Center for Science Education Virtual Tour

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Welcome to the Center for Science Education at Oak Ridge Associated Universities.

The center was built by ORAU to support the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education and its goal to bring tomorrow’s science into today’s classrooms.

Building on longtime partnerships with the U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and a number of federal agencies . . . the center bridges the gap between real science being conducted in today’s labs and the students and teachers in our nation’s primary and secondary schools and universities.

Want to know more?

Follow me and let’s take a virtual tour of the Center for Science Education!

The Center leverages technology to break down traditional barriers and opens doors to HANDS ON research – rather than having students and teachers read about these new discoveries years later in a textbook. 

So what’d ya think?  Let’s go on inside and have a closer look.

Upon entering the two-story lobby, you’ll notice ahead on your right is the ORAU reception desk where visitors register and check in for their appointments.

Also on your right, is an easy-to-navigate employment kiosk with current job openings and an online application. Just beyond the kiosk is a seating area for guests.

To your left, a 25-foot wall of glass allows a glimpse into the classroom, which is the focal point for ORAU’s Center for Science Education. On this glass wall is a specially engineered StarGlas projection screen displaying information about activities and events in the classroom.

As you enter the classroom, an impressive nine-plasma screen video wall anchors the far end. With multi-configuration capabilities, this video wall can be used to display a single image on all nine screens, or separately on each individual screen.

An additional projection screen is available on the side wall to your right. Also to your right, are three breakout rooms for small, group interaction.

The classroom brings real research into the learning environment and enables participants to interact using the latest Information Communication Technologies.  For example, participants can communicate directly with Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists through videoconferencing capabilities, Web casting, or even by remotely operating microscopes or other scientific equipment physically located at the lab.  The same technology also allows students to compare data samples with scientists at other national labs, or even with other students half way across the globe.

Learning becomes more engaging with the Center’s Classroom Performance System, which uses clickers to allow instructors to ask questions and gather students' responses during a presentation. This interactive environment gives the instructor immediate feedback about students' understanding of lecture topics and also encourages each participant to engage in the learning process.  Summaries of all responses can be shown in real time to both instructors and students.

Teachers will also enjoy additional resources such as a document camera and an interactive whiteboard, which in combination, will allow the user to turn anything into digital content. For example, teachers can perform a science experiment and immediately display each step of the process for the class to see.  Additionally, presentations can be recorded and digitally stored on a Web site so participants can review them as long as they have a computer and access to the Internet.

For more information on how ORAU’s Center for Science Education is bringing tomorrow’s science into today’s classrooms, or to schedule a time to see the center in person, contact Wayne Stevenson, ORAU director of Science Education Programs, at (865) 576-3424, or via email at science.education@orau.org.