in the next few years, we are creating a tool for high schools in North Carolina to more easily and affordably comply with health education legislation. Our tool will provide a more well-rounded health education by facilitating collaboration and conversation between parents, teachers, and students. We are developing MyHealthEd, a comprehensive, online health education course that is tailored to the individual needs of each student. The goals of MyHealthEd are t0:

  • increase health knowledge and skills among high school students in North Carolina
  • decrease risky behaviors among high school students
  • decrease rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections
  • increase academic achievement
  • provide a safe space for students to learn more about their personal health by delivering the intervention in the classroom
  • provide a tailored and unique learning experience for each student
  • provide a common platform for parents, teachers and students to educate themselves about ways to encourage healthy behaviors among students

MyHealthEd SECU Emerging Issues Prize for Innovation Entry from My HealthEd on Vimeo.

TeacherLoop | North Carolina State University

Our team aims to develop and implement an online, open-source, peer-reviewed platform for teachers to share all sorts of learning aids. The name of this tool is “TeacherLoop”. TeacherLoop is not just restricted to sharing teaching material. It also provides users with a community that is supported by teachers, and made for teachers. The advantages of this sort of system are numerous. When looked at in retrospect, a new teacher is faced with an already stressful introduction into their new school; it is difficult to create a lesson plan ad-lib in order to give a more suitable experience to their specific classes. With such platform-based, lesson plan sharing, new teachers can take tested, reputable lesson plans and add the finer details according to their style of teaching and the necessities of the students. With this system, we wish to optimize the workflow process for teachers by giving them a simple, frictionless environment to work in. The user, a licensed teacher, not only has the ability to upload their own work, but to also view other learning aids. Although the mentioned structure would prove valuable, it would only be the skeleton of TeacherLoop’s functionality. With features such as lesson plan ratings, adjustment suggestions, and blog type discussion, the teacher can expand his/her ideas to enhance the classroom experience beyond the typical staff meeting, and into the virtually limitless world of TeacherLoop.

Beginning Teaching Matters | University of North Carolina at Wilmington

The Beginning Teaching Matters (BT Matters) Project seeks to address issues of teacher retention by immersing beginning teachers in the culture of their local community and providing them with a community-based network of support. This support is offered in two ways: face-to-face through monthly meetings and online via a web portal. Through the project, beginning teachers with zero to three years of experience meet monthly in subject-specific or grade level groupings, guided by a professional learning communities model (PLC). These small groups, facilitated by local master teachers, work with major topics affecting teacher retention, learn about the culture of their local community, and explore resources that will support and enhance classroom instruction. During the time between each meeting, participants share and work online through a common web portal. The portal links all participants together and provides access to a wealth of resources for beginning teachers, as well as hosts the program materials for the BT Matters Project. Furthermore, beginning teacher participants will be provide relevant literature, classroom supplies, and other hands on materials related to the district’s community-based network of support.

thanks to all of our participants for their great work!

Winners were publicly announced at the 2014 Emerging Issues Forum, Teachers and the Great Economic Debate!