(WHNT) — The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is now accepting applications for STEM classroom grants, benefitting STEM learning projects and teachers in schools across TVA’s service area.

TVA will be accepting applications for the grants now through September 15. The company said they’re opening the applications earlier this year in order for funding to be distributed before January, giving teachers the entire spring semester to implement projects using the grants.

Educators at public and private K-12 schools served by TVA’s local power companies can submit an application here for the chance to be awarded up to $5,000 for STEM projects. Preference will be given to applications that explore TVA’s primary areas of focus: environment, energy, economic and career development, and community problem-solving.

“The Tennessee Valley Authority understands that excellence in education is the key to our future,” said TVA STEM Education Manager Rachel Crickmar. “We want to work directly with teachers to support initiatives that advance STEM activities in the classroom to develop a talent pipeline for TVA and its customers.”

Sponsored by the TVA in partnership with Bicentennial Volunteers Incorporated (BVI, a TVA retiree organization), the STEM classroom grant project is designed to fund STEM learning projects in classrooms and schools in the TVA’s service area.

Last year, the program awarded $1 million in grants to schools across the Tennessee Valley. TVA said this year’s grant total will reach $1.5 million.

To learn more about the STEM classroom grant program, you can visit the program page on the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network’s website.