BVI and TVA Receive Corporate Champion Award

BVI and TVA were awarded the Corporate Champion Award at the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network Summit Conference in Nashville TN on May 15, 2019.

The award was given to BVI and TVA for their STEM Mini-Grant Program. Through the program, 161 public schools in the TVA region were given grants totalling $580,000.

Rachel Crickmar of TVA and Jim Russell of BVI accept the Corporate Champion Award from representatives of the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network.

“I estimate the grants affected at least 10,000 students,” said BVI President Jim Russell.

Russell said numerous teachers came forward at the conference to express appreciation for the grants. “In almost every learning session I attended, one or more teachers told about something they were doing in their school and then added, ‘We always wanted to do this but were never able until we received the mini-grant from TVA and BVI.’ ”

Russell has received approximately 100 thank-you notes from teachers, principals and STEM coordinators. One of the notes is shown below.

“We are delighted to make these funds available to our public school teachers and students,” Russell said. “The STEM grants are causing a big splash across the region with lots of ripples.”


Letter from educator who received a STEM Mini-Grant from BVI and TVA

Mr. Russell,

On behalf of Mitchel-Neilson Schools, I want to thank the BVI organization for helping make the TVA mini-grant possible. Because of BVI’s contributions, our students will be exposed to the career paths of electrical and mechanical engineering.

All of our 3rd graders will be building circuits that turn stored energy into useable forms of energy such as alarms and fans. Our 4th graders will build windmills and then explore ways they are similar to the work of generators in a hydroelectric dam.

I believe these types of real-world, hands-on experiences will cultivate a spirit of inquiry in our elementary students that will spur them into STEM career paths later in life.

Thanks again for helping to make all of this possible!

Robyn Trowbridge
 Academic Coach
Mitchell-Neilson School
Murfreesboro, TN