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ORAU Awards $30,000 in Education Grants to Nine Area Schools

September 14, 2009

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—Oak Ridge Associated Universities awarded 19 teachers and administrators from nine area schools with nearly $30,000 in grants to fulfill a variety of educational programs and equipment requests.

The grant monies enabled the purchase of Promethean boards, a SMART™ Board, microscopes, computers, a projector, calculators and an array of other science, math and technical learning materials.

ORAU President Andy Page and Willowbrook Elementary School Teacher Kandice Baker

Pictured L to R: ORAU President Andy Page presents Willowbrook Elementary School Teacher Kandice Baker with a $6,000 grant check to assist the school in purchasing equipment to explore the "nanoworld." The equipment consists of a ceiling-mounted projector, a SMART™ Board and 11 Scope on a Rope™ L2 hand-held microscopes.

Willowbrook Elementary School was one of the biggest winners, receiving a $6,000 grant for equipment to help students discover the many inhabitants of the "nanoworld" and then turn their findings into projects, research studies and full presentations. To enable the school to accomplish that goal, the grant included the purchase of a ceiling-mounted projector, a SMART™ Board and 11 Scope on a Rope™ L2 hand-held microscopes.

"We are proud of the dedication and innovation shown by the education community of Anderson County and surrounding areas," ORAU President Andy Page said, "and we recognize the outstanding principals and teachers who are inspiring academic excellence in our own backyard."

Norwood Elementary School also did especially well, receiving 32 computer monitors to replace the school’s now-failing ones and to enhance the performance of their new computers. Norwood Elementary was also granted its request for 32 headphone sets, which had not been part of the school’s equipment base. The equipment is valued at $3,330.

The school also received a $3,000 grant toward the purchase of a Promethean board and its supporting tools for use with the school's wetland project and outdoor classroom.

The other grant winners were:

  • Briceville Elementary School—a $2,300 grant for the purchase of a Promethean board to assist students in conducting Internet research and to be used in math, science and social studies.
  • Clinton Elementary School
    • A $1,200 grant to implement a Clinton Elementary School weather station, which would include the purchase of a wireless Vantage Pro2™ Plus system. The system collects weather data that students can gather and then disseminate and study alongside other students worldwide via the Internet.
    • A $310 grant toward the purchase of kindergartners' study of butterflies, which is a Tennessee curriculum requirement.
    • A science Brain Bank by Scholastic, which includes a library of science books covering subjects such as fossils, light and planets—all areas of high interest to students.
    • An all-in-one printer, scanner and copier. The equipment will allow a teacher to scan documents into a computer, which could then be projected on the classroom’s SMART board.
  • Dutch Valley Elementary School—a $2,300 grant for the purchase of a Promethean board for use in math, science, social studies and reading classes.
  • South Clinton Elementary School
    • Response clickers so that students can have a more interactive learning environment. The clickers are valued at $1,600.
    • Two "Science and Technology for Children" science kits that will provide first-graders with hands-on experience in creating and maintaining woodland and fresh water habitats. The kits are valued at $1,300.
    • A $900 grant toward the purchase of a "KinderGARDNERS" project, which involves the construction of raised plant beds outside the school's kindergarten classrooms.
    • An Elmo brand projector to assist students in becoming more visually involved in instruction time. The projector is valued at $650.
    • Math and science measuring tools that meet Tennessee state standards and will allow third-graders to have hands-on activities concerning developing, selecting, collecting and analyzing data. The tools are valued at $585.
    • A variety of computer equipment to help students fully use their individual laptops. Among the items were 35 sets of headphones, a printer, ink and 35 flash drives.
    • A classroom set of 30 Texas Instruments TI-108 calculators with storage cases and resources, as well as an overhead projectable calculator.
  • Claxton Elementary School—"Science and Technology for Children" kits, which will help supplement the science and math curriculum for kindergarten through second-grade students. The kits are valued at $528.
  • Grand Oaks Elementary School—Carolina Biologicals' "Thinking Beyond the Box" materials, which will help meet new math and science standards. The materials are valued at $2,000.
  • Norris Middle School—12 Flinn Middle School compound microscopes, which will give students the ability to conduct state-of-the-art experiments. The microscopes are valued at $2,500.

The awards, based on competitive proposals submitted by the individual schools, were presented by ORAU General Counsel Ivan Boatner and ORAU Vice President of Human Resources Dan Standley.

Since 2002—the beginning of the ORAU Education Grant program—ORAU has provided more than $210,000 to area schools for projects that complement ORAU’s mission of enriching science, technology, education and mathematics programs.

"ORAU has a rich heritage in giving back to the community," Page said.

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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