Four Hawkins teachers awarded $5,000 grants to spark interest in STEM careers | Rogersville


Four Hawkins County teachers received grants to develop science, technology, engineering, and math education projects to spark student interest in future careers in STEM-related fields.

Recipients include Rachel Horton of St. Clair Elementary; Brittney Rhoton, County Schools Academic STEM Coach; Amy Arnold from Surgoinsville Elementary School; and Kevin Hilton of Surgoinsville Middle School.

Each received a $5,000 grant from the Tennessee Valley Authority, in partnership with Bicentennial Volunteers, Inc., an organization of TVA retirees.

Teachers in the TVA Seven-State Area applied for funding of up to $5,000 for projects, and 233 applications were selected.

“Hawkins County Schools are fortunate to have received not one, but four of these grants,” said Debbi Pressnell, Hawkins County Schools Grants Writer. “Having so many applicants out of the number of applicants speaks volumes about our teachers.”

Rhoton added, “We are thrilled to have this funding to support hands-on activities and programs that help students develop skills they can apply to solving real-world problems.”

Schools that have obtained subsidies must receive their electricity from a local electricity company served by TVA. Each is served by Holston Electric Cooperative.

These teachers have already put the items they purchased to use.

Rachel Horton of St. Clair Elementary used the grant to purchase Lego robotic sets. Students use them to learn problem-solving and coding skills.

Academic STEM Coach Brittney Rhoton purchased 3D printers and filament to use in the next Innovation Challenge as well as Summer School and throughout the school year. Schools can use them to teach introduction to CAD design and 3D printing.

Amy Arnold from Surgoinsville Elementary bought iPads and Osmos kits. These elements work together using a platform to complement all areas of the student’s curriculum.

Kevin Hilton in Surgoinsville Middle used his to buy items to build a town. The students worked collaboratively to build a waste-free city of the future. They submitted their project to the Future City competition and won first place!

“TVA is committed to supporting STEM education to help shape today’s students into tomorrow’s engineers, scientists and IT professionals,” said Jeannette Mills, Executive Vice President and Chief External Relations Officer. of VAT. “It’s inspiring to be able to contribute to the next generation innovators.”

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

“We want to open doors to high-quality, rewarding jobs for our students, and these grants will help us introduce them to these subjects at an early age,” said Schools Principal Matt Hixson.

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


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