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RAS earns TVA STEM Grant

Ralph Askins Elementary School has been awarded a grant from the Tennessee Valley Authority, in partnership with Bicentennial Volunteers, Inc., a TVA retiree organization, to develop science, technology, engineering, and math education projects to help spark student interest in future careers in STEM-related fields.

Teachers across TVA’s seven-state region applied for funding of up to $5,000 for projects, and 233 applications were selected.

“We are excited to have this funding to support hands-on activities and programs that help students develop skills that can apply to real-world problem solving,” said Cindy Young, supervisor for Fayetteville City Schools. “We want to open doors to high quality, rewarding jobs for our students, and the grant will help us introduce them to these subjects from a young age.”

Schools who are awarded grants must receive their power from a local power company served by TVA. Ralph Askins Elementary School is served by Fayetteville Public Utilities.

“FPU is glad to partner with TVA to support STEM education for the youth of our community,” said FPU CEO/General Manager Britt Dye.

“Ralph Askins School is very pleased to receive such a generous grant from TVA,” said Shana Smith, RAS teacher. “We are using the grant money to fund our new STEM Lab. We purchased kits that will allow our students from pre-k through fourth grade to have hands-on experiences with coding and engineering.”

“TVA is committed to supporting STEM education to help develop today’s students into tomorrow’s engineers, scientists and IT professionals,” said Jeannette Mills, TVA executive vice president and chief external relations officer. “It’s inspiring to be able to contribute to the innovators of the next generation.”

Since 2018, TVA and BVI have awarded nearly $2 million in STEM grants to support local education.

A full list of grant recipients and information on how to apply for a future STEM grant can be found at

group making check presentation

Pictured are (from left) Lynn Huffstetler, community relations manager, TVA; Tonja Whitenack, Ralph Askins School (RAS) principal; Lori Brown, community relations specialist, TVA; Shana Smith, RAS teacher; Cindy Young, supervisor, Fayetteville City Schools; Britt Dye, CEO/general manager, FPU; and Bill Hopkins, director of Fayetteville City Schools.