TVA Partnership awards STEM grant to ACES

The Tennessee Valley Authority, in partnership with Bicentennial Volunteers Incorporated (a TVA retiree organization), recently awarded Ashland City Elementary School $1,500 for a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education project.

The grant award is a part of $580,000 in competitive STEM grants awarded to 161 schools across TVA’s seven-state service territory.

“Agriculture is a huge piece of Tennessee and this opportunity is going to provide our students with the hands-on experience to physically see that agriculture is a sustainable way of life. This edible garden will open up STEAM Career connections and hopefully draw more interest into STEAM related fields. Students will have access to natural resources and land management all while learning the process of growing crops,” said STEAM teacher Kristin McQueen. “My hope is for the students to grow fruits and vegetables and understand what ‘farm to table’ really means.”

Across the valley, educators submitted projects large and small, to further their STEM education initiatives in the classroom.

The project ACES submitted will consist of four raised garden beds, a garden shed, full class sets of gardening tools and gloves, soil testing kits, and top soil. Those are just a few major highlights of what the money will go towards. Students will be learning about the life cycles of different vegetables, the correct time to plant, how to care for the plants, and enjoy eating them!

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. Schools who receive grant funding must receive their power from a TVA distributor.

A full list of the grant recipients can be found at