Three Oak Ridge schools—Glenwood Elementary, Jefferson Middle, and Robertsville Middle—recently learned they had been awarded grants for projects involving science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM. The grants were for $5,000 and $10,000.
Glenwood Elementary School received a grant for $5,000 to fund a project titled, “Engineering a Brighter Future.” That’s a hands-on initiative to engage students in STEM-based learning focused on careers of the future.
This competitive grant came from a program sponsored by the Tennessee Valley Authority that provides teachers an opportunity to apply for funding up to $5,000. Preference was given to grant applications that explored TVA’s primary areas of focus: environment, energy, economic and career development, and community problem solving.
“There is a demand in the (Tennessee) Valley for workforce development through STEM education, and I am proud of the way TVA and our retirees are responding to that demand,” said TVA Community Engagement Senior Program Manager Rachel Crickmar.
Across the Valley, educators submitted projects large and small to further STEM education initiatives in the classroom.
“The projects were all across the STEM spectrum,” Crickmar said. “We had requests for traditional things like science lab and robotics equipment, but we also had projects where students are challenged with designing energy-efficient housing and building prototypes of inventions created to assist senior citizens in their communities. We had a great cross-section of applications that were very representative of life in the Valley.”
Jefferson and Robertsville middle schools each received grants of $10,000 to fund hands-on STEM project supplies and professional development for Career and Technical Education (CTE) teachers of courses that will, for the first time this year, count for high school credit. These middle school classes align to high school programs of study that allow students early access to college credit and recognized industry certifications. Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and the Tennessee Department of Education awarded these grants to fund middle school CTE and STEM education, and the expansion of equitable access and participation in early postsecondary opportunities.
“The sooner we can introduce valuable career and technical skills to students, the better prepared they are to enter the workforce when they graduate,” Lee said. “I’m pleased to see these grants are being delivered, and I am incredibly optimistic about the impact they will have on Tennessee’s kids.”
“Emphasizing STEM and CTE education, as well as providing opportunities to earn postsecondary credit, will help set our students on the path to success,” said Penny Schwinn, Tennessee education commissioner. “The Best for All strategic plan prioritizes career exploration, and middle school is a pivotal time for students to learn more about opportunities beyond graduation and how they best align with their strengths and interests.”
A full list of the grant recipients can be found at www.tvastem.com.
View a list of all recipients here.
This press release was written and submitted by Holly Cross of Oak Ridge Schools.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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