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ORAU: Then & Now

Behind the scenes: 2024 Extreme Classroom Makeover competition


Teacher Shelby Woods of Sevier County Junior High School is surprised to learn she won the 2024 Extreme Classroom Makeover competition.

While summer is traditionally a time away from the classroom, many teachers still put in hours planning and preparing for the school year ahead. We know that’s the case for Sevier County Junior High School teacher Shelby Woods who is our most recent winner of ORAU’s annual Extreme Classroom Makeover competition.

Extreme Classroom Makeover is one of ORAU’s most recognizable and flagship programs in the East Tennessee community. For the past 15 years, you may have seen ORAU handing out more than $500,000 in technology and equipment to encourage students to love and pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math. You may not have paused to think of what’s going on in the background of this program. Today, we invite you behind the scenes to get a glimpse of what it is and what goes into it.

The items on Woods’ shopping list are arriving throughout the summer, and she plans to have her new technology ready for her students this fall.

The video teachers submit is a big part of the application process: How much effort did they put into it? How creative was the video? Was the classroom’s need clearly demonstrated and did the teacher explain what he or she would do with the technology?

Here are the three most recent Extreme Classroom Makeover winners:


Be on the lookout for applications and information about the 2025 competition as it becomes available in November.

ORAU Media Contacts and Information

About ORAU

ORAU, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, provides science, health, and workforce solutions that address national priorities and serve the public interest. Through our specialized teams of experts and access to a consortium of more than 150 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local, and commercial customers to provide innovative scientific and technical solutions and help advance their missions. ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Media Contacts

Pam BoneeDirector, CommunicationsCell: (865) 603-5142
Wendy WestManager, CommunicationsCell: (865) 207-7953