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Tennessee STEM Leadership Academy presents latest in teaching practices

More than 90 educators from 73 school districts across Tennessee recently spent four days at ORAU learning the latest techniques and information in the art of teaching STEM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 1, 2013
FY13-20

Educators participate in an energy engineering challenge in which they created a “MudWatt” microbial fuel cell—a bio-electrical device that harnesses the natural metabolism of microbes to produce electrical power.

Educators participate in an energy engineering challenge in which they created a “MudWatt” microbial fuel cella bio-electrical device that harnesses the natural metabolism of microbes to produce electrical power.

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—More than 90 educators from 73 school districts across the state of Tennessee recently spent four days at ORAU learning the latest techniques and information in the art of teaching science, technology, engineering and math, also known as STEM, during the second Tennessee STEM Leadership Academy.

Presented by ORAU and the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network (TSIN), the academy featured teaching tips designed specifically for STEM subjects, hands-on group energy challenges and experiments, a tour of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and a presentation given by retired NASA astronaut Mary Ellen Weber.

“Engaging and exciting students in the fields of STEM is of the upmost importance to the future of our nation,” said ORAU President and CEO Andy Page. “Our partnership with the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network allows us to provide the Tennessee STEM Leadership Academy experience to teachers across the state, and ORAU is helping to prepare the next generation of the STEM workforce.”

The Tennessee STEM Leadership Academy is funded through Race to The Top funds and is a three-year professional development program that was created to develop a cadre of current K-12 STEM teachers and administrators to serve as liaisons in the TSIN. Selected by their districts’ superintendents and administrators, the attendees are expected to share the innovative STEM standards and best practices gathered at the academy with others in their school district.

“The TSLA was created with the idea to train one representative from every district in the state on information regarding where teachers can gather, collaborate and share STEM resources,” said Marie Westfall, interim associate director for ORAU’s Center for Science Education. “The goal of the program, when this grant is over next year, is to have a cadre of informed teachers and administrators that will act as a network for teachers throughout the state of Tennessee.”

ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

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