$1.5 million in grants awarded to public schools

The Tennessee Valley Authority, in partnership with Bicentennial Volunteers Inc., a TVA retiree organization, is awarding a record $1.5 million in grants to educators in public schools to develop science, technology, engineering, and math education projects across the Tennessee Valley region.
“TVA is committed to supporting schools and educators who are inspiring an interest in STEM education in students across our seven-state region, as we know our young people will design and build the energy systems of the future,” said Jeannette Mills, TVA executive vice president and chief external relations officer.

“Providing resources and access to STEM education is key to inspiring innovation and interest. We’re proud to invest in the next generation’s visionaries.”

The competitive STEM classroom grant program is operated in partnership with the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network managed by the Battelle organization. The program received 715 grant applications this year, and 343 were selected for funding. 69 of those were to Alabama schools. Five Jackson County schools were awarded the grant and included, Bridgeport Elementary School, Caldwell Elementary School, Kevin Dukes Career and Innovation Academy, Scottsboro Junior High School and Stevenson Elementary School.

Since 2018, TVA/BVI has provided nearly $6.5 million in STEM grants supporting over 600,000 students.

Grants are awarded to meet the diverse needs of local communities. For example, Westhills Elementary School in Lewisburg, Tennessee—served by Lewisburg Electric System—will use its grant on a project titled “Is It Hot or Not.” Students will conduct an investigation to demonstrate how thermal energy moves among objects through radiation, conduction, or convection using thermal cameras and infrared thermometers.

At Murphy High School in Murphy, North Carolina, served by Murphy Electric Power Board, students will engage in real world and hands-on gene therapy techniques. By allowing the students to sequence genomes, they will be able to compare and contrast the genetic banding to determine with relative accuracy the probability of inheritable traits.

Grants up to $5,000 were awarded in a competitive process, and preference was given to grant applications that explored TVA’s primary areas of focus: environment, energy, economic development, and community problem-solving. Any school that receives their power from a local power company served by TVA was eligible to apply.

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