The Tennessee Valley Authority, in partnership with Powell Valley Electric Cooperative and Bicentennial Volunteers Incorporated (a TVA retiree organization), recently awarded Cumberland Gap High School, Forge Ridge School, Heritage Christian Academy, and Hancock Elementary each $5,000 for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education projects.

The grant award is a part of $800,000 in competitive STEM grants awarded to nearly 200 schools across TVA’s seven-state service territory.  Across the valley, educators submitted projects large and small, to further their STEM education initiatives in the classroom.

Cumberland Gap High School’s Panther Podcast project will establish a podcast and mobile studio for the school; Hancock County Elementary’ s project is an ecosystem study of the Clinch River, while Heritage Christian Academy’s project is Augmented and Virtual Learning through Google Classroom. Forge Ridge School’s project will help with Pandemic Relief through the purchase of sanitizing spray and face thermometers to deter the spread of the virus.

“Congratulations to all of the winning schools for being a TVA STEM grant recipient.  These grants will fund innovative projects and potentially be the stepping stones of tomorrow’s engineers, programmers and scientists.  We are excited to be part of the process and are grateful that TVA is making an investment in our community’s most precious resource…our children.” said Brad Coppock, Powell Valley Electric Cooperative’s Interim General Manager.

The competitive grant program provided 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 and career development and community problem solving as well as pandemic related projects. Schools that receive grant funding must receive their power from a TVA distributor.

“Despite the new challenges Valley teacher’s 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 am pleased to be able to provide some support through this program. 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