TVA Minigrants for STEM Projects Now Open!

The Tennessee Valley Authority in partnership with Bicentennial Volunteers Incorporated, a TVA retiree organization, recently announced a grant program aimed at providing funding to educators developing STEM projects in the Tennessee Valley. The competitive 2018-19 Mini-Grant Program opened Dec. 7 and will accept applications through Jan. 11. For the first time, the program will award grants across the TVA’s entire seven state service area. Educators in schools serviced by a TVA power distributor in Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi are eligible to apply.

“TVA understands that excellence in education is the key to our future,” said TVA STEM Education Manager Rachel Crickmar. “We want to work directly with teachers to support initiatives that advance STEM activities in the classroom to develop a talent pipeline for TVA and its customers.”

Teachers looking to  for grants must be teaching at a public school and can request grant funding up to $5,000. TVA will provide almost $200,000 in grants to fund STEM projects in public schools across the utility’s seven state service area.

“The goal of the program is to help further STEM education across the valley,” said Crickmar. “We know this program will be popular and competitive. We are looking for STEM projects with the most impact and return on our investment; it’s really amazing what a teacher can do with $1000.”

Preference for the grant applications will be given to those projects that explore TVA’s primary areas of focus: environment, energy, economic and career development and community problem solving. Schools who receive grant funding must receive their power from a TVA distributor.

Previous funding for projects included a river water study conducted by Bledsoe County High School on the Sequatchie River. The funding allowed the school’s ecology class to conduct a semester-long study of the water quality in the river. Students tested for nitrates, phosphates, silica and pH, as well as carbon dioxide, water hardness and dissolved oxygen. Students collected their data, created videos and made presentations to showcase their findings.

This year, TVA has partnered with BVI and Battelle to expand the program across the Tennessee Valley.

“Every teacher needs something different to take learning in their classroom to the next level,” said Aimee Kennedy,senior vice-president for Education and Philanthropy at Battelle. “Through the TVA’s generosity, educators all over the Tennessee Valley get to choose just what they need to expand STEM for their students.”

Eligible applicants are teachers or school administrators in grades kindergarten through 12th in public schools located in the TVA service area.

 

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