TVA Partnership Awards $64,000 in STEM Grants to Shelby County Schools

JANUARY 12, 2021— TVA, in partnership with Bicentennial Volunteers Incorporated, a TVA retiree organization, announced this week the award of $800,000 in grants to educators in public schools to develop science, technology, engineering, and math education projects all across the Tennessee Valley. 

Of those funds, $64,000 were awarded to schools in Shelby County including: Barret’s Chapel School, Coleman School, Crosstown High School, Crump Elementary School, Hamilton High School, John P. Freeman Optional School,  Kingsbury Elementary School, Maxine Smith STEAM Academy, Memphis Business Academy High School, Memphis Merit Academy Charter School, Memphis School of Excellence Cordova, Memphis School of Excellence Elementary, Memphis School of Excellence Middle and High School, Oakhaven Middle School and Riverwood Optional Elementary.  

The competitive STEM classroom grant program, operated in partnership with Battelle, received more than 600 grant applications from across TVA’s seven state service territory. 

“TVA is committed to supporting STEM education to help develop today’s students into tomorrow’s engineers, scientists and IT professionals,” said Jeannette Mills, TVA executive vice president and chief external relations officer. “It’s inspiring to be able to contribute to the innovators of the next generation."

Across Shelby County, educators submitted projects large and small, to further STEM education initiatives in the classroom – both in person and virtual.

“Despite the new challenges Valley teachers faced in 2020, they are still focused on providing the best STEM education possible and have adjusted to new ways of teaching,” said Community Engagement Senior Program Manager Rachel Crickmar. “I am proud of the partnerships we have built with these amazing educators across the Tennessee Valley over the past few years and are pleased to be able to provide some support through this program.”

The grant program provides 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 development, and community problem solving. Schools who receive grant funding must receive their power from a TVA distributor.

"Hundreds of students across Shelby County will gain access to STEM education experiences through these grants," said Wes Hall, vice president for Philanthropy and Education at Battelle. "Thanks to TVA and BVI, these students will be better prepared to be the leaders that solve society's toughest problems." The Tennessee STEM Innovation Network, managed by Battelle, led outreach to schools for the program.

“The projects were all across the STEM spectrum,” said Crickmar. “It is so impressive to see what teachers across the Valley are doing to prepare the workforce of the future. Through the grants awarded this year, over 72,000 students will be directly impacted across the Valley.”

A full list of the grant recipients can be found at