ABOUT


About the Retool Your School Program

We are excited to enter our sixth year of RETOOL YOUR SCHOOL with new program improvements and $255,000 in grants to award! For the first time in program history, The Home Depot will award THREE (3) Tier I $50,000 grants! This year, we’ve designed a new to way increase participating schools’ chances of winning $50,000. Check it out . . .

  • New Cluster Structure — increases your chances of winning $50,000. All HBCUs competing for a grant will be placed into one of three clusters, based on student enrollment. The clusters are identified as follows:
    1. Cluster 1: 4,000+ students
    2. Cluster 2: 1,200-3,999
    3. Cluster 3: less than 1,199 students

With the incorporation of clusters, participating HBCUs are now only in competition with those schools similar in size based on student enrollment.

  • New Grant Structure — $255,000 will be awarded across 9 HBCUs! This year EACH of the three (3) clusters will award a
    • Tier I Grant – $50,000
    • Campus Pride Grant – $25,000
    • Tier II Grant – $10,000

*     The Campus Pride Grants will go to the school in each cluster with the most online votes and social media activity.

The Home Depot’s Retool Your School program is giving away MORE grant MONEY to MORE SCHOOLS for MORE campus IMPROVEMENTS.

photo by Sarah A. Miller

Black History Facts

  • ELIJAH MCCOY

    Invented an automatic lubricator for oiling steam engines, for which he received his first patent in 1872. He would earn dozens of patents over his lifetime, and the term "the real McCoy" is believed to have referred to the reliability of his devices.

  • ALFRED D. BENJAMIN

    Scouring pad was an improvement to similar patent because it created a lopp for holding the pad. His invention allowed for the metal wool pad to have different grades of coarseness of mesh on opposite sides.

  • JOHN ALBERT BURR

    Made mowing closer to buildings and wall edges possible with his inventions of the rotary blade lawn mower. This device had traction wheels and several blades attached to a revolving axle.

  • GRANVILLE T. WOODS

    Inventor of the electric cutoff switch circuits is most known for the induction of the telegraph, a system for communication to and from moving trains. He successfully defended his patents against 2 lawsuits from Thomas Edison.

  • BENJAMIN F. JACKSON

    Invented the gas burner and received a patent for it in 1899. He also has 3 patents for a heating apparatus, matrix drying apparatus and steam, boiler.

  • JOSEPH H. SMITH

    Lawn sprinkler invention was portable and covered more ground when attached to a hose and placed in the ground. Water was carried through the hose and sprayed like a gentle shower.

  • LLOYD P. RAY

    Invented the stand-up dustpan. Ray’s dustpan had a metal collection plate attached to a short wooden handle in which trash could be swept without getting one’s hands duty. It was a complex stand-up variant of the dustpan.

  • THOMAS W. STEWART

    Invented the clamping mop which could wring water out of itself by the use of a lever. The clamping was a very complex mechanism that also allowed the replacement of the mop head.

  • JOSEPH N. JACKSON

    Invented the programmable remote control. His efforts led to the precursor of the V-Chip, technology that is used in the television industry to block out violent and objectionable programs.

  • ANTHONY L. LEWIS

    Developed a window cleaner device that was capable of cleaning several windows in succession. It thoroughly wet the window, loosened and dissolved the soil. The scraper is used to remove the dirty water. Patented in 1892.

  • GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER

    Devoted his life to research related to southern agriculture. He produced / replaced over 500 stains from agricultural products. In 1927, he also invented a process for producing paint and stains from soybeans.

  • LEWIS HOWARD LATIMER

    Created an improved method for the production of carbon filaments used in light bulbs. Patented in 1881.

  • SARAH BOONE

    Invented the ironing board.  It was designed to be effective in ironing the sleeves and bodices of ladies' garments. The board was very narrow, curved and reversible, making it easy to iron both sides of the sleeve.

  • FREDERICK M. JONES

    Invented the air conditioner. He originally created a refrigeration system for trucks and railroad cars to eliminate food spoilage. He has over 60 patent inventions.