Community Involvement

Always mindful of the need to strengthen the research and education enterprise of our nation, ORAU never loses sight of the importance to also invest at the local level. ORAU’s 2011 outreach activities are evidence of our mission to advance science and education, starting with our own community and reaching out from there.

  • ORAU Extreme Classroom Makeover

    For the 2011 Extreme Classroom Makeover, ORAU named Herman Sutton, Jr., a fifth grade math teacher at Green Magnet Math and Science Academy in Knoxville, Tenn., the grand prize winner. Sutton’s winning video highlighted one child’s transformation from a mediocre math student to a “math hero.” As grand-prize winner, Sutton received a $25,000 grant to use toward the purchase of technology enhancements, including Apple iPads, laptops and a desktop computer, an interactive response system, and a new television, for his classroom/math laboratory, which is used by an estimated 300 students.

    ORAU also awarded runner-up prizes to fifth grade teachers Stacy Honabach of Northview Middle School in Sevier County, Tenn., and Kayla Canario of North Middle School in Loudon County, Tenn. Karla Fultz, a fifth grade teacher at A. L. Lotts Elementary School in Knoxville, received a $1,000 grant after she became the first-ever winner of the Viewers’ Choice award. This was ORAU’s third consecutive year to sponsor the Extreme Classroom Makeover.

    The ORAU Extreme Classroom Makeover awards one deserving, local teacher with a room full of the latest educational technology and a year's worth of training and support.
  • Tennessee Science Bowl

    ORAU continued its support in 2011 for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Tennessee Science Bowl, an annual competition to encourage high school students to pursue careers in science and math. Forty-eight high school teams representing 39 schools participated in the all-day academic competition, which featured questions in astronomy, chemistry, biology, earth and general science, mathematics and physics.

    As a major corporate sponsor, ORAU contributed $35,000 to the event and provided overall management of the competition for DOE. The Oak Ridge High School team (pictured here) won top honors and received a $1,000 cash prize, a first-place trophy and an all-expenses paid trip to compete in DOE’s National Science Bowl in Washington, D.C.

    Students from across the state compete in  the annual Tennessee Science Bowl sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge Office and other local businesses, including ORAU. The winning team receives an all-expenses-paid trip to compete in the National Science Bowl held in Washington, D.C.
  • Imagination Library

    ORAU has served as a corporate sponsor for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program in Anderson County, Tenn., since 2001. Since the program’s inception, ORAU has mailed more than 216,000 new, age appropriate books to area children from birth to age five. Books are delivered in the child’s name and are theirs to keep. Anderson County parents, regardess of income, can enroll their children in the program by filling out the online registration form.

    Since becoming Anderson County's Imagination Library corporate sponsor in 2001, ORAU has sent more than 216,000 free books to every registered child in the county each month from birth until age five.
  • ORAU Education Grants

    In its 10th consecutive year, the 2011 ORAU Education Grants program provided $36,000 in cash awards to 23 teachers from 13 area schools for educational projects, materials and other needs not funded by the local school systems. Since 2002, ORAU has provided more than $275,000 to schools in our community for projects that complement ORAU’s mission of enriching science, technology, engineering and math programs.

    Fulfulling a goal to enhance scientific research and education, ORAU annually awards area schools with education grants for advancement of math and science education.
  • United Way and Community Shares

    For the fourth year in a row, ORAU surpassed the $100,000 mark in donations as part of the organization’s annual Giving Campaign for the United Way and Community Shares. The 2011 ORAU Giving Campaign was a record-breaking year, with employee and corporate donations totaling more than $146,300.

    ORAU proudly supports the United Way and Community Shares through an annual giving campaign that assists these organizations' in their philanthropic efforts.
  • Other organizations ORAU proudly supports:

    ORAU also supports the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce, the Tennessee Valley Corridor, the Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley and the East Tennessee Economic Council.