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TVA awards $5,000 STEM grant to Surgoinsville Elementary

STAFF REPORT • Apr 27, 2019 at 8:00 PM

SURGOINSVILLE ― The Tennessee Valley Authority, in partnership with Bicentennial Volunteers Incorporated (a TVA retiree organization), recently awarded Surgoinsville Elementary School $5,000 for a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education project.

The award is a part of $580,000 in competitive STEM grants divided among 161 schools across TVA’s seven-state service territory.

“Our school is looking forward to utilizing these materials to encourage interest and learning in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math,” said SES Principal Amanda Smith. “The materials purchased will provide a maker space for students to use their imagination and skills they are learning in class to create products and complete challenging tasks. Our school is anxious to implement new strategies to promote critical thinking, and we are thankful for this opportunity.”

Across the valley, educators submitted projects large and small to further their STEM education initiatives in the classroom.

The project SES submitted will provide a maker space, which is a collaborative workspace where students can design, create, learn, share, and explore. The space will be open to all students, as well as the faculty and staff.

A maker space encourages students to be thinkers, innovators, and entrepreneurs while creating solutions to real world problems. The maker space will aid students in the development of essential 21st century skills.

This grant gives students the opportunity to learn through doing and provides an outlet for students to cultivate the entrepreneurial spirit.

The competitive grant program provided teachers an opportunity to apply for funding up to $5,000, and preference was given to grant applications that explored 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.

“The goal of the program was to help further STEM education across the valley,” said Rachel Crickmar, TVA Community Relations program manager. “We knew this program would be popular and competitive and now we’re looking forward to seeing the impact these projects have.”

Other Northeast Tennessee schools that received a TVA STEM grant include: Clinch School in Hawkins County; St. Clair Elementary School in Hawkins County; Anderson Elementary School in Sullivan County; Sullivan Central High School in Sullivan County; C. Hal Henard Elementary School in Greene County; Alpha Primary in Hamblen County; David Crockett High School in Washington County; Greeneville Middle School in Greene County; Lincoln Heights Middle School in Hamblen County; Roan Creek Elementary in Johnson County; Shady Valley Elementary School in Johnson County; and Sulphur Springs School in Washington County.

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