Cal Ripken Foundation, TVA donate 27 STEM centers

Susan EspirituSouth Knox

Last week, the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation (CRSF), along with partner Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), announced installation of 27 fully-equipped science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) centers in seven states, two of which are in our area: Vestal (Knox County) and Rocky Top (Campbell and Anderson counties).

All 27 TVA STEM Centers, which will open by the end of 2023, will provide youth with opportunities to engage with state-of-the-art STEM tools such as snap circuits, bee-bots and ozobots, each designed to push students to improve their problem solving and critical thinking skills.

“We’re excited to partner with the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation to help provide opportunities for children across our region,” said Jeannette Mills, executive vice president of TVA. “Our commitment to STEM has always been at the heart of TVA’s mission, and this new initiative gives us the chance to make an even more tangible impact and investment on the future of the STEM workforce.”

Hall of Famer and CRSF co-founder Cal Ripken Jr. attended Wednesday morning’s ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“I believe that we can do a lot of good things on our own, but with dedicated partners we can achieve great things. Our partnership with Tennessee Valley Authority is evidence of that. In 2016 we started to learn more about the need for young people to have access to STEM education, so we decided to make that part of our work,” said Ripken Jr. “The fact that today we are opening our 400th STEM Center just blows me away and with partners across the country and the need remaining critical we aren’t slowing down.”

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