The Ripken Foundation partnered with the Tennessee Valley Authority to open 27 STEM Centers in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. One of the new locations, the Rescue Me Project (RMP) Mega Center in Muscle Shoals, AL, just held a ribbon cutting to celebrate the new Center.
"The quality of life we have in North Alabama, it takes partnership, investment, and a view for the future... and that's exactly what they're doing here at the Rescue Me Project,
said TVA Southern Regional Vice President Jared Mitchem. "So, the kids who are here in the STEM lab are picking up skills and learning things that they'll be able to apply on the job someday. They'll be able to do things we haven't even imagines yet."
Each Center comes fully-equipped with the latest technology and educational tools that pair with the CRSF STEM Center curriculum that uses hands-on activities engage students in STEM concepts.
RMP's campus is the site of the old Southwest Elementary School, donated by the Sheffield Board of Education in 2020. RMP Founder and President Dewayne Malone says this Center will serve as another way to reach his students. "We're grateful because the community has come and gotten involved with the RMP for so many years," said Malone. "To be able to take it to another level with the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation and TVA, for them to invest and be a part of this STEM lab and bring it to us, it's been a huge blessing to us and the students are excited for it as well."
Angelina, a student at the RMP, said she had the opportunity to spend some time in the new Center, and is excited to continue learning with her peers. "When I first saw it, I was excited because I didn't know how to do this. When I started doing it, I felt like I wasn't going to do good at this... but then I started getting better at it!" exclaimed Jones.