Two Marshall County schools receive STEM grants from TVA


The Tennessee Valley Authority awarded $5,000 grants to Cornersville High School and Westhills Elementary School as part of a program to develop science, technology, engineering, and math education projects all across the Tennessee Valley.

The competitive STEM classroom grant program, operated in partnership with Battelle Education, received more than 290 grant requests from across TVA’s seven state service territory.

“This is the second year we offered this program to the entire Valley and we saw a major increase in grant applications this year,” said Community Engagement Senior Program Manager Rachel Crickmar.

The 2020 grants are part of $600,000 in competitive STEM funding awarded to 142 schools across TVA’s seven-state service territory.

Schools who receive grant funding must receive their power from a TVA distributor, in the case of the two local schools Lewisburg Electric System and Duck River Electric Membership Corporation.

Cornersville High School received a $5,000 grant, which they will use for applied math acceleration. According to Earl Leonard, high school math teacher, Cornersville’s applied math class teaches students about personal finance, budgeting and how to track business profits and losses. Leonard also plans for students to learn other real-world financial basics like running a personal business and planning for cost of living increases. He says the grant will help purchase books and needed supplies for the class.

Abigail Hinds, a Cornersville High School senior enrolled in the applied math class, says, “My favorite part of the class has been learning how to budget. Many of us work part-time jobs, so we’re learning how to spend our money wisely and how to focus on saving. This class helps us know the difference between wants and needs.”

The Westhills grant will fund a program called “Questioning the keyboard.” Crossie Jones, typing lab teacher, purchased two Apple computers and 2 iPads along with a wide variety of keyboards. The goal is to expose students to hands-on learning using these differing keyboards. Students will be comparing and contrasting the keyboards as well as looking ahead to real-world job applications of the keyboards. Among the various keyboards students will be using are projector keyboards, ergonomic keyboards, bamboo keyboard, mechanical keyboard, and even typewriters.

All of Westhills’ approximately 700 students will get to use the new technology as part of their learning.

Photos submitted

Joining senior Cornersville High School students are, from left, Troy Crowell, DREMC’s Lewisburg district manager; Joy McMasters, assistant principal; TVA’s Melissa Halsell; Brent Adcox, principal; and Earl Leonard, math teacher.

Lewisburg Electric Service General Manager Brad Medley, Westhills teacher Crossie Jones, and TVA’s Melissa Halsell at the presentation of the $5,000 STEM grant for Westhills.


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