The Tennessee Valley Authority, in partnership with Bicentennial Volunteers Incorporated (a TVA retiree organization), and Murfreesboro Electric awarded Bradley Academy and Mitchell-Neilson Elementary almost $10,000 for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education projects.
"We are thrilled to bring this new STEM project to our students," said Jenny Ortiz, Bradley Academy Principal. "It's crucial for science education to include hands-on learning projects and outside the box thinking."
Bradley Academy's grant, Augmented Reality Sandbox, written by Abbey Sanders and teammates, allows students to create topography models by shaping sand, which is then augmented in real time by an elevation color map, topographic contour lines, and simulated water. It will be used for various lessons including Water Cycle, Geography and Earth Science.
The grant award is a part of $580,000 in competitive STEM grants awarded to 161 schools across TVA's seven-state service territory.
"Students learn by doing and exploring," says Robin Newell, Principal, Mitchell-Neilson. "To paraphrase Edwin Powell Hubble, ‘students are equipped with five senses, they explore the universe and we call the adventure Science'. It is vital to allow students to see possibilities beyond the school day and explore our universe."
Mitchell-Neilson's grant, Catching Wind and Other Alarming Ideas, created by Robyn Trowbridge, allows third grade students to investigate conductors and insulators, schematic diagrams, and circuits in a system and then plan, create, and improve their own alarm circuits. Fourth grade students will study mechanical engineering systems such as mechanical pencils and egg beaters. Students will use their mechanical engineering knowledge to design windmills and sailboats.
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.
Bradley Academy and Mitchell-Neilson are controlled choice schools for students and parents. Controlled choice schools have a limited number of openings. Applications will be accepted through April 26.
Murfreesboro City Schools is a district of 12 schools committed to the academic and personal success of each child.