UCEMC and TVA work together to support community-wide learning about energy efficiency, meet STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) objectives and provide opportunities to develop skills that can prepare students for careers in technical fields.
Teachers in public schools that receive power from a TVA distributor can win STEM grants up to $5,000. In 2022 alone, TVA distributed $1 million, in partnership with TVA retiree organization Bicentennial Volunteers Incorporated and the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network. TVA gives preference to applications covering its primary areas of focus–environment, energy, economic development and community problem solving.
In 2021, Smith County Middle School (SCMS) received a $5,000 TVA STEM grant to purchase a model solar car for every student. Merryman says, “The students built the cars, and on the last day of school, they raced them; some kids even formed racing “teams.” SCMS Principal Kelly Bell says, “Children can learn some of life’s most important lessons while playing.”
Smith County Alternative School also received a TVA STEM grant in 2021. The funding helped provide resources for third graders to learn about ocean ecosystems, protection, and conservation.
Schools enrolled in TVA EnergyRight’s School Uplift program receive behavior-based strategic energy management (SEM) training that helps them integrate energy efficiency practices into their daily operations to save energy and money. Schools compete to win grants for infrastructure upgrades to reduce energy costs and improve the quality of the learning environment.
TVA EnergyRight Educational Workshops
Eye Spy Energy Kids’ Workshop
TVA EnergyRight and UCEMC partner to bring Spark, Bolt, Zap and their other EnergyRight Monster friends to elementary schools across the community, teaching students where energy comes from, how we use it and ways to save at home. Students can continue the energy-saving fun with their families using Eye Spy Energy Kits.
Energy Evolution High School Workshop
TVA EnergyRight and UCEMC are working together to offer engaging, interactive workshops that empower high school students to reduce their environmental impact and lead the next wave of our planet’s energy evolution.