Tullahoma’s West Middle School was recently awarded a $5,000 grant from the Tennessee Valley Authority to help spark student interest in future careers in STEM-related fields.
Teachers across TVA’s seven-state region applied for funding of up to $5,000 for projects. After applications were received, 233 grants were accepted by the TVA in partnership with Bicenentennial Volunteers, Inc. (BVI), a TVA retiree organization. Schools awarded grants must receive their power from a local power company served by TVA. West Middle School is served by Tullahoma Utilities Authority.
“We are excited to have this funding to support hands-on activities and programs that help students develop skills that can apply to real-world problem solving,” said TCS Director of Schools, Dr. Catherine Stephens. “We want to open doors to high quality, rewarding jobs for our students, and the grant will help us introduce them to these subjects from a young age.”
Grant author Jennifer Munsey said she was elated to learn that her application had been accepted. She added that these funds would further help West Middle School students with their scientific studies as they get set to head into high school.
“It is really gratifying that our grant was accepted among so many applicants,” said WMS Teacher Jennifer Munsey, the grant’s author. “Many of our students do not have experience with science equipment and the use of scientific data. This project aims to provide STEM tools for science classes and expand student instruction and familiarize themselves with these tools. With the addition of basic science tools in our classrooms, students will acquire skills with measurement and the use of data to describe science learning. Beginning science skill instruction earlier will better prepare students for high school science classes and post-secondary STEM careers.”
Some of the equipment purchased includes balances, thermometers and scientific instruments. West Middle School Principal Cindy Herrera expressed her thankfulness that the TVA and BVI had accepted Munsey’s grant proposal. She added that this grant would help strengthen the West Middle School STEM programs.
“These funds will help support several activities and programs that will apply to real-world Science- Technology-Engineering and Math units,” Herrera said. “Students and staff will have the opportunity to come together to apply STEM, and hopefully, this will translate to more students developing a love and appreciation of STEM for their futures. We are blessed with this generous grant from TVA and for the hard work and vision of Jennifer Munsey.”
Since 2018, TVA and BVI have awarded nearly $2 million in STEM grants to support local education. A complete list of grant recipients and information on applying for a future STEM grant can be found at www.tvastem.com.
“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.”
Photo: West Middle School recently received a grant from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and Bicentennial Volunteers, Inc. Attending the grant celebration is, from left, JT Long, TVA Customer Service Manager; Brian Skelton, Tullahoma Utilities Authority President; Dr. Lori Brown, TVA Community Relations Specialist; Jennifer Munsey, West Middle School STEM Teacher; Dr. Catherine Stephens, TCS Director of Schools; Dr. April Norris, TCS Deputy Director of Schools and Cindy Herrera, West Middle School Principal.