First grade students at Claxton Elementary School use “TubeLox” building materials purchased with UCOR mini-grants award funds to study the engineering process of designing a car. (UCOR photo)

UCOR accepting applications for STEM Education Mini-Grants

(UCOR press release) Attention East Tennessee teachers:  United Cleanup Oak Ridge (UCOR) is accepting applications for our science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) Education Mini-Grants through Monday, February 27. Our grant awards are open to K-12 educators in nine East Tennessee counties to support a STEM project or related arts project with a STEM aspect. You can apply for up to $1,500 for a STEM or STEM-related project in your classroom, team, or school.

Teachers and schools in Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Knox, Loudon, Morgan, Roane, Scott, and Union counties (including city systems in those counties) are eligible to apply. This year marks the 12th consecutive year that UCOR has awarded mini-grants. In 2022, 38 mini-grants were awarded to teachers in 28 schools.  The projects funded by those awards include:

  • Apply to Fly, Claxton Elementary School, Anderson Co.
  • Under-desk Exercise Bikes, Bearden High School, Knox Co.
  • Hidden Figures—Coding Across the Curriculum, Midway Middle School, Roane Co.
  • Building Learners to Leaders, Horace Maynard Middle School, Union Co.
  • Chicken Egg Incubating Project, Stanford Eisenberg Knoxville Jewish Day School 

The full list of 2022 awards is available on the UCOR website.

Grants are available in three levels:

  • Single classroom single classroom: $750
  • Multiple classrooms: $1,000
  • Entire school:$1,500

The program does not limit the number of submissions a school may submit.

Applications should focus on STEM relevance. In addition to traditional STEM projects, a related arts teacher might apply for a grant for students to explore the lives of scientists, mathematicians, etc., or for materials to develop problem-solving or other critical thinking skills. The online application, along with information about proposal and evaluation criteria, is available at

UCOR will accept applications online until 5 p.m. on Monday, February 27, 2023. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered. Winners will be notified no later than April 6, 2023.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:30 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, and cats Oliver, Bow and Libby.

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